The global online employment portal Monster has once again named Boeing among the 10 Best Companies for Veterans in 2017, recognizing the company's veteran hiring and retention practices.
This marks the second consecutive time Monster has recognized Boeing for its work with veterans. The company also earned veterans-related accolades this year from DiversityInc which named Boeing as the second best company for veterans.
One of the many endeavors Boeing has undertaken to better assist veterans transitioning to the civilian workforce is the Boeing Veterans Transition Network (BVTN), a new program where current employees volunteer to help recently hired veterans navigate the private sector.
Boeing employee and U.S. veteran Trevor Schwendau is one who found it challenging to adapt to the civilian workforce after his military service. Schwendau joined Boeing in October 2015 after serving six years in the U.S. Navy, earning bachelor’s and master's degrees, and working civilian jobs.
"I’ve been with Boeing for two years now, but I’ve changed jobs and Jennifer is the [subject-matter expert] in a lot of materials that I’m learning, so it’s almost perfect,” Schwendau said of his "teacher" in the transition program, Jennifer Arnold-Abington.
BVTN's initial call for volunteers, via the Boeing Employees Veterans Association, resulted in over 200 employees – half of them in Washington state – signing up to guide veterans like Schwendau, or receive a Boeing guide to aid their transition.
Although the program is designed to help veterans, it also is beneficial for the teachers.
“When I first heard of BVTN, I thought, ‘This is terrific! How can I help?’” said Boeing employee Ellen Tarantino. “My father was a veteran, and I want to be part of the solution to give back to those who have served to maintain our freedom.”
The network was created by a team of executives and veterans including Flo Groberg, the director of Veterans Outreach for Boeing Global Engagement and a decorated veteran.
“It’s heartening to see so many people offer to help vets translate their invaluable skills and experience to serving Boeing customers and communities,” Groberg said.
BVTN is just one of many thoughtful solutions Boeing has found to help and honor veterans near and far. Recently, a veteran working at the Renton site learned that a massive 50-by-30 foot U.S. flag that used to hang in Boeing’s Macon, Georgia site was in need of a new home, and lobbied to have it brought to Washington.
The Renton team worked together to have the flag transported across the country, properly mounted and illuminated from the roofline of the site’s largest building in time for Veterans Day. The flag was proudly unfurled in its new, permanent home during a ceremony lead by the Boeing Fire Department Honor Guard, and attended by veterans and employees of all generations.
Geoffrey Potter and Deborah Feldman