As the veteran unemployment rate continues to improve, the focus has shifted to finding the right fit, the right job, and making sure that veterans are transitioned into the right programs. For military spouses, unemployment remains very high at 16 percent. Eric Eversole, President of Hiring Our Heroes (an initiative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation) discusses efforts to provide better job opportunities for activity duty service members, military spouses and family members. Click here for part 1 of Hiring Our Heroes.
Interview recorded Oct 11, 2017. Hosted by Robert Traynham.
Read a partial transcript of this interview below:
Robert Traynham: Any other programs, Eric, that we should be aware of, since you’ve been in the program, that we should know about?
Eric Eversole: You know, I think that there’s been a lot of good work in this space. We have seen, either the spouse program, the fellowship program’s a good one, but we’re seeing a lot of movement with a lot of our digital programs. For instance, we have a program called Resume Engine, resumeengine. [00:04:30] org, which allows veterans to easily create a resume on their mobile device, and they can usually do it in about 30 minutes, because, working with the Department of Labor, we were able to preload about 60,000 job bullets that help describe what they did in the military. Rather than having these young service members figure it out on their own, it allows them to literally click buttons to add those.
Robert Traynham: Eric, I’m glad you mentioned that. I mentioned this to someone else a few hours ago, and that [00:05:00] was I gave the example of a friend of mine, who showed me a resume, who was in the HR office and said, “I don’t know what to do with this resume. I don’t even understand”–this was a person that was in the military–“don’t even understand their skillset.”
I said, “I see opportunity here. I see nothing but opportunity.” It took me to translate, if you will, what that service member was all about. It sounds like, with this resume builder type software, it’s able to translate this person’s resume.
Eric Eversole: It does, and it allows them to do it in an environment that … Again, [00:05:30] we’re dealing with Millennials. We’re dealing with Gen Zers. They want to be able to do it on their mobile device. They want to do it quickly. It allows them to at least get a foundational base resume to start thinking about what they did in the military, beyond simply marching or simply carrying a gun or lining up for formation. It gets them to start thinking about their experiences in terms that are well [00:06:00] understood by civilian employers.
Robert Traynham: You know, it’s fascinating to me, Eric. All the folks in the military that I know about, I mean, the multitasking skills, the leadership skills, the interpersonal communication skills that they learn, oftentimes they were in charge of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of equipment. It’s almost like a small business enterprise. When you translate that into a corporation or nonprofit, I’m sure most HR people are saying, “Give me this veteran. Give me this skillset. This is priceless.”
Eric Eversole: Well, and that’s why, quite honestly, our corporate fellowship [00:06:30] program’s taken off. They come, get in there. Their leadership skills, first and foremost, rise to the top. They understand how to get the job done. At the end of the day, the biggest difficulty service members often face is translating those military skills into terms understood by civilian employers. Once they make that transition and that translation, the sky’s the limit.
Robert Traynham: Very good to hear. Eric Eversole with the National Chamber of Commerce Foundation, thank you very much for joining [00:07:00] us.
Eric Eversole: My pleasure.
Robert Traynham: Thank you, of course, for joining us, as well, for watching. For more great conversations with leaders in your community and across the nation, visit comcastnewsmakers.com. I’m Robert Traynham.