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Veterans Think Employers Undervalue Their Skills

Veterans Think Employers Undervalue Their Skills . / Credit: Returning veteran image via Shutterstock

The majority of military members are optimistic that their transition to a new career will be a smooth one, new research shows.

A study by GE and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University found that 76 percent of U.S. veterans and active duty military preparing to transition to civilian life are confident they can be successful in their private-sector careers. But despite their optimism, two-thirds think employers outside of the military undervalue their skills.

When they do start a civilian career, the majority of those surveyed said they are looking for a job where they can make a difference. More than 65 percent want a civilian career that makes a positive difference in the world, while 68 percent are seeking a job that fills them with a sense of pride.ve

"What stands out in this data is that veterans are motivated to make a difference beyond their military careers," said Mike Haynie, founder and executive director of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families. "There is a lot we can do to match the desire to work in dynamic, rewarding industries with training that creates a pathway for success."

Overall, 62 percent of those surveyed believe that because of the time spent serving their country, companies have a responsibility to provide veterans with opportunities to enter and succeed in the civilian job market.

The research found that 70 percent of U.S. veterans getting ready to move into a civilian career think they would be best suited for a manufacturing job.

In response to the study's results, GE and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families have joined with business, digital, academic and not-for-profit partners to launch the Get Skills to Work coalition, aimed at giving veterans the skills and tools they need to compete for the jobs of the future. Coalition partners include The Manufacturing Institute, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Alcoa Inc. LinkedIn, Futures Inc., Atlantic Council, the Gary Sinise Foundation and Techshop.

"The U.S. manufacturing industry is growing, and we stand ready to provide our military veterans with the training, education and mentorship they are seeking to build long-term, well-paying careers that make a positive difference in the world," said Frank Taylor, chief security officer of GE.

The research was based on surveys of more than 1,000 U.S. veterans and active duty military service members under the age of 45 who are transitioning to civilian careers.

Follow Chad Brooks on Twitter @cbrooks76 or BusinessNewsDaily @BNDarticles. We're also on Facebook & Google+.

Chad  Brooks
Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.