Mr. John R. Campbell, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Warrior Care Policy, joined officials from General Electric, Alcoa, Boeing and Lockheed Martin – which collectively employ 64,000 veterans – as they announced a partnership with the Manufacturing Institute to initially help 15,000 veterans leverage their military experience and gain the technical skills to secure employment in the rapidly growing sector of advanced manufacturing. The Get Skills to Work Coalition is seeking additional partners to meet its goal of reaching 100,000 veterans by 2015.
Speaking at the coalition’s kick-off event, Mr. Campbell said that when he left the Marine Corps and took a job with J.P. Morgan, he didn’t have to worry about proving the value of his military experience – the company’s chairman and several other senior executives also were veterans.
“It’s much different today,” he added. “When only 1 percent of this country is serving or is connected to the military,” Campbell said, “and we have so many that don’t really know there’s a war, … it’s really incumbent on programs like ‘Get Skills to Work’ to show what these terrific young men and women … [are] capable of doing.”
Several programs within the Office of Warrior Care Policy also help recovering Service members prepare for meaningful employment once they transition out of military service. One such program is Operation Warfighter, which places active duty recovering Service members in internships with federal agencies. WCP also operates the Education and Employment Initiative, which provides Service members with job coaching and placement assistance, as well as connecting them to VA’s vocational rehabilitation services as early as possible in their recovery process.
Mr. Campbell stressed the importance of building more private/public partnerships to further veteran employment and expressed his excitement about serving on the Advisory Board for GE’s Get Skills to Work Coalition as it trains veterans for jobs in advanced manufacturing, bolsters America’s talent pipeline, and enhances our nation’s competitiveness.
Above all, he emphasized the tremendous value of Service members: “Something very interesting happens when a veteran enters the workplace,” he said. “I call it the vet effect: leadership, teaming, personal values that course through a company’s DNA. Something really magical happens.”
For more details regarding the Get Skills to Work Coalition, go to: http://www.getskillstowork.org/.