If you are transitioning out of the military in the near future, you might be wondering if you will be able to get a job in today’s difficult business environment.
There are certainly companies that value the experience and training veterans bring to the table and welcome veterans into their workforce. If transitioning out of the military soon, or a veteran already out and looking for a new start with a veteran friendly culture, there is a special award that promotes and features companies who are committed to not just hiring veterans, but retaining them in meaningful, long-term careers.
The Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans Act of 2017 (HIRE Vets Act or the Act), signed by the White House on May 5, 2017, requires the Secretary of Labor to establish a program that recognizes employer efforts to recruit, employ, and retain veterans. Employer-applicants meeting criteria established receive a “HIRE Vets Medallion Award.” As described in the Act, there are different awards for large employers (500-plus employees), medium employers (51-499 employees), and small employers (50 or fewer employees).
The HIRE Vets Medallion Award presents a unique value to employers across size segments. It is the only veterans hiring award at the federal level, with a rigorous criterion that demonstrates employers’ long-term commitment to veteran hiring, retention, and development. Employer segments may gain further benefits from receiving the HIRE Vets Medallion.
The HIRE Vets Medallion Award represents a truly elite award. Recipients can demonstrate to potential and current customers, as well as to veterans looking for jobs, that they are not only devoted to hiring veterans, but to providing the support and guidance needed to build careers. The program is also beneficial to the government, because federal investment in veterans’ careers will return significant cost savings in veteran healthcare, addiction, housing, and counseling programs, along with increasing participation in the economy through entrepreneurship.
Importantly, it is a signal to veterans and the communities in which organizations are located that these organizations are committed to and support veteran careers.
The Secretary of Labor recognized 427 employers as HIRE Vets Medallion Award recipients under the fully implemented program in November 2019. In 2018, the Department of Labor (DOL) also conducted a HIRE Vets Medallion Program Demonstration using the same criteria as the full program, and 239 employers that met the criteria were recognized.
Criteria for recognition vary by level (platinum or gold) and employer size (large, medium, and small). However, the criteria for most of the awards are based upon the following measures:
- Percentage of new hires during the previous year that are veterans;
- Percentage of veteran employees retained for a period of at least 12 months;
- Percentage of employees who are veterans;
- Provision of an employee veteran organization or resource group to assist new veteran employees with integration, including coaching and mentoring;
- Provision of programs to enhance the leadership skills of veteran employees during their employment;
- Employment of a dedicated human resources professional or initiatives to support hiring, training, and retention of veteran employees;
- Provision of compensation, to employees serving on active duty in the United States National Guard or Reserve, that is sufficient, in combination with the employee’s active duty pay, to achieve a combined level of income commensurate with the employee’s salary prior to undertaking active duty;
- Provision of a tuition assistance program to support veteran employees’ attendance in postsecondary education during the term of their employment; and
- Employer with an adverse labor law decision, stipulated agreement, contract debarment, or contract termination, as defined in the rule, pursuant to either of the following labor laws will not be eligible to receive an award: Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA); or Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA).
To learn more about this program, visit https://www.hirevets.gov/.