The state Employment Security Department Thursday recognized 12 Washington businesses and agencies for their efforts to employ military veterans in 2019. Sierra Pacific Industries was one of the recipients of the Hire-A-Vet Award.
SPI has hired 53 veterans since opening a mill in Shelton in 2016, of which 15 were hired in 2019. The company also participated in the Homes for our Troops program by donating lumber and windows to help two area veterans build homes. The company lists all its jobs on WorkSourceWA.com and attends local hiring events in the region.
Department Commissioner Suzi LeVine announced the award recipients in support of Gov. Jay Inslee’s Hire-A-Veteran Month proclamation and the upcoming Veterans Day holiday.
“Veterans are among the best-trained candidates in the job market and make outstanding employees,” said LeVine. “These leading companies hire veterans because it’s good for business. I encourage other Washington employers to strongly consider veterans in their next hiring decisions.”
Employment Security created the Hire-A-Vet award to call attention to unemployed veterans in Washington and to recognize companies with a good track record of hiring, retaining and celebrating veterans in their workforce. One business winner is selected from each of the 12 workforce development areas in Washington.
All winners participate in the state’s YesVets program to promote the hiring of veterans.
The other 2019 awardees are:
• Aerotek — This federal staffing and recruiting company in Bremerton worked with WorkSource to recruit and place 137 veterans in federal jobs in 2019 – representing 38 percent of all hires this year. Aerotek’s own recruiting team comprises two veterans and one military spouse. The company advertises its jobs on WorkSourceWA.com and participates in local hiring events to promote the hiring of military veterans.
• Pacific Security — This industrial security and patrol services firm headquartered in Bellingham hired 15 veterans this year, the most of any business in the area. Pacific Security has a long track record of hiring veterans, employing 111 veterans since 2017. The company has developed a strong partnership with WorkSource to identify and recruit veteran talent.
• Community Transit — This public transit in Snohomish County recruited and hired 11 veterans in 2019. The company employs more than 800 people, of which 102 are veterans. The transit also participates in WorkSource job fair preparation workshops to educate veterans about effective resumes and applications, and about properly using LinkedIn and other social media. The company proudly displays a Wall of Honor at its headquarters, recognizing veterans who have served.
• Q Analysts — This national information technology firm founded the Vets for Test Program in 2019. It offers sustainable careers paths to veterans through training, mentoring and on-the-job experience in quality assurance and testing, and data analytics. The new program in Washington is run and staffed by veterans at Q Analysts. The company has graduated three classes in 2019, hiring 20 veterans for projects with Microsoft, Facebook and others. Nine classes are scheduled for next year, promising many more veteran hires in lucrative IT jobs in 2020.
• Army and Air Force Exchange Service — This major retailer located on Joint Base Lewis-McChord hired 17 veterans in 2017, 37 in 2018 and 20 in 2019. The Exchange runs gas stations, convenience stores, food trucks, food courts and Starbucks on base. The company also participates in numerous community events, workshops and hiring events each year to help Washington veterans and their families.
• Cascade Fiber Services, Inc. — This veteran-owned fiberoptic services company in Longview employs nine people, of which eight are veterans. The owners work directly with WorkSource staff to recruit and train qualified veterans and have helped three of their entry-level employees promote to better opportunities with larger telecom companies. The company regularly participates in community events to help veterans.
• Columbia Basin Job Corps — This education and technical training organization in Moses Lake makes a concerted effort to recruit and hire veterans. Over the year, the company hired five veterans, bringing its veteran workforce to 22 out of 50 employees. Job Corps has attended numerous veteran hiring events and participates in the annual Veterans Job Fair/Stand Down to help veterans and their families.
• Yakima County Human Resources — This county agency has hired 45 veterans since 2016, 15 this year. Its human resources team works directly with WorkSource to recruit and hire qualified veteran talent. The county also participated in several local community events to support veterans and their families in 2019.
• Hewes Marine Company, Inc. — This family-owned small business in Colville was founded by Bob and Ralph Hewes, World War II veterans. The company employs 170 workers, of which 18 are veterans. The company hired three veterans in 2019 and boasts an 85 percent retention rate of veteran hires. Hewes posts all its jobs on WorkSourceWA.com and participates in veteran hiring events.
• Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) — This hazardous waste management company employs 2,100 employees in Washington, of which 303 are veterans. Whenever they have a job opening, WRPS contacts WorkSource to check for potential veteran candidates. The company also regularly participates in veteran resume workshops, mock interview panels and veteran internship recruitment events.
• Comcast — This TV, internet and phone service provider in Spokane worked with WorkSource to hire 40 veterans in 2019. Comcast has set a national goal to hire 21,000 veterans between 2015-2021. Comcast in Spokane uses WorkSourceWA.com to advertise its job openings and attends numerous veteran-focused hiring events each year. Military Times ranks the national company #3 for Best for Vets Employers in 2019.
LeVine encourages interested businesses to contact WorkSource for help hiring veterans. Employment Security has staff at centers who are specifically assigned to help veterans find jobs, including disabled veterans. The department has provided these services since 1933.
WorkSource places about 10,000 veterans into jobs each year. There are 514,000 military veterans living in Washington.
WorkSource in a partnership of state, local and non-profit agencies that work together to deliver employment and training services to Washington businesses and job seekers.