Nebraskans Step Up to Hire Veterans In 2016

space shuttle plane flying behind booz allen hamiltonCurrently, Booz Allen Hamilton Engineering Services in Nebraska is hiring a senior operations research analyst, a junior facilities planner, a vulnerability and risk analyst, a construction management specialist, and an instructor cryptologic operator.

These jobs, which are posted front and center on the Veteran Job Center website for the state of Nebraska, serve Booz Allen’s engineering department, which works with the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs to serve clients in the Military Health System. In this department alone, veterans represent over one-third of their staff, an astonishingly high number.

The choice to incorporate a diverse workforce (Booz Allen also intentionally hires women and other traditionally underrepresented groups) is dedicated to equality, but is also strategic. Who better to identify how to serve military personnel and their families more effectively than veterans? You can read more about their accolades here, but the essence is that Booz Allen has ranked as the top employer for veterans by Forbes, has been named in the top ten of the G.I. Jobs List of top 100 Military-Friendly Employers for six years running, and has been recognized by the Disabled American Veterans Organization for outstanding practices that support veterans. And yes, they’re currently hiring in Omaha.

Booz Allen is a tremendous example of a company that attempts to hire past military personnel. In many cases, the hire is a win-win for manufacturers and for veterans. (Check out our past blog post on three reasons manufacturing is a great fit for veterans.) Just last week, the Columbus Telegram reported that returning veterans from post-2001 conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have encountered overwhelmingly positive support from Nebraska’s government and independent services who aim to match veterans with local positions.

David Rangeloff, the head of disabled veteran outreach at the Nebraska Department of Labor, told the Telegram that certain injuries such as back, ankle, and knee injuries, as well as trauma and post-traumatic stress, were initially difficult for employers to deal with, but that conditions have improved: “A lot of these issues were new to employers. Things have improved over the months or the years compared to, if you look at 2001-2005.”

In Columbus, Rangeloff explains that outlook for veteran employment is high, especially considering how hungry employers in the manufacturing and industrial sectors are for talent. “I think it’s just the great state of Nebraska and that employers are taking it to heart and looking at these veterans and their resumes and thinking, what can we do to get these veterans back into the workforce?” Rangeloff says.

While companies like Booz Allen are playing their part in Omaha and Lincoln, the Panhandle and other rural areas of Nebraska spent plenty of time in 2015 ensuring that urban hiring isn’t the only option for returning veterans. VetSet, a project funded by the Veterans Administration in a $2,000,000 grant and operated by the Nebraska Association of Local Health Directors, actively works to ensure that veterans returning to their homes in rural Nebraska can access the support they need: “Rural veterans have an array of unique needs, many tied to challenges in accessing VA services.” Thus, VetSet works to invest in existing rural community systems that serve veterans and their families. It’s one of only five pilot programs with a similar aim in the entire country.

With astounding success so far in matching veterans with local positions, this growth for both urban and rural employment is expected to continue in 2016. If you’re a veteran looking for work as a civilian, there are resources and manufacturers in our state who are not only willing, but excited to hire you.

photo credit: bah-shuttle via photopin (license)