This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.
By Sindy Yeh
In honoring our veterans this past week, we would like to share a wonderful program the Commonwealth of Virginia sponsors in support of those leaving the military seeking employment.
Did you know the Commonwealth of Virginia is one of the most veteran-friendly states in the nation?
Virginia is comprised of the most veteran-owned small businesses in the country. Not so surprising considering Virginia is home to the Pentagon in Arlington and the world’s largest naval base in Norfolk. There are hundreds of thousands of active-duty service members serving within the Commonwealth’s borders and many have chosen to call Virginia home upon leaving the military.
With more than 750,000 veterans located in Virginia, the Commonwealth has had the fastest growing veteran labor force over the past 5 years and is projected to continue to have the fastest growing veteran population over the next five years.
With such a highly skilled and adaptable workforce living here, Virginia recognizes the opportunity to promote veteran talent to the civilian workforce and to help businesses become more successful by focusing on hiring the right people for the job.
One such initiative, the Virginia Values Veterans (V3) Program, provides education, training and connectivity resources to assist companies to implement nationally recognized best practices in recruiting, hiring and retaining veterans. Virginia companies who have completed all V3 training requirements and have submitted a veteran hiring plan will be recognized as an official “V3-Certified Company.”
Furthermore, V3 qualified companies with fewer than 300 employees may qualify for up to $10,000 in grants, with $1,000 being awarded per eligible veteran that is hired and retained for at least one year.
Several Arlington companies are officially V3-Certified, namely Lunarline, CACI, Cydecor, G4S Secure Solutions, First Division Consulting, Shoulder 2 Shoulder, By Light Professional IT Services and National Rural Electrical Cooperative Association.
We encourage Arlington companies to consider becoming V3 certified to seize the opportunity to find the workforce they need within the veteran community.