After serving their country and completing their military service, veterans face new challenges as they navigate separating from the military and entering the civilian job market. Hiring Our Heroes, a program founded by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is dedicated to helping veterans successfully transition to civilian life and corporate America. The program operates out of 17 locations across the U.S. so that they may place program fellows anywhere in the country.
Government Technology Insider had an opportunity to sit down with Chip Daniels, Vice President of Government Affairs at SolarWinds, for a closer look at the program and the benefits it brings to corporate America, the federal government, and veterans alike. Chip told us that from an economic perspective, programs like Hiring Our Heroes provide enormous cost savings to the federal government. “What many people don’t know is that the military is responsible for paying unemployment to veterans for 180 days after they leave the service,” he shared. “With so many service members leaving the military, this has become a massive expense.”
“The military quickly figured out that they must do something to reduce the incurring costs and realized it would be a win for everyone involved if they collaborated with outside partners to help veterans transition to civilian life,” Chip continued. “Hiring Our Heroes is good for service members. It’s good for the military because they don’t have to pay unemployment, and it’s good for the for the corporate world to have the diversity of employment that comes with hiring a veteran.”
Hiring Our Heroes offers a fellowship program for veterans in which the candidate works at a host company for three months to try out the role and see if it’s a good fit – not just for the employee but the hiring manager and team as well. Most fellows receive an offer and a full-time job with the host company they have worked for.
Shortly after Chip began his career at SolarWinds, he and his boss Jason Bliss discussed the value veterans bring to the workforce. “Veterans are exceptional individuals that come from every corner of the country, represent every demographic, and have diverse backgrounds and experiences,” Daniels explained. “We looked for ways to bring more veterans to work at SolarWinds, specifically for the growing public sector team.” To this end, Chip contacted Hiring Our Heroes and stood up the pilot program for SolarWinds. Three candidates have successfully onboarded and started their new corporate lives post-military at SolarWinds through the program.
“It’s kind of a triple-win situation,” Chip says. “The employer wins by bringing in the unique skill set of a veteran to the organization. The veteran wins by being given a new career path and opportunity in corporate America, and the government wins because they are no longer paying unemployment.”
Are you interested in hiring a veteran or learning more about the program? Check out the Hiring Our Heroes site here.