A few years back I was told a story about a young man returning from an assignment with the Army overseas. He walked up to the personnel office at a local manufacturing facility near his home and asked if there were any employment opportunities. In return, he was asked what he had been doing recently for employment. His response was he had just returned from Normandy, France and was looking for a way to support his family after service to his country. Her response was “Good enough for the Army, good enough for us! Come back on Monday and we will put you to work.” The year was 1945 and employers placed a high value on what a veteran could bring to the company.
Our returning veterans today are very similar, yet different than those from previous wars. Dedicated and tech savvy are words used to describe these men and women. Level of sacrifice is something they don’t measure, but as many before them, they live, serve and sacrifice by creeds with words like:
Army / National Guard
I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.
I proudly serve my country’s Navy combat team with Honor, Courage and Commitment.
Before God, I swear this creed. My rifle and myself are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life.
So be it, until victory is America’s and there is no enemy, but peace!!
I will never leave an Airman behind,
I will never falter,
And I will not fail.
I shall sell life dearly to an enemy of my country, but give it freely to rescue those in peril. With God’s help, I shall endeavor to be one of His noblest Works…
Prestige Group headquartered in Clinton Township ( www.prestige-grp.com ), started a Veteran Development Program to match military skills with civilian employment opportunities. In 2011, our goal was to provide employment to one veteran that had volunteered to serve our nation. That one young man is a Navy veteran and was attending a university to become an electrical engineer. As a metallurgist for six years in the Navy, he was a great catch for an engineering development program at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA US). Prestige Group created an engineering internship to support the need for an engineering talent pipeline by temporarily removing the bachelor’s degree requirement as long as the veterans were willing to complete their education. One young Navy veteran was offered the opportunity to start his career without his degree. Working at a living wage, going to a university, planning a family and able to pay bills … sounds like a start we would all cherish. Well, he did and graduated in December 2014. We are very proud to say we have helped many more, but only by offering them a structured opportunity to be successful and the veteran has done the rest, excelling in careers like:
- Engineering Internship
- Design Engineer (rotational)
- Engineering Analyst
- Change Analyst
- Advanced Design Internship
- Studio Artist
- CNC Programmers
- Concept Surface Design
- Data Management
- Manufacturing & Assembly
- Production Supervision
- Materials Management
- Maintenance Supervisor
- Logistics Analysts
- Skilled Trades
Today, many heroes that volunteered to protect you and your families under ANY circumstances are coming home to start a life and career right here in Macomb County. Trained with the world’s most advanced systems and technologies, they are ready for the future.
Macomb County is not only a hub of national defense, it has created an environment that is friendly to veterans willing to gain the skills necessary to compete as they did in the military. Corporations in Macomb County are searching for employment sustainability programs to relieve the mounting pressure of retirements and corporate growth. Veterans are a recognized resource with unlimited potential.
We not only owe a debt of gratitude to these men and women, but we also are responsible to them as part of our home and must do whatever we can to reintegrate them. A mission we take seriously as we continue to serve one another.
Two simple ways you can help veterans in your neighborhoods….
- If you are in a position to influence the hiring authority, like your boss … ask them to accept the creed below. No signatures, just commit to serve another as the veteran has done for you, and make it happen. You are more powerful than you think and can have an impact!!
One Veteran Creed = Consider one, Interview one, Hire one … It all starts with one ….
Be a part of a simple solution!
- Become a State of Michigan certified veteran-friendly employer by agreeing to hire one veteran. The application is simple and business size doesn’t matter, but progress on employing this great resource does!!
Help make Macomb the best Home for our veterans; we will be stronger for it!!!
Tom Nichols is executive vice president of Prestige Group.