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Veterans Transition to Civilian Workforce | Avista Hires Veterans

May 28, 2015

May 2015 Regional Workforce News


Labor Market Information

 

Fulfilling Demand

The SAWDC Helps Military Veterans Transition to Civilian Workforce  

Military veterans transitioning from active duty into the civilian workforce along with their spouses have long contributed to the growth of Spokane's key economic sectors. This reliable pipeline of talent carries bonafide skills and competencies that are essential to developing and sustaining a competitive 21st century workforce. Technical proficiency, interpersonal communication, time management, organization, teamwork, self-direction, and leadership are a small sample of what an employer can expect to discover when hiring a transitioning veteran.

Despite having this rich and established repertoire of skills, transitioning veterans can face significant challenges bridging the gaps between military and civilian contexts. In many cases the skills and competencies learned in the military become like second nature, and veterans may not realize how these skills transfer into civilian job requirements. Other challenges faced by veterans can include a lack of experience preparing for a job search, e.g. developing a résumé; limited experience with interviewing for a job; not being familiar with civilian career opportunities; and credentials earned during military service not transferring into civilian workplace settings.

Retaining this talent for the benefit of our region is a top priority for the SAWDC and its workforce partners. WorkSource Spokane is currently embedded at FAFB to more effectively engage and serve transitioning veterans and their spouses. Current services include:

  • Providing individuals with support in building competitive résumés and cover letters;
  • Delivering current labor market information to inform career planning;
  • Facilitating mock interview exercises to develop behavioral interviewing skills;
  • Connecting businesses who are hiring with qualified candidates; and
  • Leveraging multiple resources to access short-term training and education opportunities.

To learn more about these programs and how to get involved, please contact: Dawn Karber at dkarber@wdcspokane.com.

Progressive Business Focus


     Avista Proves the Value of Hiring Veterans 

     As Avista is proving, hiring veterans makes good business sense. The local energy company is actively building a workforce pipeline that includes veterans, both for their transferable and leadership skills, and because the culture at Avista is deeply rooted in integrity and respect. Approximately four percent of Avista's current workforce consists of self-declared veterans.

According to Diane Quincy, Avista's director of leadership and organizational development, utilities across the country are preparing for high turnover rates in the next 5 to 10 years due to retirements, with open positions forecasted to include computer technicians, engineers, managers, line and gas workers, and other skilled trades positions. "Veterans are ideally positioned with the background to fit many of our openings, and we are excited to be able to partner with WorkSource and the Workforce Development Council to promote our company to the men and women leaving the service," says Quincy. "We also actively promote tools like Troops To Energy which is designed to help veterans make a successful transition into a rewarding career in the energy industry." 

 


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