Veteran Workers Are Good Workers

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Hiring a veteran is not charity. It is good business.

That’s the premise of the new report from the Center for New American Security presented Wednesday at its annual meeting. Drs. Margaret Harrell and Nancy Berglass interviewed representatives from 69 companies. The report listed both the pluses and minuses associated with hiring people who had been wearing military uniforms. This is important hard data.

We know that unemployment among veterans is higher than the general population, but we didn’t know what businesses thought about this.

Now we do. The good reasons for hiring vets include:

— Leadership and teamwork skills

—  Character

— Structure and discipline

— Expertise

The negative thoughts business people express when it comes to hiring vets include:

— Skill translation—civilians have difficulty understanding how military skills translate

— Negative stereotypes, including PTSD, anger management and tendencies towards violence

—  Concern about future deployments

But when what the Pentagon calls a “net assessment” — when you sift through the pluses and minuses to see what’s left — there’s really only one conclusion that counts: employers, veterans’ advocates and policymakers should recognize, and act on, the business case for hiring veterans. Patriotism and social responsibility sound great, but it is the bottom line that counts. This important report shows the bottom line will benefit with veterans contributing to it.