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Hiring Vets Seen as a Smart Move for Tech Companies

Hiring Vets Seen as a Smart Move for Tech Companies

Hiring military veterans isn’t just a “feel good” move, it’s also a “smart” move.

Especially in the tech sector, according to speakers in a presentation at Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) headquarters in New York Friday.

Many “hire a veteran” efforts emphasize the debt owed to returning servicemen and women by a nation grateful for their sacrifices and the fact that they kept our country safe in times of war and peace.

The Google event, put on by “Got Your Six,” a nonprofit created to promote veterans and military families as community assets, touted the notion that hiring veterans – especially in tech – was just good business.

One small company, APX Labs, promoted the innovative products its veteran hires have created.

According to APX chief strategy officer, Rob Gordon, innovations include a smartphone app called RideScout that collects and evaluates a number of commuting options such as buses, trains, and cars all in one place. Another app, called lettrs, lets users write and send physical letters without a trip to the post office.

Google itself has also seen the light. The company’s head of user operations, a former F-14 pilot, is responsible for green energy operations within Google. A former U.S. Marine leads “Project Loon,” a highly publicized Google program designed to carry the Internet into remote areas of the world via balloons.

Other tech companies committed to hiring veterans include Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), which recently initiated a 16-week training program for veterans called the Microsoft Software & Systems Academy and AT&T (NYSE: T), which said Monday it has doubled its goal for hiring veterans and their families to 10,000 over the next five years.

LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD) has shown its commitment to hiring vets by setting up an application framework designed to support veteran employment. The company also developed a microsite that helps veterans find jobs.

Some major “non-tech” corporations have also ramped up their recruitment of former military. They include JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM), Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT), and Boeing (NYSE: BA).

Starbucks(NASDAQ: SBUX) said last week it planned to hire at least 10,000 highly qualified veterans and military spouses over the next few years.

Related: U.S. Bank Surpasses Veteran Hiring Goal

As former Secretary of Defense and current member of Starbucks board of directors, Robert Gates said, “This is not a corporate philanthropy initiative or something we’ve decided to do merely out of a sense of patriotic obligation. It is a strategic business decision that is in the long-term interests of our company and our shareholders.”

Meanwhile, a long list of federal contractors and other veteran-friendly employers can be found on the website, VetCentral.

At the time of this writing, Jim Probasco had no position in any mentioned securities.


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