(BPT) – Following their military service, many veterans feel overwhelmed by the transition to civilian life and the decision about what’s next. While veterans may feel that it’s challenging to identify civilian jobs that match their skills, there are job opportunities across the country and in their own backyard — they just need help finding them.
One industry that is especially relevant for the veteran workforce is manufacturing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 12,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs, and that number continues to grow. Manufacturing industry jobs require the strategy, logistics and leadership skillsets developed in the military. And these are companies that recognize the value, talent, education and work ethic that veterans add to the workforce. It’s up to employers to properly target veteran skillsets, and it’s up to veterans to use the resources available to them to find mutually beneficial job opportunities.
Hankook Tire, for example, opened its first U.S. manufacturing plant in Clarksville, Tennessee, last year, less than 15 miles from Fort Campbell, a U.S. Army installation in Kentucky, and continues to hire local veterans to fill key positions as the company grows. Hankook has become an active employer of veterans in the Clarksville area, and as a result, more than 20 percent of the plant’s current employees are former U.S. military members. For many veteran employees, this job has provided them with a winning solution — a great job with growth opportunities in their local area.
For many veterans, their biggest concern about transitioning out of the military is uprooting their families to find a good civilian job. This provides companies, in particular those with manufacturing facilities near military bases, with a huge opportunity to tailor their job descriptions, recruitment and training to veterans, to help them build successful careers and stay in their communities.
Organizations like DAV (Disabled American Veterans) are dedicated to ensuring that the men and women who stood up for America have the tools, resources and opportunities they need to competitively enter the job market and secure meaningful employment. Those currently making the switch to civilian life, as well as those looking for new jobs, can take advantage of networking and employment resources at career fairs co-hosted with RecruitMilitary and Veteran Recruiting.
You can honor and recognize veterans for their service through the Hankook Heroes program, which seeks stories about why veterans are heroes. Enter for a chance to receive a set of tires by submitting your story to www.hankookheroes.com by Nov. 12. A second set of tires will be donated to a local DAV chapter member who is instrumental in helping support his or her local veteran community.