Volunteer Spotlight: Sara

Volunteer Spotlight: Sara


 

As a military spouse, Sara Mills knows first-hand the challenges and triumphs that come with a military lifestyle – especially when it comes to searching for a new career.

“I’ve often met others in the midst of career transitions, whether it’s a service member getting ready to retire or a fellow spouse in the midst of a PCS,” Sara explained. “With a background in HR, I’ve always felt called to help in this arena and was looking for a meaningful way to serve the military community.”

When Sara found out Hire Heroes USA was seeking volunteers that could support veterans and military spouses remotely, she knew it was the perfect opportunity to pay it forward. Sara’s professional experience spans a decade of civil service in various human resource roles, and she offers extensive knowledge about the federal employment process specifically.  “I have experience explaining the ins and outs of the notoriously daunting federal hiring process to hiring managers, and now I’m able to leverage that into helpful suggestions for veterans and military spouses.” 

When working with clients, Sara’s best piece of advice is to stay persistent. “Applying for a job takes hard work and intentional effort,” she said. “Putting in the time to craft the best resume, sometimes over and over again, and over-prepare for an interview can only work in your favor.”

Sara has assisted clients in a variety of ways during her time as a Hire Heroes USA volunteer, but one mock interview stands out as her most memorable conversation with a client.

“I wasn’t sure [at first] the questions I came up with would resonate, but it seemed to get the gears turning in the way I’d hoped,” she explained. “I believe if nothing else, they left the conversation feeling more prepared and empowered.” 

In a job market that can feel overwhelming to many military families, Sara has a strong handle on how to build meaningful rapport with veterans and military spouse job seekers and help them leverage their unique skills and backgrounds into future career moves.

“I love to hear their stories and learn about how they’ve gotten to this particular point in their career,” Sara shared. “It’s incredible to meet such hard-working and inspiring people and to be a part of their career journey, even if just in some small way.”


If you would like to make a difference in the lives of veterans and military spouses, please click here to learn more about volunteering with Hire Heroes USA.

Hire Heroes USA breaks record, sets new standard for veteran employment services

Hire Heroes USA breaks record, sets new standard for veteran employment services

More than 12,500 veterans and military spouses secured employment with the assistance of Hire Heroes USA in 2021,
the highest recorded in the organization’s history


Veterans nonprofit Hire Heroes USA set its sights high for 2021 with the goal of providing free employment services to more veterans and military spouses than ever before. That goal was far exceeded, confirming 12,594 transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses who found meaningful careers with Hire Heroes USA’s support, a 99.3% increase over the past five years. That number marks the 12th consecutive year of growth in annual hire totals.

“2021 was a year of unprecedented impact for Hire Heroes USA,” said Hire Heroes USA CEO Andrew Sandoe. “When a man or woman takes an oath to protect our nation and the Constitution, the nation owes a debt of gratitude and obligation when they leave service. I am so proud that we helped deliver on that covenant.”

BY THE NUMBERS                            

12,594  total clients hired

$62,839 average salary for those hired

Hire Heroes USA provides career services via phone and virtual settings to military-connected job seekers, allowing us to seamlessly continue services despite the pandemic and regardless of a client’s geographic location. Our team also addressed changes in the workforce by providing relevant resources such as virtual mock interviews, remote job search strategies and career counseling to empower clients to take charge of their career goals in today’s evolving market. 

“Military families often face structural headwinds as they negotiate the civilian job market. Since 2005, Hire Heroes USA has been here to help and empower these families at every step of their employment journey,” Sandoe said.

While the veteran unemployment rate has notably decreased since its peak in 2020, we expect demand for employment services to continue an upward trend in the coming year. With a decrease in active duty service member registrants in 2021 due to military re-enlistments during the pandemic, we will likely see those numbers return as they resume their career transitions to enter the civilian workforce this year. 

About Hire Heroes USA

Hire Heroes USA is a nonprofit organization that empowers US military members, veterans and spouses to succeed in the civilian workforce. We offer personalized one-on-one coaching, professionally revised resumes, mentoring, workshops, a job board, career fairs and more, to tens of thousands of job-seeking veterans and military spouses annually. Funded exclusively through public donations and private grants, we provide our services at no cost to clients. 

Since Hire Heroes USA’s founding, more than 63,000 Hire Heroes clients have found success in their job search.

All Hire Heroes services are being offered online or over the phone to accommodate clients in all geographic locations. This includes our volunteer services, which allow professionals to mentor and guide clients during their job search. Hire Heroes USA prioritizes transparency, earning a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and the GuideStar Platinum Seal. For more information about our organization, visit hireheroesusa.org.

Hire Heroes USA Announces Addition of Chief Development Officer

Hire Heroes USA Announces Addition of Chief Development Officer

Hire Heroes USA is excited to announce the addition of Nadine Bullock-Pottinga to our executive leadership team.

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (Jan. 7, 2022) – Veterans nonprofit organization Hire Heroes USA announced an expansion of its organizational leadership on Friday, with the addition of Nadine Bullock-Pottinga as Chief Development Officer.

Hire Heroes USA Chief Development Officer Nadine Bullock-Pottinga

Ms. Bullock-Pottinga has 17 years of professional experience in the nonprofit space, including more than a decade of leadership success with the United Way of Shenandoah Valley, the NFL’s Washington Football Team’s Charitable Foundation and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Additionally, she has held other influential positions with the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital and Youthworks in her hometown of Minneapolis, Minn. Under her leadership, those organizations experienced growth in fundraising and most importantly, a profound impact on the communities they serve.

“The commitment of this organization to serving the needs of veterans and their spouses is exemplary. I’m honored to have been chosen to help contribute to the organization’s growth and success in the future,” Bullock-Pottinga said. “I feel a strong connection to military families and their spouses, and I look forward to connecting more military members and their spouses to meaningful job opportunities.”

She joins Hire Heroes USA Chief Executive Officer Andrew Sandoe and Chief Operating Officer Ross Dickman to complete Hire Heroes USA’s executive leadership team.

“We strive to reach every veteran or military spouse who asks for help in their civilian career search,” said Hire Heroes USA CEO Andrew Sandoe. “Nadine’s perspective and experience will allow us to amplify our impact, reaching more veterans and military spouses than ever before. I am grateful that we are adding such an outstanding individual to our team.”

Bullock-Pottinga joins Hire Heroes USA in a period of tremendous growth in the veteran hiring space. In 2021, Hire Heroes USA recorded its 12th consecutive year of growth in annual hires, helping more than 12,500 transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses secure employment with average salaries exceeding the national average. As the labor market continues to evolve, Hire Heroes USA remains committed to offering free career services to all service members, veteran or military spouses.

About Hire Heroes USA

Hire Heroes USA empowers US military members, veterans and spouses to succeed in the civilian workforce. Our organization offers personalized one-on-one coaching, professionally revised resumes, mentoring, workshops, a job board, career fairs and more, to tens of thousands of job-seeking veterans and military spouses annually. Hire Heroes USA prioritizes transparency, earning a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and the GuideStar Platinum Seal. Funded exclusively through public donations and private grants, we provide our services at no cost to clients. For more information about our organization, visit hireheroesusa.org.

Top Jobs & Training Programs for January 2022

Top Jobs & Training Programs for January 2022

Every month, Hire Heroes USA selects several job openings from our job board to highlight. These job openings are posted by partnered employers who are looking to hire veteran and military spouse talent.

View jobs from our featured employer this month, GovernmentCIO. Also, be sure to check out several of our training partners by downloading the document below.

Click here to download the newsletter.

top-jobs-newsletter-january-2022

Volunteer Spotlight: Gary

Volunteer Spotlight: Gary


“If I can assist a service member’s transition, help plan and establish reasonable expectations, I feel that I have helped service members transitioning into new careers more than they understand,” said veteran and Hire Heroes USA volunteer Gary Duff. 

Veteran and Hire Heroes USA Volunteer Gary Duff.

For individuals like Gary, compassion for the military community comes naturally. After navigating his own career transition when he left the Army, Gary recognized he had learned a lot and was eager to share the most helpful insights with other veterans. An internet search led him to Hire Heroes USA.

“I had just transitioned from a contract position as an instructor training soldiers into a cyber security role,” Gary explained. “I no longer had the same interaction with the military community. During my time as a civilian DoD instructor, I found that I enjoyed providing younger enlisted soldiers with insights and lessons learned during my military [career] and my experience transitioning to a civilian career. I wanted to continue that knowledge sharing.”

In his volunteer sessions with Hire Heroes clients, Gary focuses on offering a fresh perspective and practical advice. “I learn something new from each person that I speak to,” he said. “I take the information they have shared with me and try to apply it to future conversations I have with other clients.” 

While each client’s journey to a meaningful career is unique, there are steps that can point veteran job-seekers in the right direction. If he had to distill it down to two words of advice, Gary would say network and research. “There are many career opportunities that a member of the military has not been exposed to yet,” he said. “I always take the approach of, ‘If I were to do it over, knowing what I know now, I would have taken these steps or taken this career path.’” 

No matter your industry of interest, networking can help you connect to productive advice and potential opportunities. “Find a veterans employment group local to your area and get involved,” Gary advises. “Networking is a great opportunity to learn about other career paths that you may not have previously been exposed to, provides an opportunity to meet new people and opens the doors to possible employment through non-conventional means.” Even if you feel your options are limited within your community, organizations like Hire Heroes USA host virtual events so you can continue to grow professionally. 

Wherever you are in your civilian job search, volunteers like Gary can help you plan for success. And if you’re a professional looking to give back, virtual volunteering is an impactful option. “I am always asking coworkers to get involved,” said Gary. “I feel that sharing experiences, providing professional guidance and assisting transitioning service members into a meaningful career is very rewarding. If I had known or had this service while I was transitioning out of the military, I would have made use of it and told all my peers as well.”


If you would like to make a difference in the lives of veterans and military spouses, please click here to learn more about volunteering with Hire Heroes USA.

Top Jobs & Training Programs for December 2021

Top Jobs & Training Programs for December 2021

Every month, Hire Heroes USA selects several job openings from our job board to highlight. These job openings are posted by partnered employers who are looking to hire veteran and military spouse talent.

View jobs from our featured employer this month, Greyhound Lines, Inc. Also, be sure to check out several of our training partners by downloading the document below.

Click here to download the newsletter.

top-jobs-newsletter-december-2021

CarterBaldwin to Generously Match Donations to Hire Heroes USA this #GivingTuesday

CarterBaldwin to Generously Match Donations to Hire Heroes USA This GivingTuesday

Since its founding more than 20 years ago, CarterBaldwin has focused on delivering the best: the best for clients, the best for candidates and the best for the causes they believe in. And the team certainly understands excellence. Having executed over 1,000 searches, CarterBaldwin is a retained executive search firm named by Forbes as one of the best in the country. Founding partners Dave and Jennifer Sobocinski lead with a spirit of gratitude. They keep people at the heart of everything they do and their work makes a difference for leading companies across the United States and abroad.

CarterBaldwin’s impact in the nonprofit sector is no different. Annually, the company contributes at least a portion of its profits to charitable organizations. Hire Heroes USA has been privileged to be one such charitable partner since 2015. “I came across Hire Heroes USA by accident, but it struck a personal chord,” Dave shared. 

Back in the fall of 2001, Dave was landing at the Newark airport on his way to meet family and friends to celebrate his sister’s wedding. A few weeks had passed since the news station showed two planes crashing in the World Trade Center. That fateful day impacted every American, but it wasn’t until flying in and seeing the smoke still rising from Ground Zero that the reality of 9/11 and a sense of real patriotism truly hit him. While life had continued in his world, others were paying a high price to defend our freedoms. The smoldering scene in Manhattan reminded him of the bravery of the service men and women who responded to the unthinkable with heroism. 20 years later, Dave still feels a deep sense of gratitude for the military families who sacrifice so we can live freely. 

Within Hire Heroes’ mission to empower veterans and their spouses to succeed in the civilian workforce, Dave and the CarterBaldwin team found a meaningful synergy. “It was something I thought we could help with based on our [CarterBaldwin’s] expertise and high-level corporate relationships,” Dave explained. “It is great to give money to things you believe in, but beyond that, there is typically little time or opportunity to do much more. Hire Heroes gave me, and our firm, a forum to contribute to an amazing organization and our veterans on a broader scale. “ 

In the case of CarterBaldwin, doing more looks like taking action. As experts in the executive search business, Dave and the CarterBaldwin team recognized they were in a unique position to not just further our mission financially, but to offer valuable guidance to our clients in their civilian job search. Their service to the military community extends to various annual fundraising events, as well as serving as year-round advocates for both Hire Heroes USA and our veteran clients. Over the past six years, Dave and his team have never hesitated to invest time and resources to honor the military community.

On November 30th, they are taking it a step further. To make GivingTuesday as impactful as possible for military families, CarterBaldwin is offering a $10,000 matching gift. Thanks to this act of generosity, every $1 donated to Hire Heroes USA becomes $2 and we’re so grateful for what this adds up to: a network of support for every veteran and military spouse asking the question “what’s next?”  

As Dave put it, “These people [our veterans] protect our liberties and we should ensure that they are able to enjoy them. Finding a job and becoming an average societal participant shouldn’t be a challenge, it should be a presumption and something that is guaranteed. We need to help our veterans maximize their potential in the civilian workforce.”

This year, your GivingTuesday gift ensures the next veteran or military spouse who reaches out for help will find the support they deserve on their path to financial stability. As you make plans to celebrate holidays with your loved ones, let GivingTuesday serve as a challenge to stop and consider those in your community whose days could be made brighter by your support. 

Get ready to make a difference. Check out our GivingTuesday advocacy kit and mark your calendars. It’s time to #DoubletheDifference! Please join us in saying a sincere thank you to the team making it possible: CarterBaldwin. Thank you for ensuring our nation’s veterans and their families know success after service.

Hire Heroes USA Releases 2020 Hire Heroes Report

Hire Heroes USA Releases 2020 Hire Heroes Report

Hire Heroes USA presents research supported by the Walmart Foundation on employment trends emerging within the military community during a tumultuous year
Hire Heroes Report funded by the Walmart Foundation

Veterans nonprofit organization Hire Heroes USA published its fourth annual Hire Heroes Report Monday, which found veterans and military spouses experienced greater and persistent rates of unemployment in 2020. In an extensive study, the report provides meaningful insights from the experiences of 46,400 transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses who navigated a job search last year.

This analysis was made possible by the Walmart Foundation and strengthened through partnerships with SAS and Pinnacle, Inc. As a result, this year’s study contains some of the most important findings ever seen from Hire Heroes USA.

“This report provides unparalleled analysis and insight into the economic challenges veterans and military spouses faced in 2020,” said Hire Heroes USA CEO Andrew Sandoe. “The depth and rigor of the Hire Heroes Report have led to collaborations with government agencies, and across the veteran service community. Without the generosity of the Walmart Foundation, we would not have been able to compile and analyze this data, which allows us to refine and strengthen our programs and deliver unmatched results to the clients we serve.”

Key Findings: 

  • While gender disparities in pay persist, disparities narrowed in 2020
    For the first time, our top hiring company was a civilian employer, Amazon

COVID-19 Impacts: 

“Our clients already face unique challenges in their search for meaningful employment, and the COVID-19 pandemic did not make that search any easier in 2020,” said Hire Heroes USA Program Evaluation and Compliance Manager Hannah Hyde. “We were able to implement a wider offering of services for our clients to ensure that they were able to continue their job search safely and effectively. Despite increased unemployment durations, more Hire Heroes USA clients were hired into new positions in 2020 than ever before.”

In addition to reporting trends to further the national discussion, the Hire Heroes Report allows Hire Heroes USA to redefine and improve programmatic support to better equip job-seeking service members, veterans and military spouses to succeed in their civilian careers.

The full report is available here

 About Hire Heroes USA

Hire Heroes USA empowers US military members, veterans and spouses to succeed in the civilian workforce. Our organization offers personalized one-on-one coaching, professionally revised resumes, mentoring, workshops, a job board, career fairs and more, to tens of thousands of job-seeking veterans and military spouses annually. Hire Heroes USA prioritizes transparency, earning a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and the GuideStar Platinum Seal. Funded exclusively through public donations and private grants, we provide our services at no cost to clients. For more information about our organization, visit hireheroesusa.org.

Volunteer Spotlight: Robert

Volunteer Spotlight: Robert


Leaving military life, there’s uncertainty, unpredictability and often confusion. But with the right guidance along the way and the support to get there, change can create opportunity. Many of our clients seize the chance to chart a new course when they begin their civilian career. That’s when volunteers like Robert Clarady play an important role. A veteran of the US Navy, he can offer insight from his own transition and speak to the lessons he’s learned working in IT in his civilian career. That kind of guidance can provide confidence during a critical time. 

Veteran and Hire Heroes USA Volunteer Robert Clarady.

Working with Hire Heroes during his own career transition, Robert met with a volunteer to discuss his job search. He found the connection and insight to be beneficial and he knew once he was settled in his new role, he wanted to help in the same way. “Knowing how helpful the advice I received was and how few were available to mentor in IT and cyber, I wanted to pay it forward to the next veteran or transitioning service member,” Robert explained.  

And his insight is indeed in high demand. “The fact that I have been a government contractor, a government civilian, and in [the] industry provides unique insight into each. It allows me to speak with experience [to] the hiring process, work environment, and expectations in each,” he shared. “I’ve also been fortunate to work with a diverse group of IT and cyber professionals, [so I] can help clients as they explore which career paths might be right for them.”

Throughout his military and civilian career, Robert has made it a priority to build meaningful relationships with those around him. “One of the things I enjoyed most during my military service was mentoring my junior officers and sailors,” he said. “I’m glad I get to continue mentoring through the volunteer program.” He remembers one such interaction with a veteran looking to make a change: “[The veteran client] wanted to move from government real estate to IT. It was one of those situations where I think I learned as much as the client,” Clarady remembers. “I provided advice on things to help make his transition successful and he educated me on what he did. We continue to communicate long after the session as he excels within the IT community.”

With diverse backgrounds and varied interests, no two paths are ever the same for the veterans we serve. When volunteers set aside time to have conversations that bring clarity, their impact is tangible. “The most rewarding part has been seeing the clients succeed as they start a new career,” he shared. “Seeing those successes and knowing I was able to help in some small way is what keeps me involved.” 

He encourages others to consider the big and little ways they could make a positive impact on a veteran’s trajectory. “There are so many ways to help and a person can find one that fits them. For those who have the time, I encourage them to volunteer as a mentor,” he said. “It can be through one of the many veteran organizations, their company veteran program, or simply helping a veteran co-worker adjust to a new work environment.” 

If he could offer a word of advice to a veteran working towards a civilian career today, he’d say: “There will be setbacks like job rejections and poor interviews. I encourage the client not to focus on the negative, but to learn from the experience and apply what they learned to the next job application or interview,” Robert says. “In the end, the clients will find the right jobs for them.”


If you would like to make a difference in the lives of veterans and military spouses, please click here to learn more about volunteering with Hire Heroes USA.

Alumni Spotlight: Shane

Alumni Profile: Shane


Each quarter, we highlight a different member of our alumni community. When you’re a Hire Heroes alumnus, we want to celebrate your victories and help you find long-term success in your civilian career. We served together in the military and we continue to root for our brothers and sisters’ achievements throughout their civilian careers. This quarter, meet Shane.


After five years in the Army, Shane began her civilian career in HR.

Military Background: Shane served in the U.S. Army as an Human Resources Specialist for five years.

Professional Background: Shane attended the University of North Carolina at Pembroke where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English and language arts education. After graduating, she worked as an English teacher prior to joining the Army. While serving, Shane earned her masters degree in communications from Grand Canyon University. Upon transitioning out of the military, Shane accepted a position with Cielo Talent as an Onboarding Specialist before advancing to her current role at TDB Communications.

Current Position: HR Generalist  

Shane pictured with her family.

Experience with Hire Heroes USA: Shane worked with a Transition Specialist as she prepared to leave the military. Her Transition Specialist helped her search for civilian positions, strengthen her resume and prepare for interviews. At the time, Shane was also interested in potentially pursuing a federal career, so her Transition Specialist connected her with federal resume writers who could help her open the door to those opportunities.

What I Wish I Knew Before Transitioning Out of the Military: Looking back at her job search, Shane wishes she had been open to entry-level civilian positions sooner. In the beginning, she was set on finding a senior level HR role. However, when she ultimately accepted an entry-level position at Cielo Talent, she found a great learning opportunity. During her five months in that role, she grew her HR skills in the civilian workforce and became familiar with new HRIS systems, which ultimately prepared her to be a competitive candidate for her current position. She sees now that there was a lot of value in this path. Had she been open to entry-level positions earlier in the transition process, her job search would have gone faster and with less rejection.

Outside of work, Shane and her husband enjoy spending time outdoors.

What I Do Outside of Work: Shane enjoys spending time with her husband and son exploring their hometown of San Antonio, Texas. Their weekend adventures usually include hanging out at the park or spending a day at the beach. Additionally, Shane is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and enjoys participating in volunteer work throughout the community. Most recently, Shane helped with a back-to-school supply drive for local students.

What I’m Most Proud of Post-Military: Shane is proud to serve in her current position and proud of the hard work that brought her here. As an HR leader, she is involved in shaping the direction of the company and defining HR’s role in supporting that growth. She is proud of the impact she has on TDB Communications.


If you’re a Hire Heroes Alumnus and you’d like to learn more about additional services, volunteer opportunities or the chance to share your story, visit the Alumni page and email Matt Kohler to get started: mkohler@hireheroesusa.org.