With Detroit’s job market and economy on the up-and-up and many young men and women returning from overseas duty in the military, employers are turning their sights onto the focus of hiring these fine veterans who have served our country so bravely.
So why are so many companies actively seeking to hire veterans these days? Well, other than the obvious moral and emotional benefits of employing these returning troops, a number of fine characteristics are produced and honed in our nation’s Armed Forces. Once their official duties have ended, these characteristics tend to translate quite well into the workplace. Some of these include understanding the value of teamwork, respect for procedure and integrity. Where else are you going to find someone as committed to working for a team-based environment than those who rely on others to protect their very lives? And when it comes to respecting procedures and policies, these individuals relied on a stringent set of rules and codes to keep them alive on a daily basis in wartime, so questioning motives is not something that is often akin to their nature.
Other impressive traits lie in the many veterans’ experiences overseas dealing with diversity and inclusion in action. These folks are ready to fight, or work, side by side with whomever is placed beside them because they’re taught that there is a higher value for judging a person based upon their merit. In addition to these fine qualities comes the beauty of grace under pressure. Who among us can display the poise and control needed in immensely stressful situations like those who have fought bravely in live combat situations? A hectic workday full of meetings and tough clients is nothing when compared to the harrowing experience endured by these folks.
But perhaps one of the biggest and most fiscally enticing incentives behind hiring those individuals returning from the Armed Forces is none other than the Returning Heroes Tax Credit. The Returning Heroes Tax Credit is a hiring tax credit enacted back in November of 2011 by President Barack Obama that provides an incentive for businesses to hire unemployed veterans. Up to $5,600 in credit is available to a business for hiring an unemployed veteran and up to $9,600 is available to businesses that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities. At a time when so many small businesses are struggling to remain competitive, this credit not only opens the opportunity for these companies to enter a more level playing field financially, but also gives some of America’s greatest heroes the chance to get back into the routine of normal life sooner rather than later.
According to recent data accumulated through the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of veterans is increasing across the board. While the hiring of young veterans ages 18-24 is increasing at a more steady rate, these numbers prove that it isn’t just a matter of coincidence.
In addition to all of these current advantages that have been laid out for businesses to employ troops returning home, President Obama has also seen to the creation of an official, White House-sanctioned Veterans Job Bank. The purpose of this database/website is for companies and businesses of all kinds to post open positions within their organizations that they are looking to fill with veterans. Only unemployed service men and women are allowed access to its postings. With the signing of the Vow to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, President Obama declared, “Any individual that fought overseas for their country should not have to fight for a job once they’ve returned home.”
The advantages to hiring a returning veteran are many, but for a number of these brave defenders of our freedoms, it merely presents a chance at getting back to a normal life. Transitioning over to civilian life after the trauma of war is one that no one should have to face, but sadly, many, many do in reality. In Detroit, we look to those men and women who ultimately risked it all to keep us safe. The time has come for us as a country to return the favor by gainfully employing these remarkable, well-trained individuals.
Michael Ferro is freelance writer and a graduate of Michigan State University where he majored in Creative Writing and received the Jim Cash Creative Writing Award. Born and bred in Detroit, he currently resides in Ypsilanti Township. Additional writing can be found at Examiner.com.