By Steve Jordon, Executive Director, NVTC Veterans Employment Initiative, and Rick Ferry, Regional Program Manager, Virginia Values Veterans (V3) Program| July 2018
Original Article Posted on THE VOICE OF TECHNOLOGY 

Greater Washington, D.C. is the second largest region in the country for employers seeking IT workers 

As the demand for tech talent expands exponentially from entry level to senior management positions, organizations are becoming more creative in sourcing and retaining skilled talent through channels like internships, apprenticeships and engaging with high school STEM students. Now more than ever, companies are tapping into the pool of more than 300,000 Veterans transitioning out of the military every year to fill positions. With their strong leadership, communication and technical skills, Veterans are strong candidates for roles in the technology sector.

Since 2013, the NVTC Veterans Employment Initiative (VEI) has provided support to NVTC member companies in their efforts to recruit, hire, train and retain qualified Veteran and military spouse talent. At the same time, the VEI also connects Veterans and military spouses to employment and career mentoring opportunities in the region.

Skilled Veterans + Corporate Engagement = Talented Workforce

The VEI has made educating companies on best practices in hiring, training and retaining Veterans a top priority. Formally engaging Veterans in an organization’s mission and providing opportunities for professional and personal development is critical to retention and requires strong top-level organizational commitment.

The VEI has partnered with the Virginia Department of Veteran Services’ Virginia Values Veterans (V3) Program to provide a free training and certification program for employers to better understand the Veteran talent pool and help companies implement best practices in recruiting, hiring and retaining Veterans and military spouses. Thousands of career-seeking Veterans have looked to V3 companies as they search for organizations that value their knowledge, skills and abilities.

NVTC Members Are Walking the Walk

Since 2013 alone, over 12,000 Veterans have been hired by Virginia Values Veterans-certified (V3) NVTC member companies. This success metric is a clear indicator of the dedication by NVTC member companies to Veteran and military spouse hiring. This past April, NVTC was honored to joining the over 80 NVTC members who are already V3-certified with its own V3-certification from the Commonwealth. The VEI has also been recognized with the Virginia Department of Veterans Services’ Commonwealth Award for its significant achievement in creating a unique “business-driven” Veteran and Military spouse workforce talent pipeline on our region.

Sustaining the Commonwealth’s Commitment to Hiring Veterans

An outstanding over 31,000 Veterans have been hired by Virginia companies through V3. In 2018, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam set a goal of doubling the number of Veteran hires to 60,000 during his four-year term in office. Undoubtedly, partnerships like those between NVTC and V3 will continue to be vital to that hiring growth, especially in the Commonwealth’s fastest-growing region, Northern Virginia.