I was discouraged when I read a recent Associated Press news story about how young veterans are having trouble finding jobs. The unemployment rate of veterans ages 18-34 was higher than that of their nonveteran peers. This is a sad reality in today's economic climate.
Fortunately, many companies in Oklahoma City are going above and beyond to buck the trend. I'm blessed to be the site director at one such company. In 2012, Dell OKC teamed with the Oklahoma National Guard's new military hiring initiative to help service members find employment upon returning from duty. The Employment Coordination Program assists guard members looking for work with local prospective employers through a matching process that seeks to place as many veterans as possible into quality careers.
Through Dell's participation with valuable programs like the National Guard's, we have the extra resources to hire from a talented pool of U.S. active-duty citizens and veterans to offer great career opportunities.
Hiring veterans has become one of our central recruiting strategies. We know veterans perform well in our industry, with critical thinking skills and dedication to getting the job done. We hope to honor their talent, experience and military service with rewarding careers, while easing their transition to civilian life.
Through the relationship with the National Guard and the Employment Coordination Program, Dell is able to find the best candidates and fit them with the best jobs to launch careers with Dell. Many of the key leaders throughout our organization are veterans.
Dell's military involvement goes beyond hiring. We recently started the Virtus program, which is a military- and veteran-focused employee resource group whose goal is to provide resources and networking opportunities to veterans within Dell.
We see a large connection between what the veterans did in the military and what they will do in their careers post-service. Dell wants to develop these veteran hires as leaders and position them for a successful career within the organization. One of Dell's goals is to “Power the Possible.” What better group to enable to “power the possible” than the servicemen and women of the United States? I encourage other companies in Oklahoma City to hire those who have given up so much for our country.
Keshava is co-site director of Dell's Oklahoma City office. For more information on Dell's program, go to dell.com/careers.