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Event promotes hiring of veterans

The Association for Manufacturing Excellence Values Veterans (AMEV2) Program held its kick-off symposium on Friday, March 14, 2014 at DMG Mori USA's facility in Hoffman Estates, Ill. This event focused on teaching American employers how to recruit, hire, train and retain veterans.

"The AMEV2 Program is an outstanding way for businesses to gain valuable strategies for hiring employees who are talented, loyal, who show up on time, take direction well and thrive in a team environment," said Nancy Wajler, Director of Education and Training for AME. "Hiring veterans will be one of the best decisions these companies make."

The AMEV2 Symposium was kicked off by Randy Harland, Executive Vice President of DMG Mori, with examples of how veterans have consistently out-performed their peers and significantly contributed directly to their employers' bottom lines. "It is our responsibility as employers to do everything we can to remove the barriers we create for veterans that often we just do not see."

Leading the event was Colonel (Retired) Larry Kaifesh, Illinois 8th District Congressional candidate. "What is unique about the AMEV2 Program is its focus on employers," he said. "Future business performance will depend on getting the best talent we can find. Veterans are some of the best candidates. We must educate and train employers, go find veterans, recruit them, train them and retain them. We cannot just wait for them to navigate our current system because that is just not working. I commend AME for taking a leadership role for American manufacturing on this critical issue."

Navy veteran John Carmen, Jr., Vice President of Operations at Standfast Packaging, Addison, Ill., stressed how AMEV2 is directly assisting small and medium sized manufacturers like his company. "Standfast Packaging is making a significant investment to become 'vet strong' because the future of our business depends on attracting, hiring and retaining leaders," he said. "Our growth requires leaders throughout our business—production, sales, product development, and support staff. Veterans are exactly the profile we need, and we accept the responsibility to adjust our systems to take advantage of the extensive training these veterans have already received."

"This is all about running a more profitable business," said Joe Barto, founder and President of Training Modernization Group, Spotsylvania, Va., which partnered with AME to develop and implement the AMEV2 Certification Program to recognize employers who have received the training and pledged to hire and retain vets. "Today we had six employers from small and medium sized businesses pledge to hire and retain 19 veterans over the next year," said Barto. "When a small business who will only hire four or five people pledge to hire and retain two vets, it is an incredible testament to the program, because the only reason they will is because these vets will outperform their peers hired at the same time. The beauty is the simplicity of the program… if an employer hires one vet this year, and they turn out to be a great teammate they will hire another next year and the year after that. We are so very proud to be changing the way American employers think about veterans. Positive emotion combined with education, training and coaching will result in changed behaviors around veterans."

The next AMEV2 Symposium will be hosted by Terex in Redmond, Wash., on June 17, 2014.


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