Employers, Community Leaders Learn Best Practices to Attract Military Talent

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More military-friendly employers are implementing military-ready initiatives, thanks to Hiring Our Heroes’ Community Engagement Events.

Our Community Engagement Events are half-day workshops designed to highlight the military community and the value veterans and military spouses bring to the region. Through this professional development training, business and community leaders learn best practices for engaging with the military community and innovative training programs to build the region’s workforce.

“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 Guards members and reservists are also searching for careers.”

Immediately following the community engagement session, all participants are invited to a networking reception.

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.

Hiring Our Heroes launched Community Engagement Events with the support of Comcast NBCUniversal in 2018.

“When we developed the concept for these events, 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.

Past participating employers reported that they implemented additional military-ready initiatives after attending a Community Engagement Event. One initiative converted 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 of 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 2020, we have turned these into a Call to Lead: Empowering Employers series and added working groups to revisit the identified primary needs and continue to build on them.”

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.

Community Engagement Events are open to local and regional employers, service organizations, and members of the military community. To register to attend an upcoming Call to Lead: Empowering Employers workshop, visit HiringOurHeroes.org/events.


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