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Mentors at Work

 

Raytheon seeks war vets with disabilities for technical roles

The company is looking to fill engineering, IT and other technical and
program management jobs, plus IT positions from systems integrations
to physical security


Bob Foley is a twenty-year Marine vet with combat experience.
Bob Foley is a twenty-year Marine vet with combat experience.

War vets with disabilities who were techies in civilian life may wonder how they’ll fit into their former careers. One solution may be a new career with defense contractor Raytheon (Waltham, MA). Raytheon has stepped up its efforts to hire techie vets with disabilities, working through partnerships with government agencies and other veteran help centers.

Raytheon is a technology leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. The company’s 73,000 employees are involved with state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and more.

Synergy is the goal
Bob Foley, a retired U.S. Marine lieutenant colonel and corporate HR manager, supports Raytheon’s vet recruiting effort. For more than a year he’s been working with the Military Severely Injured Center (MSIC, Arlington, VA) of the Department of Labor (DOL) and other government agencies to make the connections. Since the start he’s counseled hundreds of vets about employment options.

“It’s a labor of love for us and we want to get a lot of other companies to come on board,” Foley says. “The goal is to compare processes so there’s a lot of synergy.”

Raytheon wants to hire qualified vets for technical positions all the way up to higher management. “We have folks with disabilities in every function,” Foley says. “People are coming in at every level, from managerial, supervisory and program management to jobs within the IT and engineering functions. They have engineering degrees or IT and communications experience. Clearly, Raytheon has a wealth of opportunities for people with technical backgrounds.”

Everyone’s involved
The entire corporation is involved in the recruitment effort, Foley notes. HR managers at the site and facility level liaise with local military bases and visit schools and agencies where they might find potential hires.

Foley has a strong personal interest in this recruitment effort. He’s a twenty-year Marine vet with combat experience, and his son is a Navy pilot who’s served two tours in Iraq.

Foley and Raytheon started recruiting in 2006 at the MSIC, which serves both employers and veterans, working with counselors from the center to make appropriate matches. He also consults with patient assistance teams at military hospitals in the DC area.

“From there, it developed into us working with the VA, the Department of Labor and state and federal agencies and foundations,” he explains.

Check the Web listings
Raytheon lists its openings on websites addressing wounded vets, such as
Marine for Life (www.m4l.usmc.mil);
the U.S. Army’s Wounded Warrior project (www.woundedwarriorproject.org);
the Navy’s Safe Harbor (www.npc.navy.mil/commandsupport/safe harbor/); and
the DOL’s ReaLifelines and HireVetsFirst (www.hirevetsfirst.gov).

Supportive employer
Foley says many vets are concerned that when they apply for jobs their disabilities will be held against them. That’s not so, he says. All they have to do is help the company figure out what kind of physical help they’ll need to accomplish the job. It may be a larger-screen computer monitor, ergonomic seating arrangements or wheelchair accessibility at the site. “We try to make it an easy transition for folks with a challenge who are coming into Raytheon,”
Foley says.

Raytheon is also a supportive employer when it comes to career advancement, Foley adds. “Everyone who comes in has a mentor, someone who knows the lay of the land.”

The vets will be offered training courses to get up to speed and then to stay current in their own technical fields. “We have a good culture that is receptive and sensitive and eager to retain folks with technical skills,” Foley says.

Foley himself is happy to counsel vets with disabilities who are uncertain about returning to civilian work. He can relate to their experiences and offer a confidential ear and advice,
he says.

Hit www.rayjobs.com
Anyone who’s interested in working at Raytheon can view opportunities at www.rayjobs.com. Vets with disabilities can also apply directly through the Army’s Wounded Warrior program, Foley notes.

People with any kind of technical background are welcome. “We don’t want to limit people to IT or engineering positions when we have so many technical, program management and functional areas in addition,” he adds. “Information systems for us covers the whole gamut from systems architecture and integration to SAP implementation to intrusion detection.”

He recommends that people check out rayjobs and apply directly, or ask for a one-on-one consult with a Raytheon recruiter at any job fair Raytheon attends.

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