It’s no secret that the trucking industry is experiencing a need for qualified drivers. Many carriers have made a commitment to hire more veterans for both driving and managerial positions. However, the unemployment rate for veterans continues to be an area of concern for both employers and the government. Did you know there were over 500,000 unemployed veterans as of December 2014 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics? They also reported that 1.5 million veterans were only employed in part time positions.
Why can’t the transportation industry embrace, attract and retain these unemployed and underemployed veterans? The Department of Transportation is focused on finding the answer and recently hosted a “Joining Forces Veterans Employment Forum” at the White House. Industry representatives from carriers, associations and the federal government came together to identify challenges and share best practices for overcoming this problem.
If you are an employer and you want to hire more veterans, there are many resources available for you that the federal government wants you to be aware of. Here are a few we learned about at the White House event.The event focused on how the private sector can partner with government resources to find partnerships in hiring and promoting our veteran workforce.
If you are a carrier and are looking to hire veterans, visit www.dol.gov/vets/ahaw/. This site offers a step-by-step toolkit for employers. You can design a strategy for hiring veterans, prepare your workplace and learn how to recruit former military personnel. Start with this resource and inform your hiring department about the site. You can post job openings at www.ebenefits.va.gov/jobs. This website is a service of the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense. You can search veterans’ profiles and post jobs and find upcoming veteran job fairs. There is even a link to better understand the military experience. The American Job Center network has a website for employers looking for employees in their area. Check out www.servicelocator.org and click on Career One Stop (www.careeronestop.org) to obtain a toolkit for recruiting and hiring qualified candidates. There are links on this site for tax credits and worker training resources.
While the attendees at the White House meeting worked on identifying industry challenges, they also offered best practices. One of the most practical pieces of advice offered that day was to hire a former military recruiter for your driver-recruiting program. They understand, more than anyone, what their veteran colleagues want and need in an employer. Simple, but powerful.