SHRM Contributes to Veterans Employment Summit on Capitol Hill

Sep 13, 2011
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SHRM Contributes to Veterans Employment Summit on Capitol Hill
Employers alone can’t help veterans seeking transition to civilian work, SHRM tells Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C., – Sept. 13, 2011 – The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), which supports the recruitment and retention of military veterans in the civilian workplace through education and programming, is contributing to today’s Veterans Employment Summit on Capitol Hill at the invitation of the U.S. House Committee on Veterans Affairs.

Participating on behalf of SHRM is Bob Cartwright, CEO and founder of Intelligent Compensation LLC in Austin, Texas. Cartwright is director of the SHRM Texas State Council’s Collaborative Industry Alliances and a former member of a SHRM expertise panel.

In representing SHRM — the world’s largest HR association — Cartwright will tell members of Congress that the difficulty military veterans find transitioning to the civilian workplace cannot be solved by employers alone. It is an issue that requires education and action by employers, veterans, and those tasked with preparing veterans for their job search.

In calling for the summit, committee chairman Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida and ranking Democratic member Rep. Bob Filner of California noted that more than one million veterans are seeking work, a number they described as unacceptable. The summit is bringing together companies and industry representatives to share best practices for employing veterans and retaining them in the workforce.

SHRM, which represents 250,000 HR professionals in large and small organizations from every congressional district in the United States, will make two recommendations during the summit:

  • More should be done to make it easier for veterans to obtain professional certifications to qualify them for job openings.
  • Transition services for veterans should be improved with the input of employers. Veterans who have been prepared with a high-quality transition program have an easier time navigating the job market. Unfortunately, transition help varies across services.

On behalf of SHRM, Cartwright will sign the committee’s Veterans Employment Pledge, a goal to reduce the rate of veterans’ unemployment to less than 5 percent during the next two years through collective efforts to actively recruit, retain and promote veterans.

In June, SHRM’s President and CEO Henry G. (Hank) Jackson testified before the committee’s “Putting America’s Veterans Back to Work” hearing, saying: “There are challenges in bringing together employers and veterans successfully, but those challenges are not insurmountable.” He noted HR’s strategic role on the issue: “HR professionals are people who understand that it makes sense to hire veterans.”

SHRM commitment to the issue of veterans employment has included:

  • A partnership with the Department of Defense’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve that led to a military hiring event at SHRM’s 2010 annual conference.
  • Collaboration with the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) to educate employers about resources that can connect them with veterans. SHRM also is working with VETS to create a toolkit for employers.
  • Participation in the White House’s “Joining Forces” initiative to support military families and educate employers on effective practices for recruiting and retaining military spouses.
  • A six-hour educational session for HR professionals on the employment of veterans at its annual conference in June in Las Vegas.

For more information, visit SHRM’s Veterans Employment Resource Page at http://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/staffingmanagement/Articles/Pages/Military.aspx

Media: For details and interviews, contact Kate Kennedy of SHRM Media Affairs at 703-535-6260 and kate.kennedy@shrm.org or Jennifer Hughes at 703-535-6072 and jennifer.hughes@shrm.org.

About the Society for Human Resource Management
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India. Visit SHRM Online at www.shrm.org or follow SHRM @SHRMPress.

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