State businesses honored for hiring veterans
OLYMPIA – The state Employment Security Department will recognize 12 Washington employers for creating employment opportunities for veterans in their companies in 2016.
Agency commissioner Dale Peinecke announced the award recipients today in support of Gov. Jay Inslee’s Hire-A-Veteran Month proclamation and the upcoming Veterans Day holiday.
“These companies’ commitment to hiring veterans is truly exceptional,” said Peinecke. “I hope other Washington employers will be inspired and follow their lead.”
Award recipients were nominated by WorkSource veterans-employment representatives who work directly with employers to help recruit, hire and retain veterans.
- Global Government Services (GGS) — Over the last year, the ship-maintenance company in Kitsap County has hired 96 people to full-time positions, including laborers, helpers, welders, electricians, machinists and mechanics. GGS has committed to hiring another 100 workers next year. More than 50 percent of its workforce in Bremerton is veterans.
- Liquor and Cannabis Board — Based in Olympia, this board has hired 15 veterans in 2016, participates in the statewide YesVets program and has committed to hiring more veterans in the future.
- Bellair Charters and Airporter — Bellair recruits veterans through WorkSource and is working to become a certified training provider through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This will allow eligible veterans to use their GI benefits to receive supplemental income while training to become a bus driver. The small company currently employs 10 veterans. Three veterans were hired in 2016.
- Natural Foods — This Snohomish County factory makes a special effort to hire veterans who are homeless or have service connected disabilities. The store offers only full-time positions with living wages and makes necessary accommodations to ensure its employees’ success. The store currently employs 13 veterans, of which nearly 80 percent were homeless or disabled.
- Commercial Driving School — This veteran-owned business in Seattle works to hire veterans with service-connected disabilities. More than 70 percent of the company’s workforce is veterans, of which 53 percent are disabled. The company owner has testified before Congress on behalf of veterans, participates regularly in WorkSource recruitment events and workshops and offers free transportation to work for veterans within a 50 mile radius.
- Paragon Systems — This company employs 145 security professionals in Seattle, of which 86 percent are veterans. Paragon has hired 30 veterans in 2016 and participates in the statewide YesVets program.
- Tribeca Transport — This waste recycling company in Woodland has hired three veterans in 2016. Its total workforce is 25 percent veterans, and the company’s goal is to bring that total to 40 percent.
- Express Employment Professionals — This job placement company in Wenatchee has placed nine veterans in jobs in 2016. It advertises all of its jobs on WorkSourceWA.com and works closely with the local WorkSource center to identify qualified veterans for local businesses. The company participated in numerous community events in 2016, including the Wenatchee Veterans Hiring Event in September.
- Triumph Actuation Systems — As of November, 42 of this company’s 282 employees are veterans. Triumph Actuation recruits through WorkSource Yakima and regularly participates in events that support veterans.
- Veteran Administration Medical Center — This facility in Walla Walla employs 500 workers, of which 34 percent are veterans. Out of 138 new hires in 2016, 43 were veterans, including 11 who were homeless or disabled.
- Energy Northwest — Of its 1,089 employees, 300 are veterans, and 35 percent of the company’s new hires in 2016 were veterans. Energy Northwest is a strong partner of WorkSource Columbia Basin and frequently participates in local hiring events and workshops that help veterans.
- Valor Cleaning Services — This Spokane business is veteran-owned and eco-friendly. Seven out 15 company employees are veterans, representing 47 percent of its total workforce. The company gives veterans preference in hiring and participates regularly in WorkSource recruitment events and workshops.
There are currently 630,000 military veterans living in Washington. The Employment Security Department has staff at WorkSource offices who are specifically assigned to help veterans find jobs, including disabled veterans. The department has provided these services to veterans since 1933.
WorkSource is a statewide partnership of state, local and nonprofit agencies that deliver a wide array of employment and training services for job seekers and employers.
From July 2015 through June 2016, WorkSource placed nearly 7,500 veterans into jobs. Eighty-five percent were still employed after six months at an average wage of $17.60 per hour.
Employers who are interested in hiring veterans but don’t know where to start should contact their local WorkSource center for help.
Other help for veterans and incentives for employers
- Department of Revenue: Business and Occupation (B&O) or Public Utility Tax (PUT) credits
- Employment Security Department: Work Opportunity Tax Credit
- Department of Veteran Affairs: Veterans Employee Resource Group and Veteran Owned Business Certification