Thanksgiving is a very meaningful day for the Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services family. Having spent several Thanksgivings in a combat zone in Iraq, I am grateful for every day I have with my family, both at home and at work. It’s also important for me to thank my fellow veterans, nearly 20 million strong, who have proudly served our country.
It’s one thing, though, to thank. I’d encourage us to also take action. You’ve probably seen our posts urging you to donate to Dixon Center on #GivingTuesday. While Dixon Center’s programs and partners depend on the generosity of our donors all year long, it is at this special time of year that we reflect and focus renewed efforts on how that support can grow.
There’s also another very meaningful path to consider.
Five years ago, I wrote a blog encouraging all American businesses to hire veterans and military spouses. At the time, companies like Prudential, ABF Freight, PwC and many others had committed to hire or train nearly a million veterans and military spouses by this year. They’re either on track or have already exceeded their initial commitment. And they’ve been joined by others like Home Depot, Amazon, Comcast, AT&T, to name a few.
Just over 200,000 service members are projected to leave the military annually. But even with a humming economy and a veterans’ unemployment rate below the national average, the unfortunate reality is that many of them may be underemployed. This means that their skills exceed the position in which they are currently working.
According to a ZipRecruiter report, “Underemployment affects more veteran job seekers than non-veteran job seekers. Nearly one-third of veteran job seekers are underemployed — a rate 15.6 percent higher than non-veteran job seekers.”
That’s where organizations like Dixon Center step in.
Companies that are successful at recruiting veterans get out from behind the desk and take the time to work contacts in the community. At Dixon Center, we’ll network with them and connect them with other organizations such as The Fedcap Group that are themselves networking with the veterans.
We also provide practical solutions for recruiters so they understand the unique skill, knowledge, attributes and “in-field” expertise. Our veterans and their families are phenomenal. Veterans know how to problem-solve, operate under deadlines, and manage large teams of varying ages and skills.
By making a donation to Dixon Center on #GivingTuesday, you will not only be making an investment, you’ll be making an impact as we leverage more existing community programs that connect veterans to education, fulfilling careers, wellness resources, and housing so they may succeed in the communities, like yours, where they live.