Small Business: VetCor LLC
VetCor’s goal to become the country’s premier private employer of veterans is clear in its hiring data—23 of the small company’s team of 25 building restoration specialists are former military. Since its launch in 2013, the restoration company has provided employment to more than 100 veterans, easing their transition by recreating the cultures, norms and values of their military experiences.
“The vast majority of our hires just needed an opportunity, and have since moved on to bigger and better things in their lives,” says Paul Huszar, VetCor’s CEO and majority owner, whose last assignment on active duty was as the director of training and leader development for the U.S. Army’s School of Engineering at Fort Leonard Wood. “Most just needed that first chance to succeed in a familiar environment and on a team that operates similarly to the military.”
VetCor’s “standing policy,” Huszar says, is to help veterans and military spouses find employment opportunities and help with their transitions. New hires are provided a 90-day on-the-job training program to restore commercial and residential buildings that are damaged by water and mold. After this training, they receive additional training from the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC).
VetCor’s sponsorship and support activities comprise the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Council’s efforts on behalf of veterans and their families; Veterans Florida’s Veteran Entrepreneurship Program; VettoCEO’s online training; and the Office of Student Veteran Success at the University of South Florida, ranked by Military Times magazine as the top university for veterans in the U.S.
Military Service Business (Companies Whose Mission is to Serve the Military Community): USAA
USAA serves millions of military members and their families with competitive rates on insurance, banking and investment services. Of the company’s 33,000 employees, more than 4,900 are veterans and over 850 actively serve the National Guard and Reserve. Altogether, USAA has hired more than 13,000 veterans and military spouses since 2005.
Not surprisingly, fully 90 percent of the time spent by USAA’s recruiters is on hiring veterans and military spouses. “Veterans bring tremendous technical ability, learning agility, problem solving skills, leadership and loyalty to the workforce,” said John DiPiero, director of USAA Military Advocacy and Affairs.
Key initiatives include USAA’s 12-month Veteran Transition Leadership Development program, designed to rapidly close the business acumen gap that many veterans have coming into their first corporate job. The program also facilitates the transfer of military leadership experience to effective corporate leadership skills.
Other innovative initiatives include USAA’s Veteran Sponsorship Program, which encourages veteran employees to volunteer to sponsor new veteran hires, helping them adapt to the changes in communications styles, organizational structure, and other aspects of a corporate organization. Another is TEAMFIT, a 23-week program is designed to transition veterans into IT software developers, given the short supply of such talent.
USAA is the founding member of the Coalition for Veteran Owned Business and also sponsors the Institute of Veterans and Military Families, U.S. Business Leadership Network and The Rosie Network in support of veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs.
Like many other companies that submitted applications, the company pays active duty military members on deployment the full differential between their civilian and military pay, while continuing medical/life insurance coverage, retirement fund make-up, sick days and vacation day accrual. Said DiPiero, “We ensure the deployed member’s family is kept abreast of issues affecting their loved ones. And ‘welcome homes’ for returning members are always the norm here.”