Warriors returning to the homestead after their tour of duty abroad endure several obstacles on the way to a healthy, beneficial retintegration - perhaps the “key” to their success is employment, said Tom Caulfield, director of Veterans Community Initiatives, Inc.
Concurrent Technologies Corporation was nationally recognized for bringing thousands of returning vets back into the workforce. Armed forces news publication Military Times placed CTC at No. 11 on its annual “Best for Vets: Employers 2014” list, according to an official press release. There were 59 employers recognized, out of more than 1,000 entrants. This is the fourth time the company has been honored.
22 percent of CTC’s current employees are veterans, the release states, and more than half of all new hires made last year had military experience. CTC has also received recognitions from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, including the Extraordinary Employer Support Award, the Patriot Award, and the Pro-Patria Award.
“It’s well deserved,” said Caulfield. “They’ve certainly been supportive of veterans and community veteran programs for a long time.”
Caulfield said CTC has been a regular staple of its bi-monthly job fair since its inception in 1993. He added that the company has “stayed the course,” although the local economy has not enjoyed the same rebound seen elsewher and rebooting to a civilian lifestyle can be trying for potential employees.
“It’s a transition that certainly takes time and it has to be nurtured,” Caulfield said. “There has to be understanding from all avenues - employers, family, colleagues and fellow veterans.
“When you’re in the military, and especially those in wartime situations, at times they’re getting into, in many cases, the highlights or the lowlights of their career,” he said. “It’s certainly something that’s remembered by any veteran that’s been touched by war. ... so called ‘excitement’ or the ongoing pressures of war - they’re not gonna’ be in your everyday 9 to 5 job.”
But the “highly honed” discipline and “under pressure” performance that veterans bring back to the job give them much hiring potential, he said.
With companies like CTC and the myriad medical, rehabilitative and judicial programs of which vets can now make use, Caulfield said lives are - hopefully - being changed.
“The central theme comes back to employment - that is probably the key,” he said. “If you have a good, steady, family-sustaining, paying job, the other things come a bit easier.”
Justin Dennis is a multimedia reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at @JustinDennis.