IVMF issues guide supporting employment of veterans, military families

The Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF), in collaboration with a large cross section of the nation’s leading employers of veterans and military family members today released the publication “Guide to Leading Policies, Practices & Resources: Supporting the Employment of Veterans and Military Families.”

The guide represents a response to calls for a shared resource for American employers, both large and small, to adopt a strategic and sustainable approach to the advancement of veterans in the civilian workforce, and serves to advance employment and economic opportunities for veterans and their families. The publication is one of the most comprehensive efforts to date focused on providing actionable strategies and resources to advance the employment situation of the nation’s veterans and military families.

According to unemployment statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor, post-9/11 veterans are unemployed at a higher rate than their non-veteran counterparts when examined across a six-year period from January 2006-February 2012. The trend for female post-9/11 veterans, especially, saw high unemployment rates in individual months during the period, with a steeper increasing trend than female non-veterans.

Given the employment challenges facing the nation’s veterans, the “Guide to Leading Practices” is the product of a collaborative effort of the IVMF and the more than 30 private sector employers and supporting organizations, plus many more, whose activities are reflected throughout the report, that agreed to share best practices, lessons learned and innovations tied to the recruitment, assimilation, retention and advancement of veterans in the workforce. The impetus for the publication began during the IVMF and Center for a New American Security co-hosted military veteran employment best practices summit held aboard the U.S.S. Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in Nov. 2011.

“In light of the ongoing, and planned, reductions in the size of the all-volunteer force, issues related to the employment situation of those who have served our country in uniform are a salient public policy issue,” says Mike Haynie, IVMF executive director and founder. “As politicians and policymakers alike embrace the crucial role that industry can play through private sector initiatives focused on hiring veterans, these calls to action have been positively received by our nation’s employers, who have also voiced a need for shared and public resources positioned to facilitate the implementation of state-of-the-art human resource practices and processes supporting veteran employment. It is our hope that this guide will serve to empower American employers to hire and support veterans and military family members who are an asset to the civilian workforce.”

The following employers participated and supported the development of the guide: Accenture, AstraZeneca, AT&T, BAE, Bank of America, Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University, CINTAS Corp., Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Ernst & Young, General Electric, Google, Health Net, Humana, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Merck, PepsiCo, PLC Global Solutions, Prudential, TriWest, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Small Business Administration, Walmart and WILL Interactive.

In addition, firms participating in the 100,000 Jobs Mission shared best practices with this consortium of employers, and have permitted the IVMF to learn from and share these practices throughout the development of this guide. Other companies have shared their practices publicly with veteran organizations, military services and others, including through veteran-specific websites and recruiting efforts, social media and more. Many of those efforts are reflected in the report.

Research for the “Guide to Leading Practices” was conducted by Mirza Tihic, IVMF director of employment programs; Rosalinda Maury, IVMF director of research; and James Schmeling, IVMF managing director and co-founder. In addition to the release of the guide, the IVMF will partner with Robin Hood, a private funder of antipoverty programs, and McKinsey & Co., a management consulting firm, to distribute IVMF veteran-focused toolkits for employers tied directly to the resources outlined in the leading practices report.

To download a copy of the IVMF’s “Guide to Leading Practices,” visit http://vets.syr.edu/pdfs/guidetoleadingpractices.pdf. An e-book/e-reader version, available through the IVMF Pubs Apps on the Android market, and a print publication are forthcoming.