In honor of Veterans’ Day, the Secretary of Labor hosted the 2020 HIRE Vets Medallion Ceremony virtually.
The HIRE Vets Medallion Award was initiated in 2017 with the signing of The Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans Act. It is the only Federal award issued to companies or organizations that show a commitment to recruiting, hiring, and retaining veterans.
The 2020 awardees honor 675 employers for their efforts to support veteran employment. This is 60% increase in awardees over the previous year. 58 recipients received their third consecutive HIRE Vets Medallion award.
Secretary Eugene Scalia noted that military services instills within each service member the ability to give, receive, and execute orders, the ability to work as a team, technical skills and know-how, and the ability to perform under pressure. These abilities and qualifications make former veterans ideal employees. Each year, approximately 160,000 veterans retire or separate from military service and transition to the civilian workforce. Since 2018, HIRE Vets Medallion recipients have hired more than 37,000 veterans.
John Lowery, Assistant Secretary of the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS), noted “again and again, veterans demonstrate their capacity for delivery results and their readiness to assume increased responsibilities.” He went on to say that “hiring veterans is a good business decision.”
The HIRE Vets Medallion Program offers opportunities for large, medium, and small employers under gold or platinum levels of recognition. Criteria includes demonstration of veteran employment commitment through the percentage of veteran new hires, percentage of veterans retained for at least 12 months, and the percentage of overall veteran employees. Other organizational attributes taken into consideration include veteran organizations or resource groups, opportunities to enhance leadership skills, dedicated staff or initiatives to support veteran employment, compensation practices, and tuition assistance offerings.
Army Sergeant Major Michael Grinston said the HIRE Vets Medallion Program tells “soldiers and their families that [the Medallion recipients] are actively seeking and value the skills that veterans have built through service.”
VETS is hoping to award the HIRE Vets Medallion to 1,000 organizations in 2021. The application period will open January 31, 2021 and close April 30, 2021. Companies and organizations interested in finding out more about this year’s awardees or information about submitting their own application for recognition in 2021 can visit this link.