Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Rising among the Ranks: Oklahoma Labor Executives Offer Tips for Hiring, Integrating Veterans

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Rising among the Ranks: Oklahoma Labor Executives Offer Tips for Hiring, Integrating Veterans

Article excerpt

Oklahoma businesses may soon tap a new wave of potential workforce leaders through America's returning war veterans.

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission helped more than 17,000 warriors through its Workforce Oklahoma offices last year, Director of Veteran Services John Priddy told a Tulsa Area Employer Council meeting Tuesday. About 3,500 of those came from Tulsa, said Steve Whittiker, who oversees the Disabled Veterans Outreach Program at Eastgate Metroplex.

Those ranks should grow as the 45th Infantry Division and other units return home after service in Iraq and Afghanistan, said U.S. Department of Labor Assistant State Director Kenneth Allen. He projected that 3,500 soldiers from that division alone could enter the workforce through this summer, although many of those age 18 to 24 may first head into the college and university ranks.

Allen said that trend probably accounts for many of Oklahoma's unemployed veterans.

"Many of them have to get used to daily life again," Priddy said. "They've got to re-establish their regular activities."

Allen offered several business tips for hiring veterans and integrating them into the workplace.

While businesses may feel patriotic motivations to hire veterans, Allen recommended that executives look beyond that to assess what skills they need and how hiring veterans could benefit the business.

"I'm a veteran," said Allen, having served in the Desert Shield and Desert Storm operations. Starting with his own experience, Allen told how each U.S. military branch devotes extensive course hours training its warriors with progressive leadership skills.

"They break you down, then they rebuild you," said Allen, a graduate of Chickasha's University of Sciences and Arts of Oklahoma. "They build you and mold you. When I got out of there, I was a young man. I knew responsibility. I knew how to get up and get to work. I knew how to respect my elders, respect my officers.

"When you hire yourself a military person and put them to work, they have those same skills," he said. "Soldiers are adaptive. They know how to take orders. They know how to be leaders."

Hiring veterans, disabled or otherwise, allows businesses to tap a number of tax and business incentives. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.