Colorado Employer Program on Hiring Veterans

Hiring Vets.BlogThe Pew Research Center estimates that some 10,000 Baby Boomers will turn 65 every single day for the next 15 years. When the last Baby Boomer reaches age 65 in 2030, this age cohort will represent 18 percent of the U.S. population and the potential loss of a critical mass of skilled labor. Finding skilled labor is already a challenge. According to the National Federation of Independent Business, “29 percent of small businesses had job openings that they couldn’t fill,” a high not seen since April 2006.”

Meanwhile, approximately one million military personnel will end their military deployments in the next five years and seek job opportunities as civilians. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are currently 14,000 veterans in Colorado who are unemployed and an equal number who are underemployed.

Today’s military personnel are generally highly trained and highly disciplined workers, often with transferable skills that can be applied in non-military settings. This represents a unique hiring opportunity for employers seeking to build their future talent pipelines.

MSEC would like member organizations to be aware that the Center for America (CFA) will launch a pilot project in September to help Colorado employers become more effective in hiring veterans (as well as National Guard members and reservists).

Many smaller employers struggle with the process of hiring veterans. Whether inadequate staff prevents effective recruiting or HR professionals lack training on effectively hiring veterans, the approaches used have not always worked out.

To assist employers, a Best Practices Guide on hiring veterans for both small and large employers is now available as a free download at www.CenterForAmerica.org/bpg.html. In September, CFA will also make available five free one-hour recorded training webinars that cover specific aspects of recruiting and hiring veterans. The webinars will feature experienced recruiters in small businesses. CFA is seeking HRCI accreditation for the webinar series.

In addition, CFA will conduct a 10- to 12-question survey among Colorado employers in September to understand the challenges employers are facing in successfully hiring veterans. CFA will seek to learn whether employers have hired veterans and the degree of success they have realized from their efforts; whether they plan to hire veterans in the coming year; what the biggest challenges in hiring veterans are; and what types of assistance they would most like to receive. Further instructions will be provided in September to interested organizations on how to access the questionnaire, and survey participants will have the option of remaining anonymous. CFA will prepare an analytical report and provide a copy to any organization that is interested in the results.

If you are interested in learning more about the Center for America, please visit their website at www.CenterforAmerica.org. CFA sponsors a national campaign called American Jobs for America’s Heroes to encourage small to mid-size employers to post jobs for veterans. You can register to post jobs for veterans, National Guard members, and reservists at:

www.CenterforAmerica.org/register.html. If you wish to speak to Steve Nowlan, president of the Center for America, about hiring veterans, he can be reached at 201-513-0379 or snowlan@centerforamerica.org.

Veterans have made a significant contribution as defenders of our freedom. Veterans can also make a significant contribution as employees at your organization.