A program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
Change is local and more military-friendly employers are implementing military-ready initiatives after participating in our Community Engagement Events.
Community Engagement Events work to move the needle forward on economic issues facing our military families while also addressing local workforce concerns. Hiring Our Heroes launched this program with the support of Comcast NBCUniversal in 2018.
“When we developed the concept for these events last year, our vision was to bring together businesses of all sizes with the leaders in their local military community’s non-profit, government, and employer space,” said Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Carol Eggert, Comcast NBCUniversal’s Senior Vice President of Military and Veteran Affairs.
Our Community Engagement Events are one-day workshops designed to highlight the military community and the value veterans and military spouses bring to the region. They provide best practices for businesses to engage with the military community and strategies that elevate a company from military friendly to military ready.
“The Community Engagement Events provide the connective tissue amongst the local employers, service organizations, stakeholders, and community leaders to share best practices, provide resources, and build networks to further educate the local community on how to hire and retain military talent,” said Mona Dexter, Director of Operations at Hiring Our Heroes.
Each workshop begins with a conversation about misconceptions.
“The military community is often much larger than we think,” Dexter said. “The greatest misconception we find coming into these events is that the military community only consists of veterans. It is often overlooked that spouses are unemployed at four times the national rate, that caregivers have their own employment challenges, and that student veterans, National Guardsmen and reservists are also searching for careers.”
Our goal is for participants to “walk away with increased networks, to be able to grow their initiatives, be one step ahead in the emerging trends, and be at a better place to hire and retain military talent,” Dexter explained.
Participating employers reported that they implemented additional military-ready initiatives following last year’s Community Engagement Events. One initiative converts more positions to telework positions while another initiative involves forming a military resources group at their organization.
These tangible outcomes illustrate the strength of the Community Engagement Event program.
“What we realized at the end 2018 is that when you convene all these people you get great conversations started and ideas brewing and that you have to continue the conversation,” Dexter said. “In 2019, we have turned these into an Empowering Employers series and added working groups to revisit the identified primary needs and continue to build on them.”
After launching Community Engagement Events last year, Hiring Our Heroes is bringing the workshops to more cities in 2019. Hiring Our Heroes selects the locations based on economic opportunities, quality of life rankings, and cost of living statistics. The community must also identify as a veteran-friendly community.
Our Community Engagement Events foster growth, dialogue, and progress at the local level thanks to national supporters like Comcast NBCUniversal.
“We couldn’t be happier with the success we’ve seen so far in several cities, as the knowledge sharing that has taken place is serving to ensure that America’s military community members have the ability to reach the heights they deserve,” Eggert said.
Employers, find your path to hiring and retaining veterans and military spouses through our Vet Employer Roadmap. This free toolkit features a Veteran Hiring Workbook, action plans, best practices, and case studies.
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A Program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
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