Back in November 2011, Ryder System set a goal to hire 1,000 military veterans by the end of 2013. An admirable objective by any measure. With so many veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Ryder was one of many companies in the trucking industry to offer training or jobs to veterans as a way to help them work back into daily American life after their tours.
On March 21, more than 9 months ahead of schedule, Ryder announced that it had surpassed its goal.
Because of this hiring practice, Ryder said 10% of its workforce now consists of veterans, up from 8% when it set the goal back in 2011 as part of the company’s involvement in the Hiring Our Heroes program, an initiative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
The program is a collaboration between the public and private sectors to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment.
The recently hired veterans are working in a variety of roles including as truck drivers, diesel mechanics, warehouse employees, and other professional positions, Ryder said.
Ryder employs approximately 23,000 in the U.S., meaning that the new hires almost double the number of veterans in its workforce.
“Ryder has been one of our great supporters since Hiring Our Heroes was just getting off the ground,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Schmiegel (Ret.), executive director of Hiring Our Heroes. “They are proven leaders in their commitment to hire returning servicemen and women and are great examples for the rest of the private sector to follow. This is a tremendous achievement for Ryder, and we applaud them for increasing the number of veterans in their workforce.”
The skills acquired by veterans, including leadership, loyalty and a dedication to hard work, complement other skills and make veterans some of the best talent available in the workforce today.
“Attracting and developing the best talent in our industry is one of Ryder’s strategic priorities, and hiring talented military veterans is an important part of this effort,” said Robert Sanchez, president and CEO of Ryder. “As a leader in transportation and logistics, we recognize the unique abilities and character inherent in military personnel. The distinct logistical, mechanical, management, and teamwork skills learned through military service are a great asset to our organization.”
Ryder said it has stepped up with other initiatives designed to help in the hiring of veterans. Those efforts include:
- Launching a new military recruiting website at www.ryder.com/military to help veterans easily match their military skills with open positions at Ryder.
- Attending more than 50 military career fairs hosted by the U.S. Chamber’s Hiring Our Heroes program.
- Establishing a 20-plus member veteran hiring task force.
- Focusing efforts on customizing on-boarding, training, and development practices to better meet the needs of veterans transitioning to civilian jobs.
- Ryder is a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Veterans Employment Advisory Council.
Let’s give a Ryder a big salute for its efforts and encourage other companies, if you haven’t already done so, to consider getting involved with the Hiring Our Heroes program or another program designed to ensure our veterans can find good jobs upon departure from the military. It's the least we can for all that they have done for us.