Benefits of Hiring a Veteran – Gulf Coast Workforce Board

By: Kim Bodine, Executive Director, Gulf Coast Workforce Board

Note: This post is part of a weeklong celebration of U.S. military veterans. You can find more stories and resources at the Microsoft Citizenship website.

I’ve been working with employers in our area for more than 15 years and time and time again I hear businesses refer to those who have served in military as America’s best and brightest. I found that out first hand when I hired Joe Chavarria, a 20 year Air Force Vet.

The first day on the job, Joe Chavarria showed up fifteen minutes early. He later told me that “in the military if you’re right on time you are considered late.” Not only did Joe make a great impression on that first day but he became a valuable team member, demonstrating great leadership and networking skills. In fact, people around the office jokingly call him Mr. 24/7.

Joe is one of thousands of military veterans in our community. Today’s veterans bring unique skills and experience to the civilian workforce. Their advanced training and ability to adapt to new circumstances make them excellent employees, with a high rate of retention.

John Ed McDanal, District Manager for the Gulf Power Company in Panama City, Florida told me that “Veterans bring leadership to the workplace.  They are dependable, disciplined and have a strong commitment to excellence.”

Jeanette Deatherage, Veterans Employment Representative at our local one stop career center and a military veteran herself explained to me that the military trains people to perform. “They do their job, do it right the first time and do it in a timely manner. They are continuously setting priorities, meeting schedules and accomplishing their missions.”

There are numerous skills and attributes that today’s veterans bring to the table. According to the US Department of Labor, here are the top five reasons to hire veterans:

  1. Accelerated Learning Curve - Vets have the proven ability to quickly learn new skills and concepts. They possess identifiable and transferable skills proven to achieve success.
  2. Leadership- Vets understand practical ways to manage and achieve goals even in the most trying circumstances. They are trained to lead by example as well as through direction, delegation, motivation and inspiration.
  3. Teamwork-Vets understand how genuine teamwork grows out of a responsibility to one's colleagues and how diverse individuals or groups can best work together to achieve overarching objectives.
  4. Diversity and inclusion in action-Vets have worked respectfully and cooperatively alongside others regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, religion or mental or physical capabilities.
  5. Efficient performance under pressure-Vets have the capacity to know how to accomplish tasks on time and in spite of stress or adversity. They understand the importance of dedication and perseverance.

Not only does hiring veterans make good business sense, but it allows you to return the favor for their service and sacrifice. As an added bonus, businesses may even qualify for tax credits and incentives for hiring disabled vets. For more information on hiring veterans, please contact your local one stop career center or visit


Kim Bodine, Executive Director, Gulf Coast Workforce Board


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