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Summer/Fall 2013



Diversity/Careers Summer/Fall 2013 Issue



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Veterans in Action


Norfolk Southern named to Top 100 Military Friendly Employers list by G.I. Jobs magazine

Norfolk, VA – Norfolk Southern (NS, www.nscorp.com) has been named one of the nation’s Top 100 Military Friendly Employers by G.I. Jobs.

Making its sixth appearance on the list, Norfolk Southern ranked thirty-second. The list of 100 companies represents the top 2 percent of more than 5,000 eligible companies with annual revenues exceeding $500 million. Criteria include strength of company military recruiting efforts, percentage of new hires with prior military service, retention programs, and company policies toward National Guard and Reserve service.

“At Norfolk Southern we believe that hiring veterans is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do,” says Cindy Earhart, NS vice president of human resources. “With their superb training, technical skills and leadership capabilities, veterans bring valuable skills to the railroad industry.”

Over the past six years, NS has hired 1,300 veterans. Fourteen percent of the total NS workforce, some 4,260 employees, are veterans, members of the National Guard, or reservists.

As part of its recruiting efforts, the company launched the website, www.NorfolkSouthern-veterans.jobs, which allows veterans to search for railroad employment opportunities using their military job titles. Recruiters also attend job fairs on military bases and at the federal government’s Transition Assistance Program centers. Service members preparing to leave the military can register with NS indicating their separation date and desired work locations, and recruiters will contact them with current job opportunities.

NS also provides training to help veterans who have management experience transition into supervisory roles within the company. And if veterans are called to active duty through the Reserves or National Guard while working at Norfolk Southern, they can fulfill their assignments with the assurance that their jobs will be waiting for them when they return.

In honor of Veteran’s Day on November 11, 2012, Norfolk Southern unveiled a red, white, and blue “Veterans Locomotive,” and a video, “Two Careers. One Mission. Let’s Roll,” featuring seven veterans who embarked on second careers at Norfolk Southern.


GE and other manufacturers launch Get Skills to Work to train U.S. veterans for jobs in advanced manufacturing

New York, NY – Commercial business and government contractors joined academic and nonprofit partners in October to launch a new coalition that aims to train military veterans for jobs in advanced manufacturing, bolster the talent pipeline and enhance American competitiveness.

The Get Skills to Work coalition will focus on accelerating skills training for U.S. veterans; helping veterans and employers translate military skills to advanced manufacturing jobs; and empowering employers with tools to recruit, hire and mentor veterans.

Get Skills to Work will be managed by the Manufacturing Institute (www.themanufacturinginstitute.org) and supported through financial and in-kind commitments from GE, Alcoa, Boeing and Lockheed Martin. These initial investments will help 15,000 veterans translate military experience to corresponding advanced manufacturing opportunities and gain the technical skills needed to qualify for careers in this growing sector. The coalition is seeking additional partners to meet its goal of reaching 100,000 veterans by 2015. Companies and veterans interested in joining this effort or learning more can visit www.getskillstowork.org.

“A strong manufacturing industry is central to the long-term health and success of our economy,” said Jeff Immelt, chairman and CEO of GE. “As technology advances, skill sets must be upgraded to ensure companies like GE have the talent to continue to fuel innovation.”

According to industry sources, 600,000 high-tech manufacturing jobs remain open in the U.S. and more than 82 percent of manufacturers report they cannot find people to fill their skilled production jobs. Meanwhile, one million veterans are expected to exit the armed forces over the next four years and will be transitioning to civilian careers.

Paula Davis, president of the Alcoa Foundation, noted, “Veterans offer the technical, leadership and critical thinking skills that advanced manufacturing demands. Forming the Get Skills to Work coalition and coordinating with nonprofits to train, recruit and develop veterans is an exciting model that has the potential to change lives and produce a significant competitive advantage for U.S. manufacturers.”

Rick Stephens, Boeing senior vice president of human resources and administration, and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, said, “Based on our experience recruiting and training veterans to work at Boeing, we believe the Get Skills to Work initiative could have a major impact on the hiring of veterans nationwide. Using many of the same tactics and tools, such as a website for transitioning veterans that includes a military-to-civilian skills translator, we have hired and trained nearly 3,000 veterans in the past twenty-one months for jobs at Boeing. It’s a proven approach for matching the skills of those who have served our country to the hiring needs of American businesses.”

Bob Stevens, Lockheed Martin chairman and CEO, observed, “America’s veterans want and deserve the opportunity to contribute to our society and provide for their families. At Lockheed Martin, we believe it is our duty to give them that opportunity. There is no greater way to say thanks for all their service and sacrifice, which enable all of us to live safe and secure lives and pursue our dreams every day. The investment this coalition makes in training will provide them this opportunity, and strengthen tomorrow’s workforce.”

At the end of 2012, the four founding companies employed approximately 64,000 U.S. military veterans. For more information please visit www.GetSkillstoWork.org.


Walmart commits to offer jobs to honorably discharged veterans

New York, NY – Beginning on Memorial Day, Walmart (corporate.walmart.com) will offer a job to any honorably discharged veteran in his or her first twelve months off active duty. Most of these jobs will be in Walmart stores and clubs, but some will be in distribution centers and the home office.

“Hiring a veteran can be one of the best business decisions you make,” says Walmart U.S. president and CEO Bill Simon. “Veterans have a record of performance under pressure. They’re quick learners and team players. They are leaders with discipline, training and a passion for service. There is a seriousness and sense of purpose that the military instills, and we need it today more than ever.”

Walmart projects it will hire more than 100,000 veterans during the next five years.

“We believe Walmart is already the largest private employer of veterans in the country, and we want to hire more,” Simon declares. “I can think of no better group to lead in revitalizing our economy than those who have served in uniform. Through their service, veterans give us a land of freedom. When they return, it must be to a land of possibility.”

In a speech to the Business Round Table in March, First Lady Michelle Obama cited Walmart’s commitment as a good example for other corporations. “As our wars come to an end and our troops continue to come home, it's more important than ever that all of us, not just government, but our businesses and nonprofits as well, do our part to serve those who have served us so bravely. I challenge every business in America to follow Walmart’s lead by finding innovative solutions that both make sense for their workplaces and make a difference for our veterans and their families. Given what we’ve seen from Walmart and so many other companies over the past two years, we know that they will.”

Simon called on the retail industry to work together to provide greater career opportunities for veterans. “Imagine what we in retail could do together,” said Simon. “We could leave an incredible legacy as an industry. We can be the ones who step up for our heroes. And we can do this now.”



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