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Hurting for IT help? Hire a trained GI vet

Stephanie Overby | May 30, 2017
One IT professional services firm is meeting increasing demand for U.S.-based skills by training military veterans in key IT domains, from business analysis to devops.

“We provide many benefits for a veteran joining our V.E.T.S. Program. We hire them as salaried employees and offer full benefits. We never touch their GI Bill, and we’re providing them with extensive training and opportunities in the technology sector,” Ross says.

While the V.E.T.S. Program now accounts for 20 percent of the workforce at Sharp Decisions, it got off to a rocky start.

“I hired the first squad under the assumption our clients would jump at this opportunity,” Ross says. She was wrong. The first group of 15 hires sat on the bench for five months. “Most of the barriers were false narratives pertaining to transitioning military and their disabilities,” she explains. Potential customer worried that veterans might have disabilities that would impact their behavior or performance. Sharp Decisions continued to employ the group until opportunities arrived. “I gave my word for continued employment after training, and my word is gold,” Ross says. “It took time, money, and patience, but the payoff is phenomenal on many fronts.”

One problem that has emerged over time is that many clients, after working with professionals for their twelve-month commitments, are so satisfied with their performance that they offer the veterans full-time roles.

“As an organization, your greatest assets become your clients’ assets and we must continuously refill our pipeline with trained veterans,” says Ross. Sharp Decisions has always been working to expand its available talent to include more technical professionals and those with more years of experience. They are also seeking to engage more military spouses in the program as well.

Ross says she is seeing interest in the V.E.T.S. Program increasing, as concerns over future visa restrictions threaten to constrict the available talent pool for American companies and the costs of offshore and nearshore options continue to rise. “Our costs are competitive,” Ross says, “but it really is a situation where the benefits outweigh the costs. Our services are immediate, local, and accountable, giving companies the tactical advantage of time with deadlines and deliverables being met.”

 

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