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March/April 2017

How the U.S. Labor Department Helps Hire Vets for Intermodal Jobs

The Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service can assist trucking, rail and other intermodal businesses connect with federal, state and other resources to facilitate veteran hiring.

VETS focuses on four key areas to support our nation’s veterans: (1) preparing veterans for meaningful careers; (2) providing them with employment resources and expertise; (3) protecting their employment rights; and (4) promoting the employment of veterans and related training opportunities to employers across the country.

In particular, veterans can be a valuable source of new workers for the trucking industry, in light of the ongoing shortage of qualified drivers. That shortage is predicted to increase over time due to demographics and anticipated increases in intermodal freight moved by motor, rail and marine carriers as well as marketers of those services.

We’re committed to working with employers like you — who know that hiring veterans is not only the right thing to do, but it’s good for business.

The team at DOL VETS is here to help you hire veterans. Whether you need local hiring assistance or you’re ready to start a veteran employment initiative, please email the National Veterans’ Employment Manager, Mark Toal, at toal.mark.j@dol. gov. You can also find information on our employer assistance program at or follow us on Twitter @VETS_DOL #HireVETS.

There are nearly 10.5 million veterans in the workforce today with approximately 200,000 who transition from military ser- vice each year. The workforce demographics of veterans in the workplace show that they are more mature than most employers realize, with 66 percent over the age of 45 and only 15 percent under age 35.

While there has been great improvement in veteran employ- ment, we still have nearly 500,000 unemployed veterans who are seeking meaningful employment. Please consider veterans of all ages as over 57 percent of unemployed veterans are over the age of 45.

Veterans bring a higher level of dedication and professionalism, are more productive, and have higher retention rates.

Hiring Veterans: A Good Business Decision

Hiring and retaining veterans is a good business decision.

Several studies have concluded that veterans bring a higher level of dedication and professionalism, are more productive, and have higher retention rates — attributes that cut costs and increase the bottom line for employers. A study published in November 2016 by the Center for a New American Security, “ONWARD AND UPWARD: Understanding Veteran Retention and Performance in the Workforce,” surveyed managers and found that they place a strong emphasis on the leadership qualities veterans bring to the workplace. Their research indicated that 90 percent of the managers surveyed say veterans are promoted faster, 68 percent say they perform better or much better than their non-veteran peers, and 75 percent say vets are easier to manage. Multiple articles have identified common attributes and characteristics of veterans as seen by their employers which include:

  • Proven leadership
  • Mission focused
  • Team players
  • Quick learners
  • Work ethic
  • Works well under pressure
  • Creative initiative
  • Integrity

Finding & Hiring Veterans

If you are looking for veterans, your local American Job Center is the place to start. DOL VETS partners with state workforce agencies to operate the AJC network, providing employment and training services to job seekers and employers at about 2,500 locations nationwide. Over 830,000 veterans —13 million Americans total — received employment and training services at AJCs last year. AJCs offer employers free employment services that include:

  • Providing workforce information
  • Writing job descriptions
  • Reviewing applicants’ resumes
  • Organizing job fairs
  • Providing places to conduct interviews
  • Pre-screening applicants
  • Referral of job-ready candidates

AJCs can also help you post your job openings through state job banks which are also posted nationally on the National Labor Exchange at

All transitioning service members are encouraged to use their individual state website to search for jobs. Please note that all DOL services at AJCs are paid by taxpayers and are provided free of charge to both jobseekers and employers. You can find your local AJC at

On the-Job Training and Registered Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are on the rise in America because they embody the job-driven training strategy that can help our economy grow. For veterans, apprenticeships are a great way to prepare for a new career. These programs allow veterans to learn a trade or skill through training on-the-job rather than attending formal classroom instruction. Both on-the-job and apprenticeship training programs allow veterans to learn a trade and use their GI Bill benefits to receive a tax-free monthly stipend for using their VA education benefits, including the Post-9/11 GI Bill. There is also a possibility of funds at the local AJC to assist an employer to offset costs.

A simple search of the internet will find many organizations operating in the veteran employment space.

Navigation of these resources can be confusing. We have a team of Regional Veterans’ Employer Coordinators who re standing by to connect you with federal, state and local resources to facilitate veterans’ employment. They can assist you in leveraging federal, state and local employment resources and programs to include on-the-job and apprenticeship training programs to help reduce employer costs.

Intermodal Insights thanks the U.S. Department of Labor for providing this article.

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