There are two major problems facing the American workforce. One is the so-called “skills gap” where employers are unable to find experienced individuals for their open positions. The other is the high unemployment rates for veterans. Since September 11th, 2010 the unemployment rate for recent veterans has been steady at around 10%. This is higher than the steepest rates across the board which rose to 9.6% in 2010. Could trained veterans be the answer to the skills gap problem? Here is a look at three ways businesses can work with recent veterans to get the staff they need and provide jobs to a community.
- Focus less on college degrees. When military members have completed their service and attempt to enter the workforce they are being told that they still need a college degree. This is contradictory to the message sent when they join the military that their experience will count in the civilian market. This focus on college education impacts thousands of skilled individuals who have the potential to become productive members of a manufacturing team immediately. When considering candidates give military service the same weight you might give to degrees.
- Train for transferable skills. Experts believe that the skills gap may be a problem with hiring processes and not with a lack of ability among workers. Companies are spending too much time focusing on the very narrow and specific skills for their exact organization and disregarding candidates who do not possess them. While a recent veteran may not have worked on your equipment before it is important to recognize that they have been trained in the art of being trained. They are masters at learning new skills in a short period of time.
- The military develops soft skills. Besides education and training there is a third aspect of a good employee. These are the intangible skills that can’t be taught. Military veterans have spent their years of service cultivating these skills. They include leadership, decision-making, integrity, accountability, and working with a team. These traits are highly desirable by manufacturing organizations. Consider a recent veteran for roles in your company that have growth potential.
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