Creating a Different Perspective on Hiring a Veteran

By Tom Murray

I work with other federal and local partners in implementing an initiative called “E3: Economy, Energy and the Environment.”  Sponsored by six federal agencies and numerous state and local partners, E3 is a young and growing nationwide effort helping American manufacturers thrive both economically and sustainably.

We just launched a new page on the E3 website This launch is not, in itself, a newsworthy event.  But its topic is — the hiring of veterans and their spouses.  So why is the E3 initiative launching this page?  Well, we think we can help by looking at the issue a little differently, from a supply and demand angle.

I believe that one of the reasons veterans are not being hired at an acceptable rate is that we have been focused so intently on pushing the idea of hiring veterans that we have not concentrated enough on creating a hiring “pull” for these veterans from the manufacturing side.  Through efforts like E3 I think we can help create that “pull”.

Through E3, if we work with manufacturers to reduce the dollars they spend on managing waste, such as wasted energy, time, motion and materials, we will open up more opportunities for them to spend those dollars on plant expansions, new technologies and new hires.   We have several case studies that show this to be true.  By adding this Veterans Page to the E3 website we want to make it easier for these manufacturers to find the skilled workers they need within their local veteran communities.

Will the launch of this E3 Web page help get vets hired?  Only time will tell. But as our veterans to our country have taught us —  to realize success, all of us, myself and my other E3 colleagues at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Small Business Administration, and the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, and Labor, as well as our state and local partners — — will need to work collaboratively to make it easier to hire veterans.

About the author: Tom Murray joined EPA way back in 1971 and has never lost the passion for pollution prevention and helping manufacturers become more sustainable.

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