Few know the struggles veterans experience when transitioning into a civilian job better than fellow military members who have made the leap.
As a way to ease the transition, the National Veteran-Owned Business Association and the online resource Military Alumni have teamed up to launch the Hire Veteran website, designed to link veteran business owners in need of employees with veteran workers in need of a job.
"We are trying to connect business owners, especially veteran business owners, with other veterans," Sean Collins, business development director for the veteran-owned business association, told BusinessNewsDaily.
Through the site, veteran-owned businesses can post available jobs and conduct profile searches of veteran job candidates based on the backgrounds and skill sets that would best fit their opening.
Collins said the program is a natural fit for veteran entrepreneurs,who are always looking for ways to help others who served their country.
"They have a deep sense of paying it forward and taking care of their own," Collins said.
On the other side, service members seeking civilian careers can search for opportunities based on their background, preferences and desired location.
The benefit for those just making the transition into a civilian career is that they can work for someone who not only knows what they are going through, but who also understands the skills that veterans bring to the table and how best to use them.
"Veterans are sought-after employees, but they don't always know where their skills can best be applied," Collins said. "The real value proposition for military members is being able to transition into something that is more familiar."
Brianne Phillis, a recent Army veteran who found a new career working at a veteran-owned business, said the program provides real value to service members.
"During my career change, I was concerned about replacing the camaraderie and esprit de corps of the Army, but working at a veteran-owned business was a natural fit," Phillis said.
In the month since the program was launched, Collins said there are already more than 100 job postings, ranging from a finance clerk in New Hampshire to a welder in Arizona.
"There is definitely momentum behind it," he said.
To participate in the campaign, veteran business owners can visit the website and register their company’s career opportunities for free. Veterans in need of work can also visit the website to search through the numerous job openings.