Hire Heroes USA Reaches Milestone 25,000 Confirmed Hires

Veteran service organization’s results come as it continues marked growth in 11th year

Hire Heroes USA – the preeminent nonprofit organization providing employment services to transitioning military members, veterans and military spouses across the United States and around the world, and the leading veteran service organization specifically targeting the issues of underemployment and unemployment among veterans – today announced its 25,000th hire, a significant milestone that represents more than $1.25 billion in first-year earnings pumped into the U.S. economy.

“While the big picture numbers are the ones that will get the headlines, the real impact of what Hire Heroes USA has accomplished is measured by the effect this has had on the lives and well-being of each of those individuals,” said Christopher Plamp, interim CEO of Hire Heroes USA. “Quite simply, we provided personalized, one-on-one services to someone who asked for help, whether they were unemployed, underemployed or transitioning to the civilian workforce from the military. Now, multiply that by 25,000. Every single one of those victories combine to tell a much larger story about our organization, and the difference we are making in the lives of men and women who have served in the armed forces.”

What does 25,000 hires look like? Not surprisingly, it looks a lot like the military. Nearly half of them came from the Army, approximately 14 percent served in the Navy, 13 percent were in the Air Force, more than 12 percent hailed from the Marine Corps, and about one percent served in the Coast Guard. About 80 percent of the hires were previously enlisted, while 15 percent served as officers.

Digging deeper into the data, half of those 25,000 hires were active duty military who were transitioning to the civilian workforce. Also of note, 13 percent of the total hires were women veterans and five percent were military spouses – two groups that face unique barriers to employment and are the focus of new Hire Heroes USA initiatives.

Brian Stann, who currently serves on Hire Heroes USA’s board of directors, led the nonprofit as president and CEO from 2009 to 2017 – a period of increased growth for the organization. He said expansion was as essential for Hire Heroes USA as it was for the veterans and military spouses it served. “This growth period occurred while some segments of military veterans had an unemployment rate over 20 percent,” he stressed, noting that the nonprofit identified the need and positioned itself to meet that demand. “Hire Heroes USA rapidly achieved national scale and helped thousands of veterans and spouses toward their next career.” He added, “Today, military veterans are increasingly sought after by major employers across the country.”

Even in 2018, the full suite of free career services provided by Hire Heroes USA continues to grow and evolve with the addition of increased virtual service options, like online workshops, training modules and career fairs, in addition to core services that include resume, networking and interview assistance, as well as federal sector help. The veteran service organization also aligns itself with hundreds of employment partners, ranging from Fortune 100 companies, like Amazon, Citi, CACI and Sharp USA, to small businesses that specifically seek veteran talent.

All of this, including the 25,000 hires, can be traced back to a chance encounter in 2005, when Hire Heroes USA founder, former MedAssets CEO and former Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services John Bardis met an Army sergeant who – severely injured in an explosion in Afghanistan – shared his uncertainty about his future and employability. Two years later, Hire Heroes USA was officially launched and the nonprofit confirmed its first three hires.

“Above all, we are grateful to the men and women who have served to defend this country,” said Bardis, in response to today’s announcement. “We are also grateful to employers nationwide for recognizing the incredible value that these veterans bring to the civilian workforce and for providing them the employment opportunities they so richly deserve.” In addition to adding a personal note of thanks to Hire Heroes USA’s Board of Directors, Bardis singled out for praise two current and one former member of the nonprofit’s leadership – all of them veterans. “Christopher Plamp, Nathan Smith and Brian Stann provided the necessary leadership, vision and structure to position Hire Heroes USA for the success it is achieving.” He added, “Hire Heroes USA’s mission today is as healthy and strong as it has ever been.”

Hire Heroes USA’s free services are made possible through the support of key partners that include: the Call of Duty Endowment (CODE), the Walmart Foundation, Men’s Wearhouse and Kenneth Cole, the Schultz Family Foundation, the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, Altria, Boeing, the Shipley Foundation, PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc., WWE, and the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation.

About Hire Heroes USA:

Headquartered in the Atlanta metro area, with additional branch offices around the country, Hire Heroes USA provides consistently effective, customized career coaching services that are funded exclusively by private grants and public donations. It has earned Charity Navigator’s highest possible 4-star rating for a third consecutive year and also has a GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency. For more information about the nonprofit’s mission, services and how to get involved as a corporate partner, employment partner, donor or volunteer, please visit hireheroesusa.org and follow Hire Heroes USA on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram. You can also read success stories from clients we have assisted.


A digital copy of this press release is also available online at: https://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/05/prweb15510669.htm


Hire Heroes USA Targets Military Spouse Employment with New Program

Initiative aimed at reducing underemployment and unemployment among spouses

Coinciding with National Military Spouse Appreciation Day in the United States, Hire Heroes USA is launching Serving Spouses – a program that builds on the national nonprofit’s success in helping nearly 1,200 military spouses find new careers since it first began working with spouses in 2012. Serving Spouses is dedicated to combating the very specific employment challenges these men and women face because of a partner’s service in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Frequent change of duty stations is a known part of military life. In fact, active duty service members can expect to relocate every three to four years, or more often than that, depending on their job. For military spouses, these constant moves create significant obstacles to their own employment, like: noticeable gaps in their work history; frequently changing jobs and employers; lower wages than their civilian counterparts; and, substantial underemployment. If they are in a profession that requires a state license – such as a lawyer, teacher, doctor or nurse – it can even sidetrack their career, sometimes forcing them to take any job to fill the gap, because of new courses, training and exams needed for licensure in a new state.

An annual survey conducted in 2017 by Blue Star Families – a partner of Hire Heroes USA – found that military spouse employment is one of the top concerns and financial worries facing military families today. Not only were less than half of the military spouses who responded to the survey employed, the majority had earned less than $20,000 in 2016 – with 39 percent of them reporting earnings of less than $10,000. That same survey also found that the unemployment rate for military spouses overall had increased a whopping 33 percent from 2016, with female spouses reporting greater challenges in seeking employment than their male counterparts.    

“Military Spouse employment is a critical issue – not only for military families, but our armed forces, as well,” said Christopher Plamp, Chief Operating Officer and interim CEO of Hire Heroes USA. “In the military, we say, ‘Recruit the troops and retain the spouses.’ Spouses who are unable to find meaningful careers can grow unhappy with military life, and this can negatively impact retention of our highly-trained forces. By consolidating our military spouse services into one program – Serving Spouses – Hire Heroes USA is demonstrating its commitment to tackle this issue with more robust resources, like dedicated Transition Specialists and a suite of virtual services – to include resume assistance, job sourcing and employment workshops – that are tailored to specifically address the needs and concerns of military spouses.”

Plamp added, “These men and women, who are an essential part of the military family, also serve this country. They deserve the ability – and the tools – to find meaningful employment. With Serving Spouses, Hire Heroes USA now has a program that’s committed to making a difference in their lives.”    

About Hire Heroes USA:

Headquartered in the Atlanta metro area, with additional branch offices around the country, Hire Heroes USA is the preeminent nonprofit organization providing employment services to transitioning military members, veterans and military spouses across the United States and around the world. Hire Heroes USA is the leading veteran service organization specifically targeting the issues of underemployment and unemployment among veterans. It provides consistently effective, individualized career coaching services that include resume, networking and interview assistance, federal sector help, mock interviews, employment workshops, job sourcing, and virtual career fairs. It also aligns itself with employment partners that range from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies that seek veteran and military spouse talent. Hire Heroes USA’s programs are funded exclusively by private grants and public donations. It has earned Charity Navigator’s highest possible 4-star rating for a third consecutive year, and also has a GuideStar Platinum Seal. For more information about our mission, our services, and how to get involved as a corporate partner, employment partner, donor or volunteer, please visit us online at hireheroesusa.org and follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram. You can also read success stories from clients we have assisted.


 A digital copy of this press release is also available online at: https://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb15482168.htm

What Being a Military Spouse Means to Me

KellyI don’t live the life I envisioned for myself. Growing up in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, I had a very close family and tight-knit friend group. Honestly, I never saw myself leaving. I loved my home because it was all I had ever known – I even attended college in Pennsylvania. My life and my future changed when I met my husband.

I am proud to be married to my hero, Staff Sergeant Jonathan Kelly, who serves in the United States Air Force. Our love story began when we met through mutual friends. One of the first things I said to him was, “Hey my first name is Kelly and your last name is Kelly. We should get married.” Here I am five years later with the name Kelly Kelly!

My husband joined the Air Force in 2012 after following in the footsteps of his family members. Both of his parents served in the Navy and his great-grandfather was the first-ever Navy Frogman, John P. Spence. The military is what his family knew best and Jon was eager to serve his country. Jon and I married in May of 2013, and moved cross country the same weekend. I still remember when Jon got the call that determined his first duty station – Tucson, Arizona. Until that moment, I didn’t even know where Tucson was. I soon found out I would be moving to the desert and although I was nervous, I felt ready to take on the adventure with my best friend and husband. The transition of leaving my home, career, and friends behind was not easy, but I have no regrets.

I once read an article that said every military spouse has a box of curtains from each house they lived in. The curtains never seem to fit the windows once you move to a new location, but you keep the curtains anyway because they each tell a story.

The past five years have been filled with ups and downs, including employment, unemployment and deployments, but at the end of the day I wouldn’t trade this life for anything. I have met some of the most wonderful people at each of my husband’s duty stations. People who have come from all over the United States to serve their country and to serve their loved ones in the silent ranks of being a military spouse. When I look back at the adversities my husband and I have endured in just five years of marriage, I realize that I need to give myself a little more credit for developing the strength and perseverance I have now.

It takes a strong person to be a military spouse. Believe it or not, every single one of us is strong. Sometimes we don’t know it and sometimes we don’t feel it. It’s like that old saying, “You don’t know how strong you are until being strong is your only option.” For me, being a military spouse meant choosing a life full of unknowns, but knowing that I didn’t want any other life. I always try to remember that if you have each other, everything else will fall into place. Houses and locations can change but love will stay the same. That is what being a military spouse means to me.

– Kelly Kelly, Hire Heroes USA Transition Specialist

Hire Heroes USA Industry Spotlight: Construction

Hire Heroes USA Industry Spotlight: Construction

Despite the rapid development of industries like technology, a long-standing industry has remained on a steady increase: Construction. Many construction companies have grown tremendously due to the multiple sub-sections of the industry available to multiple-leveled professionals looking for employment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently projected that the construction industry will be one of the fastest growing industries in 2018 and well into 2020.

The construction industry is not just for those considering carpentry, concrete, electricity, plumbing, or welding. To uncover some of the additional functions in the construction field, I sat down with Army veteran Stephen Taylor to discuss his journey in the industry.

Stephen, a Georgia native, Army Veteran, and Hire Heroes USA Volunteer, currently works as a Field Office Trainer with Tradesman International. Stephen is based out of Atlanta but spends most of his time traveling to more than 170 locations across North America. Stephen coordinates with local management and office staff to develop competency through mentorship, facilitated learning, and modeling best business practices. Stephen utilizes many of the skills learned through his military career and other vocations to complete one mission: to leave the world a better place than how he came into it.

When I asked Stephen how he transitioned from the Army into construction he was not shy in saying it was not an easy path. Stephen was unemployed for months and wondered why with all his experience and skills he could not land a job. Then, Stephen started networking with skilled tradesman and submerged himself into the construction field. Stephen said, “All experience is just a jump away. Network with individuals within the construction field to learn the ins and outs.” LinkedIn is a great tool to search for construction companies and professionals to gain information on positions available within the industry.

Stephen related his 6 years of experience in the Army to construction operations. He says, “In the military, we have combat support – all units and functions of the military are needed to support combat operations. The same is true of construction. There are several functions to support the labor component.” Here is a list of positions that support the labor operations:

Project Manager: Oversees the planning, design, and requirements of a construction project, including the timeline, cost, and procurement of labor, materials, and equipment.

Design Engineer: Works on a team with several engineers to develop conceptual and detailed designs that ensure buildings will function, perform, and fit customer needs.

Financial Analyst: Determines the cost of operations through the establishment of standard costs and collection of project details from the project manager. Prepares the construction budget and tracks reports to show costs compared to the original budget.

Quality Control Manager: Conducts initial screening of projects to ensure constructability. Reviews project specific quality plans and recommends corrections to specific risks. Maintains oversight of project teams for adherence to internal company quality protocols.

Job seekers who are looking for these types of roles may seek these opportunities within the construction industry. Stephen discussed that many construction companies have opportunities to move laterally or vertically. Many construction companies also offer training courses and education that make moves within a company more obtainable.

Although the focus of our conversation was about the construction industry, I did ask Stephen what advice he would give veterans and military spouses who are currently seeking employment opportunities. Stephen replied, “Think outside of the box. We have so many societal standards and rules to follow it can keep us from finding other avenues to finding employment.” Stephen also encouraged job seekers not to become complacent or hesitate, and to jump on every opportunity to learn more about an industry.

If you would like to connect with Stephen and gain more insight on the construction field, please feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephen-taylor-073935a5/

Written by Erin Kuhlmann, Hire Heroes USA Transition Specialist