Virginian Governor Bob McDonnell once said that he wanted to make Virginia the most veteran-friendly state in the U.S., and with his official budget for 2013, it looks as though he’ll be able to do just that. The Virginia Values Veterans program, or V3 for short, is a veteran hiring initiative that offers companies up to $150,000 in assistance for retaining new veteran hires for at least a year. According to ASTD, Companies taking part in the program must set aside a minimum of $25,000 in compensation and medical benefits for new veteran hires, and must undergo training to identify veteran job seekers as well as track the impact veteran hires have on their company. “Veterans are trained, skilled, and highly motivated, and I encourage each and every employer in Virginia to affirm their commitment to hiring veterans by joining the V3 Program,” said McDonnell.
According to Emily King, an author who’s written about integrating veterans into the civilian workforce, says that, “As an under-tapped source of talent, this segment of the workforce warrants a closer look.” King writes that veterans require job orientation that addresses their unique position, and not just the generic experience other employees receive. This approach doesn’t just help veterans enter the job, but it helps them stay longer as, “providing some tailored on boarding goes a long way toward building early engagement, which, in turn, is linked to retention.” Other suggested measures include creating a network among employees to support veterans and working directly with managers to help the adjustment process. “Know that they are coming from a completely different environment, and don’t make assumptions about what they know,” says King.