Fourteen companies were honored Monday as 2019 Veteran Employer Champions for their efforts to recruit, hire and develop veterans.
The Veteran Employer Champions program is intended to help organizations recruit and hire veterans. To be a Veteran Employer Champion, companies must meet six benchmarks, ranging from implementing veteran resource groups like buddy programs to ensuring support for guard and reserve employees, according to a news release.
Unlike last year’s recipients, the 14 businesses honored Monday had to provide examples of programs they had implemented in their organizations, said Denise Reid, employment chair of the Oklahoma Veterans Alliance.
“One of the big ones was veteran peer-to-peer recruiting, so they’re using their veteran employees to actually help with recruiting veterans,” Reid said. “What’s nice about that is that they understand one another.”
Of 31 industries surveyed for the Oklahoma Veteran Employer Champion Survey, 81% reported having a program or practice of veteran recruitment.
Pamela Ballard, Community Service Council CEO, said one of the program’s goals is to help veterans get their footing once they return from war.
“Veterans have a tough enough battle in the work that they do protecting us, and we just don’t think that they should have to face another battle when they come back home,” Ballard said.
Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum honored representatives from each of the 14 companies: American Electric Power/Public Service Company of Oklahoma, American Technologies, Baker Hughes, Berryhill Fire Protection District, Chesapeake Energy Corporation, city of Tulsa, Enterprise Holdings, Goodwill Industries of Tulsa, Lowe’s, Melton Truck Lines, NextOP, ONE Gas, ONEOK and Spirit AeroSystems, according to a news release.
Bizjet International was recognized as an honorable mention.
“We’ve recognized for a while now that we want Tulsa to be the best city in America for our veterans, and there are a lot of things that we’re doing on that front,” Bynum said.
Partners in the Veteran Employer Champions program are the city of Tulsa, Community Service Council, DR Consulting, Key Personnel, Oklahoma Department of Veteran Affairs and Oklahoma Veteran Alliance.
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