Why are veterans having so much difficulty finding civilian jobs? I recently attended a panel on the value of hiring veterans sponsored by Austin
Chamber of Commerce and Skillpoint Alliance. Central Texas agencies and non-profits are working hard to connect veterans and companies, helping with the transition, matching veterans to civilian positions, training, interviewing and coaching. But the biggest hurdle is getting the job. Is the issue with the employers? Many on the panel said yes to that.
So what do vets bring to the table and why hire them? Vets are known for leadership, self-discipline, and a strong work ethic. They work well under pressure, an attribute that every startup, small business owner and resource strapped non-profit considers a huge asset.
So what seems to be the problem? One of the issues discussed by the panel was the translation of job duties in the military to the civilian work world. Every industry has is own jargon, shorthand, acronyms, etc. Heck we have a bunch in HR – EEOC, FCRA, ADA, AADA, GPHR – quick, know what these stand for? So one of the challenges these support groups are working to overcome is helping companies and vets both with deciphering the military acronyms and job duties effectively.
Many Fortune 1000 companies have created veteran hiring programs and engaged with recruiting and other HR specialists to aid in their efforts. Just today Amazon announced a program to hire 1200 veterans, joining a long list that includes Verizon, JP Morgan Chase, Safeway, CSX and Citigroup. Why? Well, it’s great for businesses to have trained and disciplined candidates for their open positions.
But, its not just altruism at work here, Congress has provided tax credits for businesses and non-profits. Through the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, Congress has extended the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC- hey, its an acronym!) for hiring certain workers through Dec. 31, 2013.
This is all good but what are the small business owner’s or non-profit director’s options and ability to hire a vet and claim the tax credit?
Where to find the veteran candidates? Here in Texas, the Texas Veterans Commission and Texas Workforce Commission can serve as great resources for the job posting websites and career fairs they have vetted and recommend. Vetsuccess.gov is a good place to start as well.
Now getting the tax credit. The steps are pretty easy and local workforce agencies are happy to help. Here’s a link to the specifics to get your started:
OR, you can contact us and let us help you navigate the process.