Companies Need to Give Back and Hire Veterans
What’s a great way to honor a disabled veteran these days?
I say give him or her a job.
Veterans Support Organization has been doing just that for years through our work program.
I was very touched this month to learn that a small Wall Street brokerage firm has been doing the same.
At a time when nearly one in every three young male veterans was out of work last year, Drexel Hamilton, which has $3.2 million in assets and offices in six cities across the nation, has prepared dozens of disabled veterans for careers in finance, according to a recent New York Times article.
The story said: “Twenty percent of its expenses go toward housing, educating and training such veterans. Once they pass regulatory exams, they interview for jobs at financial institutions. Those who can’t find work suited to their abilities are hired by Drexel Hamilton.”
It’s an idea started by Lawrence Doll, a former homebuilder and commercial real estate executive, the newspaper writes. He’s a disabled veteran himself, with shrapnel still in both legs. He received two Purple Hearts and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry for his years in the Marine Corps in Vietnam.
The firm has 35 employees -- nine of which were wounded while serving in the military. Three interns working there this summer are also disabled vets.
Since its training program began, Drexel Hamilton has prepared 30 wounded veterans for executive finance positions, many of them landing in big-name firms like JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.
Drexel Hamilton customers know that when they do business with the firm, they are helping to train veterans for a productive civilian life.
Kudos to Drexel Hamilton for implementing such an important program.
VSO believes in a similar mission.
In seeking donations for veteran causes, we hire struggling veterans to raise the money, rather than hiring professional fundraising companies like many other nonprofits do. So when donors give money to a VSO worker in front of a store, they are helping that worker directly because their donation is being used to pay that person.
Our organization operates in 19 states and provides hundreds of jobs to veterans.
I encourage many more companies, both big and small, to give back to our veterans as well.
It’s the right thing to do.
Richard VanHouten is the founder and CEO of Veterans Support Organization.