Throughout our 106 year history, IBM has made a concerted effort to hire military veterans around the globe. In addition to bringing a high level of maturity, discipline, experience and leadership to the job, veterans are also collaborative and communicative. And they’re also used to working together to accomplish a greater objective. These are ideal attributes for any company competing in an ever-changing, disruptive industry.
But there are even greater intangibles that veterans bring to the table. Many of our veteran employees draw on their experiences to make a difference in their colleagues’ lives, as well as in the communities in which they live and work. It’s for these reasons and more that IBM committed, in March, to hiring 2,000 veterans in the U.S., over the next four years.
One IBM veteran, in particular, who’s had a tremendous impact on the company and her environment is Brandi Swope, who joined the Marines just three days after her 19th birthday. After she finished her service, Brandi earned her degree on nights and weekends and joined IBM as an intern.
To help other veterans transition to private sector careers, Brandi and an IBM colleague, Chip Brown, launched the Veterans Business Resource Group (BRG) at IBM’s Research Triangle Park office in Durham, N.C., where she is now a software developer. Other BRGs have launched in Austin, Texas; Chicago; and Washington, D.C.
Free Training for Veterans Leads to Jobs, Opportunities
IBM also has expanded its nationwide program to train U.S. veterans in software that is widely used in the defense and law enforcement sectors. Since January 2016, IBM has hosted monthly U.S. training sessions that certify participating veterans in the use of i2 Analysts’ Notebook. Training sessions have been held in Pittsburgh, Tampa, Fla., Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Fort Drum, N.Y., and Houston. More will be offered in 2018.
Following the no-cost certification in IBM analytics solutions that will aid in cybersecurity and national security software skills, participants benefit from career placement services provided by Corporate America Supports You, a nationwide non-profit that provides employment assistance for active duty and former military personnel, together with IBM and other corporate partners. This veterans employment initiative is part of IBM’s philanthropic impact grants that arm non-profits, governments, and institutions with skills and expertise to better serve their communities.
IBM’s efforts were recognized today by Victory Media which awarded IBM the organization’s Military Friendly® Employer of the year award for 2018. Victory Media – which owns and operates Military Friendly® employment, entrepreneurship and education resources, including G.I. Jobs® and Guide to Military Friendly® – has been analyzing and recognizing military-friendly employers for more than a decade. Its ratings have set the standard for businesses and colleges achieving positive employment and education outcomes for veterans and their families.
Each year about 250,000 enlisted U.S. military service members end their service, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. As a U.S. Navy veteran myself, I’m honored that IBM has received this award, and humbled that some of these fine men and women have chosen to join us at IBM.
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