Posted on 11/08/17 by Sindy Yeh
The Commonwealth of Virginia is one of the most veteran-friendly states in the nation. Home to the Pentagon in Arlington and the world’s largest naval base in Norfolk, hundreds of thousands of active duty service members serve within the Commonwealth’s borders, and many have chosen to call Virginia home upon their completion of honorable service. 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.
I recently attended the 2017 Virginia Workforce Conference in Richmond on this topic, namely how to close the workforce gap for veterans and businesses. Large companies such as Walmart, Nestle USA, USAA, and PenFed provided strong business cases for hiring veterans. Virginia also earned the distinction of having the most Veteran-owned Small Businesses in the country, proving that small and medium-sized businesses alike enjoy success in hiring veterans. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe mentioned several Commonwealth workforce programs that support companies and veterans and highlighted several that provide incentives for companies who have committed to hiring veterans.
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; Linden Resources, The Carlyle Group, CACI, Cydecor; G4S Secure Solutions, First Division Consulting, Shoulder 2 Shoulder, By Light Professional IT Services and National Rural Electrical Cooperative Association.
At the national level, the Workers Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), is a federal tax credit available to employers who hire and retain veterans from other target groups who face significant barriers to employment. The tax credit can allow business customers to reduce their federal income tax liability between $2,400 and $9,600 per employee hired, per year, and employers currently claim about $1 billion in tax credits every year under WOTC. Much like the V3 program, it is a win-win program that both incentivizes workplace diversity and facilitates access to good jobs for American workers.
We encourage Arlington companies to consider becoming V3 members and applying for WOTC in order to take advantage of the great resources available to support businesses in finding the talent they need in the veteran workforce. Details on each program may be found at the links above or please feel free to reach out to us with any questions if we can be of assistance.Topic: BIG Update