We celebrate veterans in November, and at CareerSource Northeast Florida, that means focusing on great careers.
Every year, we help thousands of veterans connect with the civilian workforce or move up to better jobs. Veterans and military families make up a significant part of our regional workforce, and they’re the reason Northeast Florida is so often on the short list for companies looking to relocate or expand operations.
Almost every company and nonprofit finds veterans to be desirable job candidates, and many companies have specific programs to recruit and retain veterans.
Victory Media publishes an annual list of its Top 100 military-friendly employers, which can be a useful research tool. You can find the list at militaryfriendly.com/top-100.
According to the site, the number of post-9/11 veterans hired by the Top 100 now exceeds 155,000. Local companies that make the Top 100 list include CSX, United Rentals, The Home Depot, Bank of America and Cintas.
Former military members are some of the most-versatile, -adaptable and well-trained workers in the world, so it’s no wonder they are valued by hiring managers.
“Companies that hire veterans gain employees who are committed to excellence and have a passion to perform,” said Mike Fleming, a retired brigadier general who now serves as senior vice president for relations and development for Jacksonville University.
“The qualities of leadership, honesty, respect for others, and a powerful sense of belonging help them acclimate quickly into a company’s culture,” he said.
Their personal attributes are valuable assets, but veterans still have to work hard to translate specific military skills to civilian use.
Veterans often struggle with resume writing because they’re not sure how much military jargon to include. They know that recruiters with no military background may not understand what they did on the job. That’s why the U.S. Department of Labor created a tool to help companies and veterans translate Military Occupational Codes (MOCs) to civilian jobs.
You can find the tool at www.careerinfonet.org/moc. Once you find the civilian job that best matches your military job, you can access research on job descriptions, salaries, and job-growth projections. You can also find links to search for jobs in your desired location.
As part of Jacksonville’s Month of Valor, CareerSource is hosting the fourth-annual Paychecks for Patriots event. The local event is one of many held statewide through the month of November, and is free and open to military members and veterans and their families.
It will be held on Thursday, Nov. 10, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at FSCJ’s Advanced Technology Center, 401 West State St., in downtown Jacksonville. FSCJ donated the space for the event, and will be on hand to talk about training programs.
The event includes two workshops. One, sponsored by Operation New Uniform, will help attendees master personal branding.
The Veteran’s Administration will present another breakout session on the process of applying for federal jobs. Space in the breakout sessions is limited, so you’re encouraged to register in advance at the event site: http://tinyurl.com/2016VetP4P.
Employers that have committed to the job fair include Crowley Maritime, Saft, Anheuser-Busch, and many others.
Veterans and family members who wish to attend the event must register in advance. Email P4P@careersourcenefl.com to request a ticket.
Candace Moody is vice president of communications for CareerSource Northeast Florida. Her column appears every Wednesday in the Times-Union, and she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.