Joining Forces: A Win-Win for Veterans and Employers
Supporting Our Heroes Through Hiring and Volunteerism
Military veterans, as well as National Guard and Reserve members, comprise 7.5 percent of the UPS domestic workforce. And that number is growing. As part of the White House's Joining Forces program, UPS is committed to hiring 50,000 veterans as well as serve 50,000 employee volunteer hours in support of veterans and Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) by the end of 2018.
UPS will further enhance its commitment by helping veterans transition into the civilian workforce through increased networking opportunities. This includes forming new alliances with VSOs, working through government outreach efforts to veterans, establishing Veteran Business Resource Groups to ensure critical resources are available within UPS, and by enhancing the level of recognition for employees who have so honorably served.
It's both a natural and honorable fit for many companies across America according to Patrick O'Leary, UPS Veterans Affairs manager. Simply stated, he said it's because veterans make excellent employees and give companies a competitive edge.
"Veterans are special people. Young men and women in this country volunteer to subject themselves to the toughest physical and mental training on the planet. People who spent time in the military understand how important it is to work as a team to be successful. They are dependable people who will seek out responsibility," O'Leary said.
Applying Military Skills at Work
O'Leary knows firsthand that his military background helped advance his career. "I got out of the Marine Corps in September 1978. I returned to Louisville, moved back in with my parents, enrolled in college, and went looking for a part-time job. A high school friend was working at UPS and encouraged me to apply. He told me the work was hard but the pay was great. He was right about both."
Several promotions propelled his UPS career through the decades. O'Leary said UPS was the perfect employer for him in 1978. More than 35 years later, he feels the same way, attributing a great deal of his success to his background. "There is no doubt the skills and experience I obtained in the Marines served me well at UPS. While in the Marines, I was in positions of responsibility, managing people, processes, and budgets."
Both Employees and Employers Benefit
Like O'Leary, when others complete their commitment to the military they leave with skills and experience that will help with any career and benefit any employer.
"A responsible corporate citizen supports the nation's military. UPS could not exist without a strong military that assures a stable economy and smooth global trade," he said, adding employers tend to be grateful to hire veterans because of their diverse backgrounds. "They deserve to be respected for their decision to volunteer and honored for their service while in uniform. It's the employer who should be grateful for the opportunity to employ a veteran."
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A Natural Extension
"The Joining Forces initiative is an important and natural extension of UPS's outward and visible support of the men and women that serve in the military."
--Former Chairman and UPS Chief Executive Officer Scott Davis
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