Updated: Wednesday, 10 Oct 2012, 10:11 AM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 10 Oct 2012, 10:11 AM EDT
NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - The “Virginia Values Veterans” initiative is about growing the state’s economy by using one of our most valuable resources, veterans.
More than 300,000 men and women leave the military each year looking to transition back into the civilian workforce.
“Historical statistics show that of that number, 1/3 return to their home of record, 1/3 of them remained where they were last stationed (and for a lot of them that’s right here in Norfolk) and 1/3 of them go to areas of the county where they can find meaningful employment,” Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim told WAVY.com.
Many of those veterans are finding meaningful employment right here in Hampton Roads.
“At Newport News Shipbuilding, 18 percent of our new hires this year are veterans representing a 100 percent increase in veteran hires just two years ago,” Mike Petters, CEO of HII Newport News.
Tuesday morning, the City of Norfolk became the first municipality in the state to receive the Virginia Values Veterans Bronze Certification for its efforts to hire veterans. The V3 initiative is about training companies to connect with veterans and in the process, help municipalities throughout the commonwealth stimulate Virginia’s economy.
“Our shared goal is to not only drive down veteran unemployment but leverage this tremendous American talent to accelerate Virginia’s and Norfolk’s economic recovery,” Fraim said.
“Defense related industries right now are transitioning to civil sector and you have people that can meet that need, provide a talented workforce and bring those companies here,” John Andrews with Veterans Services Norfolk added.
The state hopes to have 50 companies certified in the V3 program by June 2013.
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