This year, Veterans Day will be observed on Friday, November 10 as it actually falls on a Saturday this year. Veterans Day is a national federal holiday observed every year on November 11 to honor American veterans who have served in all wars. It evolved from Armistice Day which President Woodrow Wilson put in place in 1919 to recognize the end of World War I—it was changed in 1954 to provide broader recognition of veterans.
Veterans Day honors the contributions of those who have served and recognizes their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice.
How the WOTC Program Supports Businesses in Hiring Military Veterans
The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program supports businesses that hire veterans, and other underserved groups, providing them with the opportunity to continue to contribute their talent. The WOTC offers tax credits to companies for hiring veterans that are:
- Members of a family that received SNAP benefits for at least three months during the 15-month period before their hire.
- Disabled and entitled to compensation for a service-related disability, and have been hired within a year of discharge or release from active duty, or unemployed for at least six months in the year ending on their hire date.
- Unemployed for at least four weeks in the year ending on the hire date, or at least six months in the year ending on the hire date.
There are other criteria that may make veterans eligible for the WOTC program. It’s important for employers to understand how they—and the veterans they hire—can benefit from WOTC and new job opportunities.
Positive Impact for Veterans and Companies
Veterans face a number of challenges after their discharge and in their attempts to find a job. Challenges can relate to their inability to translate the value of their service into terms that employers understand and recognize as relevant to their open positions, unrealistic expectations, bias, and in some cases mental health issues. Finding a job can bring them personal satisfaction and the ability to apply their many skills in the workplace.
That challenge affects almost 200,000 veterans every year, according to Pew Research Center. In fact, as CBS News reports: “Only one in four U.S. veterans have a job lined up after leaving the armed forces.”
Employers can benefit from the skills and experience veterans bring. As the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reports, veterans can provide a number of benefits for employers, including:
- Working well in a team.
- Having a sense of duty.
- Experiencing self-confidence.
- Being organized and disciplined.
- Possessing a strong work ethic.
- Having the ability to follow through even under difficult or stressful conditions.
- Possessing a variety of cross-functional skills.
- Being able to problem solve quickly and creatively.
- Being able to adapt to changing situations.
- Being able to follow rules and schedules.
These are all traits that can bring value to organizations of all kinds across all industries. In addition to reaping these benefits, employers who hire veterans also honor their service.
Hiring Veterans Honors Their Service
We all owe a debt to those who have served their country as Veterans Day reminds us. Hiring veterans is a good way to honor their service, and to help them connect with new civilian teammates while learning new skills.
The WOTC is a great way to help veterans and your organization. In addition, the HIRE Vets Medallion Program from the U.S. Secretary of Labor recognizes employers’ efforts to recruit, employ, and retain veterans. If you’re not already participating in WOTC, Veterans Day is a great reminder and opportunity to do so.
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