Leadership by Example
The company makes a public commitment to hiring veterans with its involvement in national initiatives.
In October 2012, Lockheed Martin joined a new coalition with a mission to train military veterans for jobs in advanced manufacturing, bolster the talent pipeline and enhance American competitiveness. The coalition will be managed by the Manufacturing Institute and is supported through financial and in-kind commitments from Lockheed Martin, GE, Alcoa Inc. and Boeing. These initial investments will help 15,000 veterans translate military experience to corresponding advanced manufacturing opportunities and gain technical skills needed to qualify for careers in this growing sector. The coalition is seeking additional partners to meet its goal of reaching 100,000 veterans by 2015.
Another initiative is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes campaign, a nationwide effort launched in 2011 to assist veterans and their spouses find employment. The chamber has hosted 500 hiring fairs in two years and is now enlisting commitments from the small business community to hire 500,000 veterans and military spouses over three years.
“I think it’s important for companies like Lockheed Martin to get involved because they ‘get it’,” says Lt. Col. Kevin Schmiegel (USM retired), executive director of Hiring Our Heroes and vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “The companies that understand the value of hiring veterans know that by hiring veterans they gain a competitive advantage. And more important than that is the leadership by example. It is also important to these small businesses.”
Lockheed Martin is a member of the chamber’s Veterans Employment Advisory Council. The council works to increase the hiring of veterans and their spouses, establish best practices for veterans’ employment, provide mentors to help with military transitioning, and deliver military hiring assistance to small and medium-sized businesses.
“Veterans have been taught and trained to stand on their own two feet and make decisions, usually at a very early age. They have been responsible and in charge of millions of dollars worth of equipment,” Prevatte says. “They know the meaning of work, being on time, responsibility, leadership and dedication. And regardless of all the above, they have laid their lives on the line to defend this country. We owe them.”