The value of the American veteran in the civilian working world is often overlooked. Raising awareness of this problem was the goal of our Dallas town hall meeting, Keeping America’s Promise.
A quarter of a million men and women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces make the transition into the civilian sector each year. Our panel of experts – representing top companies and outreach programs committed to hiring and assisting veterans – discussed solutions which connect them to jobs and help close the skills gap.
WorkingNation and Hiring America co-produced the Town Hall, Keeping America’s Promise, at the George W. Bush Presidential Library in October 2017. The event was broadcast on Hiring America’s syndicated TV show nationwide and the American Forces Network. The town hall meeting was supported with funding from the Eastwood Charitable Fund.
Keeping America’s Promise was moderated by journalist Stephanie Sy and divided into three panels. In the first segment, Sy went one-on-one with General George Casey Jr. (Ret.) and the former Army Chief of Staff gave his insight on how veterans fit into the modern workforce as leaders.
This was followed by a panel discussion featuring Nicole Gardner, VP of Global Business for IBM; Jeff Hall of Disabled American Veterans; CEO John Courson of Home Builders Institute and Jeff Cleland of the Bush Presidential Center Military Service Institute.
The final segment featured Larry Hughes, VP of Franchising Systems for 7-Eleven; Maria Terry, spokesperson for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America; Jason Oliver, VP of Talent Acquisition for AT&T; Andrew Morton of the Society for Human Resource Management and Commissioner Ruth Hughs of the Texas Workforce Commission.
Both panel discussions centered on the challenges that veterans face when entering civilian life. Veterans can have difficulty translating the skills they developed during their service into a language employers can understand. They also have to consider how their spouses and families will adjust to post-military life. Fortunately, new programs and technologies are being developed specifically for veterans to help them overcome these roadblocks.