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MVAA’s Veteran-Friendly Employer program hits 300-employer mark

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MVAA’s Veteran-Friendly Employer (VFE) Program has reached a major milestone – notching its 300th employer more than 18 months ahead of schedule. 

The original goal was just 250 employers by Sept. 30, 2020. The program, which started in 2013 as one of the nation’s most rigorous veteran-employment initiatives, is experiencing strong growth, adding 82 employers the first two quarters of this fiscal year (Oct. 1-March 31).

300th VFE (Website).jpg “With today’s low unemployment rate and increasing demand for skilled workers, the veteran and active transitioning service member population is a quality source of talent for employers who understand military culture and their veteran applicants and employees,” said Randy Leffel, MVAA Strategy Analyst.

Employers in the VFE program are represented throughout the state, in each of Michigan’s 10 economic prosperity regions. Combined, they employ more than 29,000 veterans.

In March, the Southwest Region 8 Veterans Community Action Team (VCAT) Employment Sub-Committee hosted more than 50 employers at a sold-out workshop on becoming an MVAA Certified Veteran-Friendly Employer. The workshop was held at the corporate office of Consumers Credit Union, which became the 25th Silver-level employer in the program. 

The VFE Program certifies employers with Gold, Silver or Bronze-level status based on their recruiting, training and retention practices of veteran talent. Top marks go to Gold-level employers who, in addition to meeting other requirements, retain 75 percent of their veterans over a 12-month period and implement internal veteran support networks.

In addition to the 25 Silver-level employers, nine employers are certified Gold status (Consumers Energy, DTE Energy, General Motors, Michigan Department of Transportation, Michigan State Police, Prestige Engineering, Quicken Loans, Roush and Whirlpool Corporation). In addition, 266 employers have received Bronze-level certification.

PHOTO CAPTION: Dave Dunckel, left, strategy specialist with the MVAA, talks with Kyle Jastren, center, a former U.S. Marine and general manager with Roush Manufacturing, and John Gardner, right, a U.S. Air Force veteran and manager of Roush’s Veterans Initiatives Program. Roush is one of nine Gold-level employers in MVAA’s Veteran-Friendly Employer program.