This Veterans Day marks a significant milestone for service men and women. Since 9/11, the American people have shown incredible support for our troops, but those returning from service have faced many challenges with workforce reentry, particularly in finding meaningful employment. In our experience we have seen that a veteran may have never had to apply or interview for a civilian job before. Some may be struggling with constant worry or concern that may interfere with their daily tasks. The pace of the work may be too intense, or the lack of a chain of command may cause a veteran more stress. We have found some specific things that employers can do to smooth the way for veterans looking to enter the civilian workforce and to help them succeed once they have been placed.

If you are looking to attract top veteran talent, then you need to analyze your company’s job posting for veteran suitability by removing any requirements that could be exclusionary to them, such as years of industry experience, certifications, etc. At All Star Labor & Staffing we pride ourselves on recognizing ones skills even if they don’t see it in themselves yet. Applying with us is different than directly applying to the company in that we meet with you to recognize the skill set that veterans bring to the workforce and help them translate that into a successful resume resulting in a successful placement for all. Nearly 200,000 servicemembers will return to civilian life this year and helping them transition to the workforce is the least we can do as Americans.

But the truth is that our work has only just begun. Reports show that half of veterans seem to be leaving their first jobs out of the military within a year. What’s more, a new study by the Center for a New American Security sponsored by JPMorgan Chase found that nearly 60% of veterans feel overqualified for the civilian jobs they’re offered. We can do better, we all should take the time as small and large businesses to understand how to invest in resources to help veterans translate their experience into marketable skills. The traits they learn in the military lend themselves to a diverse range of position in the private sector. It’s not easy making the switch from the battleground to the office or labor job, but the skills our veterans bring—honor, diligence, commitment—are highly valued. Hiring veterans is good business because they inherently bring those traits to the job; engaging and retaining their talent is also great for business.

Let us not forget that hiring and investing in our American veterans is also great for our business’s bottom line. If you were not aware of the tax breaks you get for hiring veterans that let me point you in the right direction. On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the PATH Act) that extends and modifies the Work Opportunity Tax Credit Program, WOTC), resulting in an extension of the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Credits. Both of these credits expired on December 31, 2014, but were retroactively reinstated for 2015 and extended through the end of 2019. These credits, in addition to the Differential Wage Payment Credit, offer three ways your company can claim tax credits for employing qualifying veterans. For more information please visit the Work Opportunity Tax Credit page for the United States Department of Labor. Or call American Admin Inc, our PEO business and we can give you a quote on doing all of your payroll and taxes for you.

This Veterans Day, we honor, salute and thank the past and present men and women who have served and sacrificed for our country. To best honor their service, we must find ways to support our veterans as they transition back to civilian workforce