Benefits of Hiring Veterans
Employers recognize the value military service brings to the workplace. Veterans bring experience, skills and leadership abilities that strengthen the Texas workforce.
Why Hire a Veteran?
- Leadership — veterans are trained to be leaders and managers.
- Professionalism — veterans know the importance of integrity and respect, respect that gives your team a winning edge.
- Responsibility — veterans know what it means to be accountable for valuable human and material resources.
- Mission-Critical Skills — veterans undergo trade-related and technical training that often relates directly to civilian jobs.
- Physical Conditioning — veterans know the value of being in top physical condition and drug free.
- Can-Do Attitude — veterans carry and apply a positive attitude to get the job done.
- Calm under Fire — veterans are steady, cool, and collected. Handling stress is all in a day's work for veterans.
- First-Class Image — veterans don't have to be reminded to get a haircut. Whether in uniform or a business suit, veterans know how to dress for success.
- On Time, All the Time — veterans know that every second counts and will be there on time.
- Global Perspective — veterans are tuned in to the forces and events that shape the global market.
Tax Benefits for Employers
Federal tax benefits may be available to employers that hire veterans under the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). Employers can receive up to a $2,400 tax credit if they hire:
- a veteran who is a member of a family that has received food stamp benefits for at least three consecutive months in the 15 months prior to the date of hire; or
- a veteran with a disability who is participating in a vocational rehabilitation program through the U.S. Veterans Administration.
Employers also can receive a WOTC tax credit of up to $4,800 for veterans entitled to compensation for a service-connected disability who:
- were hired within one year of having been discharged or released from activity duty; or
- have been unemployed for any six of the last 12 months.
Employers hiring multiple WOTC-qualified employees can see a significant reduction in their federal income taxes. These benefits are explained and claimed on IRS Form 5884.
Other programs may benefit employers, such as the:
- Federal Welfare-to-Work Hiring Credit up to $8,500 over a two-year employment period if the employee was receiving welfare benefits prior to finding employment; and
- Mentor-Protégé Program allows certain government contractors to receive reimbursements for training/incidental costs associated with training physically challenged veterans.
Apply for a Grant to Upgrade the Skills of Your Veteran Employees
TWC's Skills for Veterans initiative dedicates $1 million from the Skills Development Fund to address the training needs of post-9/11 veterans returning home and entering the Texas workforce. Skills for Veterans will enhance the skills of veterans, which will benefit Texas employers. Employers who hire post-9/11 era veterans, especially those who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn or Operation Enduring Freedom, may be eligible to participate in this training opportunity. All private businesses, including private, nonprofit hospitals, can apply to TWC for training offered by their local community or technical college, or the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), to upgrade the skills of newly hired veterans. We review the applications and work with the college to fund the specific courses selected by businesses for their employees.
Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, as Amended (2005)
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor's Veterans Employment and Training Service (DOL-VETS). USERRA provides that returning service members are reemployed in the job that they would have attained had they not been absent for military service, with the same seniority, status, and pay, as well as other rights and benefits determined by seniority. USERRA also requires that reasonable efforts (such as training or retraining) be made to enable returning service members to refresh or upgrade their skills to help them qualify for reemployment. DOL-VETS provides assistance to all persons having claims under USERRA.
Helping Employers Help Veterans
Active duty service members exiting the military may face challenges transitioning to civilian life and the workplace. To assist those veterans, TWC established the Texas Veterans Leadership Program (TVLP). Twenty-eight Veterans Resource and Referral Specialists (VRRSs) are based in local workforce development areas across Texas to assist their fellow veterans with job-search activities, training opportunities and other resources.
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve
One organization specifically aimed at helping employers is the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, which offers support and information to employers on a variety of topics including USERRA, specific support issues, and, if necessary, ombudsman services. Additionally, local National Guard and Reserve often have family support groups or family readiness centers that offer information, counseling, and unit information to local employers.
Understanding Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
Employers, Managers and Human Resource Personnel will be the leaders that returning veterans look to in the workplace. As leaders they will play a major role in the recovery, rehabilitation and adaptation of veterans not only in the workplace but their communities. To lead these veterans, employers have to have an understanding of what causes PTSD and TBI and what effects they have.
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can develop from a response to a high-stress level situation. Symptoms of PTSD can vary from simple things like: sleeping difficulty, emotional numbness and exaggerated vigilance, to more severe symptoms such as: irritability and problems concentrating. PTSD will usually manifest itself within 6-9 months after the event or after the veteran returns to their community. There are many resources available to assist our returning veterans in coping with PTSD.
TBI is more prevalent in this war than any other. A blast or explosion gives a jolt to the head which disrupts the function of the brain; this jolt may or may not cause unconsciousness. Some of the symptoms of TBI can be short or long term memory loss, mood changes, increases sensitivity to distractions and light headedness.
However, just because a veteran was in a high-stress level situation or was near an explosion it does not mean that they suffer from PTSD or TBI. A recent RAND study suggests that approx. 70% of returning veterans do not suffer from either TBI or PTSD. And if a veteran does possess one of these conditions it does not mean that the veteran is not a productive member of society or unable to hold suitable and challenging employment. To accommodate these veterans takes very little on your part and the rewards for doing so are great.
For more information on how employers can help our returning veterans in the work place we ask you to visit America's Heroes At Work.