ConnectVETS Works to Help Bridge the Skilled Workforce Shortage
In the spring, the Supplier Network hosted a Skilled Workforce Shortage panel. One of the panelist was kind enough to share the following information regarding returning Veteran and Service members who are one of our country’s untapped resources. Since many TMA members are government contractors and have to give preference to veterans, this month’s article focuses on ConnectVETS and how area manufacturing companies have the ability to tap into their pool of returning military personnel.
How many returning Vets in the area are unemployed?
It is much higher than the norm. Currently, the unemployment rate for post 9/11 Veterans is 12.1%.
Why do you think it is so difficult for military personnel to transition to jobs?
Once assigned to a unit, most don’t get to pick the type of job they will be doing and since the military uses its own nomenclature, upon return, many don’t know how to effectively communicate their skills to perspective employers. The military has tried to address this but they have not been very successful. Also, upon return, the service member spends some time with family before going out on a job search. What they did learn about job hunting while still in the service is sometimes forgotten.
What type of employee should the member expect to find?
Beyond job skilled, loyalty, good work ethic, committed, teamwork, able to follow direction, ability to learn new skills and adapt to change quickly are some of the skills instilled in all military personnel. Mechanical skills are prevalent. Whether assigned to a battle ship or on the ground, our service personnel need to know how to fix or adjust a variety of machinery and equipment without hesitation.
How does ConnectVETS help?
ConnectVETS takes the Service Member / Veterans through a process to help them write their resume, describe the skills they have obtained, write an effective cover letter, and basically how to market oneself for a position. Then, they learn how to interview and follow up effectively. Currently, there is no direct connection for employers to learn how to hire and connect with transitioning Service Members and Veterans. ConnectVETS would like to help that as well and are currently registering employers that would like to hire Veterans.
How would a TMA member access ConnectVETS to find employees and learn how to help?