Opportunities for Returning Veterans Can Be Scarce -- Dollar General Is Looking to Buck that Trend
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When members of the armed forces return home from active duty, they can face many issues trying to assimilate back into normal life, or "civvy street" as is the term used by the vets themselves. However, Dollar General is creating opportunities for veterans with its progressive recruitment policies.
People returning from war zones can find "normal life" to be a very strange environment to live in. Compounding the banality of civvy street are health issues, such as mental illnesses like depression and PTSD, and physical disability from war wounds, which can leave veterans unable to perform the same roles they did before signing up - both at home and at work.
According to the most recent data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 20.4 million veterans living among the civilian population. Of these 20.4 million, 4.1% of women and 3.6% of men are unemployed. 4.9 million veterans are living with a service-connected disability.
Many veterans need to find work but can often find themselves overlooked by employers. Dollar General wants to change that.
When it comes to military personnel as customers, Dollar General already has a pretty good reputation, extending a special discount to service men and women and their families on Veteran's Day.
Now the company is looking to offer veterans employment opportunities as well and is specifically targeting that demographic with its "Paychecks for Patriots" recruitment drives. Dollar General believes the veteran community is home to an ocean of undiscovered talent and unique skill sets which can be guided and supported into becoming valuable and lifelong members of its team.
Dollar General also believes it has a responsibility to assist service men and women in assimilating into civilian life in any way it can, and it is for this reason they are actively seeking applications from people who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq. The positions available are both entry-level and management and are designed to help bring value and growth to the communities Dollar General serves.
Dollar General is a great place for veterans to start their new lives post-service, as many of the positions available require no specific experience. As long as the applicant is 18+ years of age, is willing to learn, and is motivated to succeed, they can apply. Dollar General also likes people able to work under stress, which makes the company a good fit for veterans.
There are career progression options available, as well. Veterans may ascend to become assistant store managers or store managers, obtaining a generous healthcare benefits package. The healthcare benefits include dental and vision, as well as prescription drug reimbursement -- a boon for veterans with ongoing medical concerns.
"Providing a discount is just one way Dollar General shows its continued support, gratitude and appreciation to those who have served and continue to serve the country," said the Retail Industry Leaders Association. "The Company is proud to be a longstanding supporter of the military community through initiatives including veteran discounts, its military employee resource group and the initiation of the Paychecks for Patriots hiring campaign that pairs veterans transitioning to civilian life with meaningful employment opportunities."
Dollar General has received recognition for the Paychecks for Patriots initiative from the MTSU Daniels Veterans Center. Dollar General CEO, Todd Vasos was presented with a framed certificate thanking the company for all its work getting veterans into paid employment.
"I spoke at the cemetery about the meaning of Memorial Day and of the sacrifice of our military and their precious families," said MTSU Senior Adviser for Veterans and Leadership Initiatives, Keith M. Huber. "It was a well-attended event and participants included Dollar General leadership. Their leaders have also attended our Stole ceremonies and listened to my words."
The two organizations discussed ways they could further grow their partnership and create even more opportunities for American veterans. The Daniels Center is the largest veterans center on a Tennessee college campus and is dedicated to helping veterans access education and/or employment. With these two powerhouses working together, there will be an abundance of opportunities for any veteran looking to settle into their new civilian life.
Creating opportunities for marginalized groups such as veterans is a noble endeavor for any company and it's hoped we'll see more big brands following the example set by Dollar General in the future.
Progressive recruitment strategies are certain to be on the agenda at HR Retail 2019, in April, at the Hyatt Regency Austin, Texas.
Please download the agenda today for more information and insights.