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The word is out. With veteran unemployment hitting one of its lowest points in the history of the all-volunteer force during March, the need to proclaim the advantage of military hiring is clearly subsiding. According to Kevin and Laura Schmiegel’s new op-ed in The Hill, the new battle in veteran employment is two-fold: First, companies should recognize that leveraging this top-notch talent, through up-skilling and reskilling, can address the growing skills gap. Second, employers should expand their typical scope of veteran hiring to include enlisted veterans and spouses without degrees.

Now is the Time

In their article, “Winning wars on two fronts”, Kevin and Laura explain how a few key shifts in employers' approach to military hiring could yield tremendous benefits both for our economy and veterans. "Now is the time to redefine the playing field for transitioning service members entering the workforce while simultaneously addressing the massive skills gap hindering our economic growth," they write. The 11 million unfilled jobs in America call for a steady pipeline of trained, employment-ready talent that is well represented in the military community.

Upskill and Reskill

Kevin and Laura write that in 2022 the Department of Labor is stressing alternative training that does not require a four-year degree, including Department of Defense’s Skillbridge and DOL’s Apprenticeship. Programs like these are an excellent path toward upskilling and reskilling veteran talent. According to Kevin and Laura, these public-private partnerships are a must for better connecting to this population.

“Herein also lies the potential to effectively model veteran and military spouse upskilling programs and apply them to other diversity groups seeking career opportunities and a better way of life,” they explain, “In the process, we may also solve for an ever-widening skills gap that is undermining America’s strength as a global leader.

Redefine Veteran Talent

Employers should also consider how they can improve their strategy and communications approach to military talent. Companies should be “aggressive in their pursuit of those with proven leadership and employment experience and change their tactics in response to this new reality,” write Kevin and Laura, “Enlisted veterans and spouses without degrees can and should be earning top dollar along with their civilian peers.”

Get Started

The “key shifts'' laid out in Kevin and Laura's op-ed will help to reshape the talent market for transitioning service members while also producing immense benefits for the growing skills gap. As you consider how to put these paradigm shifts into action at your company, make sure to read the Schmiegels' full article here and then contact Laura for further insight into what you can do to bridge the gap.

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