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Ford achieves silver certification as veteran-friendly employer

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LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency recently recognized Ford Motor Company as a silver-level certified Veteran-Friendly Employer.

Ford named silver-level Vet-Friendly Employer.With the addition of Ford, the Detroit Three automakers, including General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, are now all certified program participants.

Under the Veteran-Friendly Employer Program, MVAA recognizes organizations for their dedication to recruiting, hiring, training and maintaining veteran talent. Participants have opportunities to network with other companies to share best practices and take advantage of no-cost training to improve veteran outreach practices. The program also helps veterans to more easily identify employers committed to hiring and supporting former service members in their workforces.

Ford was certified at the silver-level for meeting or exceeding its veteran hiring goals and implementing internship and on-the-job training programs for veterans.

“Ford has a long history of supporting our military, and I am pleased and proud that this Michigan company is a certified member of MVAA’s Veteran-Friendly Employer Program,” said MVAA Director James Robert Redford. “As a silver-level employer, Ford has shown great commitment to hiring and training the veteran talent our state has to offer. Our veterans possess valuable skills and abilities that make them unique and excellent candidates for careers at Ford and at the more than 100 other companies participating in the program. ”

Veterans working at Ford are some of the company’s strongest employees and are provided the opportunity to bring their unique leadership and project management skills to such areas as manufacturing, information technology, product development, purchasing and in finance. Additionally, the company’s Veterans Network Group helps veterans with the transition into corporate culture. The group sponsors activities throughout the year in support of the company’s veterans, military personnel and their families.

 “Ford Motor Company is dedicated to supporting our military personnel, veterans, and their families,” said Bill Dirksen, vice president Labor Affairs, Ford Motor Company, and executive champion of the Veterans Network Group.  “At Ford, we value the military experience of our nation’s brave servicemen and women, the technical skills they gain while serving our great country, and leadership qualities which are well respected at Ford.“

There are currently seven gold-level Veteran-Friendly Employers: Consumers Energy, DTE Energy, General Motors, Michigan Department of Transportation, Quicken Loans, Roush Enterprises and Whirlpool Corporation.

To be recognized as gold, employers must retain at least 75 percent of veteran hires over the past 12 months, implement internal veteran support networks and create either a hiring rotation or leadership development program within their organization, in addition to meeting all other program requirements.

Twelve companies are recognized as silver-level employers for meeting or exceeding their veteran hiring goals and implementing internship and on-the-job training programs for veterans. They are: AlixPartners, LLP, Cooper Standard, Express Professionals of Grand Rapids, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford Motor Company, GE, Kellogg’s, Michigan State Police, Optech, Prestige Group, Uniform Color Company and Verizon.

A complete list of bronze-level Veteran-Friendly Employers, as well as information on how to become a Veteran-Friendly Employer, is available at

PHOTO CAPTION: The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency recently recognized Ford Motor Company as a silver-level Veteran-Friendly Employer. Pictured are (l. to r.) Dwayne Walker, president of UAW Local 900; Bill Dirksen, Ford Motor Company vice president labor affairs and executive champion of Ford Veterans Network Group; James Robert Redford, MVAA director; Erin T. Meadows, Ford Credit compliance analyst & customer service manager; and Todd Brooks,Ford Motor Company supervisor of emissions test engineering  & quality, Allen Park Test Laboratory. (Photo courtesy of Charlotte Bodak, Ford Motor Company)