For veterans at Verizon, military skills translate into career leadership

For decades, businesses have understood that America was better for the service of our men and women in the U.S. military, and that America can be better off when they rejoin the civilian life. At a time when businesses are looking for highly trained men and women with backgrounds in business operations and logistics, construction, engineering, computer and data analytics, and medical technologies, it’s not surprising that veterans are in high demand. After all, the traits that serve our military service men and women well in their time defending and protecting our nation – leadership dedication, discipline, loyalty, teamwork and strategic thinking – are the same highly sought-after traits in the civilian workforce.

“In August 2014, the post-9/11 unemployment rate of veterans was 8.1 percent. Today that is 4.7 percent,” reported Rep. Adam Kinzinger at a recent panel discussion hosted by the Ripon Society. Rep. Kinzinger was joined by Reps. Renee Ellmers and Rodney Davis and veterans representing Wal-Mart, Comcast and Verizon, to discuss the benefits that businesses can expect to gain when they focus on recruiting employees with military service.

Terrence Farmer, a supervisor at Verizon with thirty-two years of military experience - including two tours in Iraq - spoke about his experience transitioning from the military to the civilian workforce. His advice for ex-military job seekers: Start searching early, find a mentor, and take a good look at the companies that are interested. “I thought Verizon was just a telephone company!” he joked, noting Verizon’s expansion in recent years from plain-old landline phone service into the many high-tech industries (cloud, mobile, telematics, digital media services and more) we compete in today.

At Verizon, we see the benefits of hiring veterans every day. We employ more than 12,000 military service members, veterans and reservists and witness firsthand the exceptional leadership, and diverse skills and perspectives they bring to our business … and our customers. We also know that duty sometimes calls our team members away, which is why we have a flexible military leave policy that pays active duty service members the differential between their salary and their military pay for up to 36 months.

We are proud to have earned the Military Times’ rating as the 2015 #1 employer for former service members. Really, the honor is less about what we’ve done, than what we feel for the opportunity to work with some of America’s finest.