Local businesses recognized for hiring veterans as part of 'Yes-Vets'
YAKIMA, Wash.- Cheers and applause greeted Holt Brewer as he was given a metal for his service during the Korean war.
Like Brewer, many military veterans have to come back from service eventually and figure out what's the next step.
Which could leave some vets without a clue.
“Once you leave it can kind of be out to you so it is a little difficult to take what you did in the service and make that into the corporate world,” veteran Gabe Galbraith said.
In 2016, Washington state passed a law to create a statewide campaign to encourage businesses to hire veterans.
The campaign is called “Yes-Vets.”
Its goal is to help them find a way to translate what they did in the military into something that can be used for any job opening.
“They have incredible leadership skills. They understand organization. They understand project management and all of these different type of communication needs that are essential for our workforce,” Employment Security Department Commissioner Suzi LeVine said.
Here in Yakima, about 40 businesses are part of “Yes-Vets.” Which has led to almost 200 veterans being hired.
Yakima County, Shields Bag and Printing, the Yakima Training Center and Phoenix Security were all recognized as those who've given many vets job opportunities over the last year.
Perry Tech was also brought up for all it does for veterans in the area.
“We promote the yes vets program to all of the employers that we try to network with and send our veteran students,” Perry Tech’s veteran’s adviser Adam Riecker said.
He said they have a group of veterans that meets every month to go over available resources for them.
Riecker said helping vets get into the workforce is not only something they feel good about, but something that should be required for them to do.
“There's a lot of students that are coming straight out of the military and it difficult transition process. So, whatever opportunities we can provide them to make that transition a little bit smoother,” he said.
LeVine said many veterans looking for work are qualified more jobs than they realize. It's just about businesses given them a chance.
“We're not asking for an act of altruism. We're asking them to make a great business decision and that's to hire these veterans,” she said.