The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reports that 200,000 servicemembers transition to civilian life every year. Each July 25, National Hire a Veteran Day reminds employers that veterans are highly skilled individuals qualified for a variety of jobs. At Interstates, veterans have always been a valued part of our work family.
How Do We Reach Veterans?
First and foremost, the partnerships that we have with several military organizations guide the programs and plans for future programs at Interstates. Our apprenticeship program is registered with the VA, allowing our veterans to take advantage of their GI Bill education benefits and to utilize them during their apprenticeship. We also partner with Army PaYS, connecting young veterans with companies while they serve their country. Interstates attends seminars and job fairs by Home Base Iowa, a program linking Iowa businesses with veterans and their families and providing resources for education and the transition into the community. Offutt AFB, just south of Omaha, NE, has a Transition Assistance Program (TAP) that helps separating service members transition into civilian life. Interstates has been a part of TAP employer-based panel discussions and career fairs. Veterans at Interstates are also skilled at using their military connections to find and recruit other veteran candidates for our job openings.
What Do Current Veterans Say?
Troy Sedam (Army) is an Operations Manager at Interstates. Sedam’s military career took him and his family to Washington, D.C., Fort Leavenworth, KS, Fort Carson, CO, Offutt AFB, NE, and Fort Riley, KS, and finished tours in Germany and the Middle East. Following this, Sedam found the recruiting process at Interstates very thorough. “I interviewed for four different positions before I found the one that was the best fit for both me and Interstates,” he says, adding that, “Interstates offers an environment that has many of the same values as today’s U.S. Army. They treat people like family, coach and work with people to further careers, and value personal growth.” Sedam appreciates how his coworkers are accepting and willing to take the time to teach him. “I’m still in the transition process, but the future looks great,” he says.
Tim den Hoed (Air Force) is an Operations Manager at Interstates and sat on the TAP Employer Panel, where he had his first interaction with our company. While his recruitment process was pleasant, den Hoed doesn’t pretend that leaving the military is simple: “It’s important to understand the transition process isn’t a switch you can turn on or off. Some significant changes and challenges come from working in a structured environment to operating in a linear atmosphere.” It helped to land in a company that felt right. “Interstates’ core values aligned with my values. I love the emphasis put on leadership,” says den Hoed.
Corey Ketchum (Air Force) is a Recruiter who heard about Interstates through Kent Heronimus, Interstates Recruiting Manager and 24-year Air Force veteran. Ketchum chose to join the company because “Interstates has a culture much like the military. Everything is very structured and set up for people to succeed. The people are down to earth and open to new ideas and suggestions on how we can improve.” Ketchum says the transition from a military career into a civilian job was difficult for many reasons. “You go from a ‘top of the rank’ structure to basically start over at the bottom. At many places, if you speak up and have great ideas, you are threatening to your supervisor. This doesn’t happen at Interstates. They are very open to discussing ways to improve,” he says. Ketchum finds that the best part of working at Interstates is the focus on family. “They care about our families and us, and until now, I have struggled to find this type of environment since I retired from military service,” he says.
Interstates agrees with Hire Our Heroes, the non-profit organization behind National Hire a Veteran Day, that the best way to honor a veteran is to hire them! We take that to heart at Interstates and would love to find more veterans for our teams. For more information on jobs at Interstates, click here or call (712) 722-1662.