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Hiring a Hero

How veterans exceed expectations

By Neill Vining

Companies looking to hire an exemplary employee often wonder how an applicant’s resume will transfer into the workplace. Sometimes the skills and qualities of a newly hired individual fall short of expectations.

One local company, however, maintains that they have a host of accomplished candidates that will often bring more to the table than what is asked of them. DAK Resources is a staffing agency that connects employers with highly skilled military veterans.

There are thousands of unemployed military veterans in the Jacksonville community, and businesses hiring them say these are individuals of outstanding merit. David Moorfield, a longtime Jacksonville resident and United States Marine Corps veteran himself, recruits and places veterans in new jobs every day. He created DAK Resources in 2007 after an injury left him with permanent hearing loss.

A fine example

Moorfield asserts that servicemen and women make the best employees because of their reliability, cooperation, perseverance, and steadfast devotion. Moorfield himself serves as a fine example of the qualities that a veteran brings to the job. “I built my business off of a promise I made to fellow Marines,” Moorfield says. “I told them no matter where they go, I would figure out a way to support them. I said I would do my best to take care of them, and their families.” And that’s just what he has done.

Moorfield walks veterans through the hiring process as they transition to the private sector. He states that building a strong resume is the first step. “Veterans are very humble. I’ve found that most don’t include all of the skills they’ve gained in their military positions that carry over into the civilian workforce.” DAK Resources helps to recognize those skills and transfer them to a resume.

Profit from hiring

Allegiance is not the only benefit for a business when employing a veteran. In many instances, companies actually profit from the hire. According to the Internal Revenue Service, a law change late last year now gives an expanded tax credit to employers that hire eligible unemployed veterans. The credit can be as high as $9,600 per veteran for private employers, or up to $6,240 for tax-exempt organizations. Employers who hire veterans with service-related disabilities might be eligible for the maximum credit.

Additionally, a company is not required to pay for an injured veteran’s medical benefits because the government already picks up the tab–saving on average another $8,000 per veteran hired.

Ty Dixon, Warriors to Work Specialist for the Wounded Warrior Project, says most businesses want to hire wounded warriors to support the veteran community. “There are certain tax incentives involved, but companies are mostly interested in helping our warriors make that reintegration into the work place. In today’s climate, it’s a win-win. You get the opportunity to provide meaningful employment for someone who has served our country and made enormous sacrifices.”

Facing challenges

George Thomas knows all too well the challenges a veteran faces in the job market. He has been unemployed for nearly five years. He believes his military and aerospace training should make him appealing to most companies, but contends that employers have a misunderstanding of veterans that renders him jobless.

“Some people are worried about veterans being too aggressive, or suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, but these are stereotypes,” Thomas says. “In the military, I had a leadership position running combat operations for three air wings, came up through the ranks as a mechanic, and worked through leadership school. I already have most skills that someone with an MBA would have, plus actual work experience.”

Moorfield spends the majority of his time working to help people like Thomas get in front of employers and ultimately be placed in the right positions. He says companies should remember that only about one-third of veterans have a background in combat situations. The other two-thirds have been in practical positions such as project managers, administrative assistants, and electricians.

“A veteran has the ability to take the company’s mission statement and believe it; to make a company more profitable, stronger, and a better competitor,” he says.

Dixon shares that in her experience with the Wounded Warrior Project, many disabled veterans feel that it’s their second chance in life, and that employers will not regret hiring them. “They’ve experienced some traumatic events. When they are given the opportunity to prove themselves all over again, it’s just like a miracle.”

To learn more about DAK Resources or hiring a veteran, visit www.DAKResources.com.

Neill Vining is a contributing writer for Advantage Business Magazine.

 

 

 

Advantages of hiring a veteran:

  • Unique set of skills
  • Greater awareness of challenges
  • Positive role model for other employees
  • Tax incentives

 

Advice for veterans looking for employment:

  • Build a great resume highlighting skills from your military      experience
  • Attend as many networking events as possible
  • Never get discouraged
  • Utilize employment-training programs at local colleges
  • Pursue a higher education

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