Strong Job Skills Make Veterans Hot Hires

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After eight years working as a generator mechanic at MacDill Air Force Base, William Velazquez-Morales was ready for a change. But he had trouble finding a satisfying civilian job.

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“Transitioning out of the military was difficult. I went from job to job,” he says. “I didn’t have certain certifications; I didn’t have an education.”

When a friend told him about NS2 Serves, a free training program designed to prepare veterans for technology careers, “it seemed too good to be true,” Velazquez-Morales says. “I’m very guarded and don’t want anyone taking advantage of my military benefits. I don’t like handouts.”

Still, he applied. He was accepted and spent three months studying business integration and accounting full time. He also picked up project management and public speaking skills and participated in job interviews with large companies. At the program’s end, Velazquez-Morales secured a job as an accounting solutions analyst with Deloitte, a job he pairs with service in the Georgia National Guard.

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Strong Job Skills Make Veterans Hot Hires

“It’s not a handout. It’s an opportunity to really apply these skills you learned in the military to be successful,” he says.

Veterans like Velazquez-Morales have many options for kicking off civilian careers. These days, employers are enthusiastic about hiring veterans thanks to the low unemployment rate and corporate “enlightened self-interest,” says retired Brig. Gen. Gary Profit, senior director of military programs at Walmart.

“This is arguably the largest talent-rich pool in the world. Who wouldn’t want them to join their teams?” Profit says. “We know it’s important to our communities and customers as well.”

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