The transition from the military to the civilian world isn’t always easy for veterans, particularly in a difficult job market, but thanks to a highly successful initiative, hundreds of veterans have been hired by Missouri businesses. It’s only been three years since Governor Jay Nixon launched the “Show-Me Heroes” program, which connects veterans with job opportunities when they return home from service.
Director Rich Campbell of a Missouri based trucking school is one of more than 2000 employers who have taken the pledge to recruit and interview veterans for job openings.
“If they need anything from here on out once they get through school, they know they can call us up, they can rely on us. We’re there and we’re helping ‘em out,” he declared.
Participating businesses that have hired veterans receive the Flag of Freedom Award, a plaque featuring an American flag patch from a Missouri soldier’s combat uniform.
Campbell, a U.S. Navy veteran, said that of his staff of 14, nine are veterans. He calls it an honor to have received the Flag of Freedom Award, and to do his part for those who serve.
“It’s something that we hold near and dear to our heart,” he said. “We display it proudly in our office, we display it proudly at any event that we go to.”
In 2012, Show-Me Heroes was expanded to include an on-the-job training component for returning National Guard members, reservists and recent active-duty service members. Through the program, employers are reimbursed for half of the participant’s wages during a contracted training period.