COLUMBUS – The Ohio Department of Veterans Services continues to make an impact on helping to facilitate opportunities for veterans in Ohio’s workforce – and the results speak to those efforts. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, veteran unemployment in Ohio consistently has been lower than 4 percent over the course of the last year.
ODVS has a three-person Veterans Workforce Team of former service members who effectively train and educate recruiters, hiring managers, and HR professionals who are interested in identifying, hiring, and retaining veterans. The free trainings bridge the gap on military culture, teach employers how to wade through military resumes (as well as acronyms and jargon), and explain how military skills translate to civilian jobs. They also delve into topics such as veteran benefits and resources, attention to mental health, the role of military spouses, and perceived stereotypes and myths.
ODVS conducted its first online training in February 2019 and has scheduled at least one online session per month for 2020. The first one for this calendar year is set for Friday, Jan. 17. For more information, go to the Upcoming Events page at OhioVets.gov.
The virtual trainings enable the Workforce Team, led by Team Manager Ryan Blackburn, to reach more businesses and be more efficient in the process.
“We strive to ensure that Ohio is a place where veterans can live, work, and prosper – and one of the very important and effective ways we do that is through the efforts of our Workforce Team,” said ODVS Director Deborah Ashenhurst. “Our team members go the extra step by relaying important tools for veteran hiring so employers can tap into the unique skill sets of former service members and find ideal roles for them. The results are very gratifying and only enhance the productivity of this great and patriotic state.”
Since it was established in October 2016, the ODVS Workforce Team has contacted and engaged thousands of employers across the state and conducted 245 training sessions with 1,785 employers in attendance. In 2019 alone, the team reached out to 2,854 employers, engaged 621 of them and conducted 81 separate training sessions.
The Society for Human Resource Management began offering Professional Development Credits to attendees two years ago and that accreditation was just recently approved through 2022, ensuring that Ohio’s companies and business will continue to follow through on veteran hiring practices.
ODVS Workforce Team members also can help employers access the following:
- The Veteran Business Support Centers
- Free online recruiting services through OhioMeansJobs.com
- Tax credits
- GI Bill Benefits for apprenticeships and on-the-job-training
- Registration for a Military-friendly business status
At present, more than 5,000 Ohio employers are registered with OhioMeansJobs.com as military-friendly, meaning they provide preference to veterans and active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces. That figure basically has tripled since ODVS’ Veterans Workforce Team was formed a little more than three years ago.
ODVS regularly visits and commends standout Ohio companies that go above and beyond to make veterans a prominent part of their workforce. In 2019, for example, Director Ashenhurst recognized both company leadership and veterans at employers such as Spectrum, Hikma Pharmaceuticals, Great Lakes Driving School, City Machine Technologies, COTA, and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
Also, you can find the Workforce Team page on Linkedin.