Workforce Readiness Research


With the help of employer coalitions like the Veteran Jobs Mission (formerly 100,000 Jobs Mission), related public and private sector programs, educational benefits such as the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a steadily improving economy, veteran unemployment has hit a seven-year low.  Simultaneously, military downsizing continues, and it is estimated that (1) roughly 200,000 service members are transitioning from the military each year and (2) just under 1 million have transitioned over the past five years.1

Upon military separation, veterans often enter the civilian workforce to either extend their career in a similar civilian role or embark on an entirely new and unrelated career path. Stakeholders such as the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, and Labor, the Small Business Administration, state and local governments, and employers all have an increased focus, and arguably an increased responsibility, to provide relevant and timely workforce readiness support across the entire military service lifecycle from initial recruitment to transition from service.


About the Workforce Readiness Briefs

The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), as part of its broader employment research series, and with the generous financial support and collaboration of USAA, is exploring the topic of workforce readiness as it relates to transitioning service members and veterans in the civilian labor force. This paper marks the first in a series of short Workforce Readiness Briefs that will cover several related topics such as:

  • understanding how the concept of workforce readiness applies to transitioning service members and veterans
  • examining interactions between career preferences, job matching, performance, and retention
  • exploring the links between financial readiness, spouse employment, and workforce readiness
  • employer perspectives on workforce readiness and key factors and practices that influence retention and job satisfaction among veteran employees



WorkforceReadiness_CoverPaper 1: Work After Service:  USAA and IVMF Workforce Readiness Series

The first paper in this series sets the framework to understanding how the concept of workforce readiness applies to transitioning service members and veterans.

Executive Summary

Full Report

Press Release 



Paper2_BusinessCasePaper 2: Revisiting the Business Case for Hiring a Veteran

The second paper in the series responds to recent focus and debate on measuring companies’ return on investment for their veteran hiring programs, and emphasizes how employers can turn veteran talent into a competitive advantage in talent acquisition, talent deployment and talent development.

Executive Summary

Full Report



USAA_paper3_8.8.16_finalCoverPaper 3: WORKFORCE READINESS ALIGNMENT

The third paper in this series addresses the complex and interrelated relationship between veteran job preferences, skills-matching, performance, and positive career outcomes such as retention and earnings.  The research provides a deeper analysis of veterans’ employment experiences post-separation, specifically the long term benefits of aligning military-conferred skills with career goals and expectations.

Full Report


Press Release


About the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF)

The IVMF is the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher education focused on the social, economic, education, and policy issues impacting veterans and their families post-service. Through the focus on veterans programming research and policy, employment and employer support, and community engagement, the Institute provides in-depth analysis of the challenges facing the veteran’s community, captures best practices, and serves as a forum to facilitate new partnerships and strong relationships between the individuals and organizations committed to making a difference for veterans and military families.

About USAA

USAA was founded by military members to serve the military community. And for over 90 years, enhancing military lives has been the fiber that runs through our organization.  It’s why we offer those who serve an unmatched level of service and special benefits that help make life easier and help protect what they’ve earned.  Those who sacrifice so much for our nation have our highest respect.  We’re proud to support IVMF, an organization with shared passion to strengthen the military community and we’re pleased to provide this workforce readiness research to help all employers discover the talent of our nation’s veterans.

1 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2007) Veteran Population Projections Model (VetPop 2007), Table 2S. Office of the Actuary, Over the next 5 years, over 1 million vets will transition. It is estimated that over 9% will be officers and 91% will be enlisted. Department of Defense, 2010-2014 Demographic Profile of the Military Community