Each year on Veterans Day, many Americans and businesses take time to honor those who have served in the military. This day in November is a special way to commemorate our fellow citizens’ who felt the call to serve. But did you know that there are ways to both support veterans and help your business year-round? Hiring veterans in the HVAC and plumbing industries is a win-win for both employers and employees with military backgrounds.
Let’s take a look at what veterans can bring to your business and what you gain by employing former military service members.
Employing Veterans: What They Bring to Your Business
No doubt, you’ve probably already thought of a few words to describe service members as you’ve been reading: dedicated, brave, determined, honorable, service-oriented. Did you know there have been academic studies that prove the truth of descriptions, especially when it comes to post-service employment?
The Syracuse University Institute for Veterans and Military Families has identified several research-backed business propositions for hiring veterans. Here are a few that could enhance your HVAC or plumbing business.
Former service members have high levels of trust in leaders and teammates.
This finding should come as no surprise. In the military, especially in dangerous or complex scenarios, people must be able to trust one another and their leaders. Otherwise, things can go bad quickly.
When you hire veterans to join your team as plumbers or HVAC technicians, you’ll encounter men and women who typically put their trust in leadership and their fellow employees. It’s a win for organizational strength and performance.
Many veterans receive technical training.
The average veteran gains more exposure to technology and technical training than civilians in their age groups. Additionally, most veterans can transfer that learning to different tasks.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is exploding. IoT in plumbing and IoT in HVAC means you need tech-savvy team members who are comfortable with your quickly evolving trade and customer demands.
IoT aside, the military also produces individuals who have gained skills related to plumbing and HVAC systems. The armed services branches each have HVAC and plumbing-related needs after all. The United Services Military Apprenticeship Program helps active duty service members fulfill the requirements of civilian apprenticeship, for example.
Veterans tend to have more cross-cultural and diverse workplace experiences.
Studies show that veterans tend to demonstrate cultural sensitivity at a higher level than civilians in their age groups. They’ve often traveled abroad and have had to work with people who come from different countries, belief systems, and backgrounds.
Now, think about the nature of your business and your customer base. Chances are you have people from different cultures, upbringings, and traditions who trust you to send technicians into their homes and businesses. A veteran can use his or her cross-cultural and diverse workplace experiences to build trust and credibility with customers from a variety of backgrounds.
Additional Benefits to Hiring Veterans for Your HVAC or Plumbing Business
In the section above, we covered a few points about why former military members have a lot going for them as future team members for your business. However, hiring veterans has additional benefits for your plumbing or HVAC business.
Receive Tax Credits that Go Toward Your Bottomline
According to RecruitMilitary, companies can receive tax credits of $1,200 to $9,600 for each newly eligible veteran hired via the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), a federal hiring incentive. But that’s just the starting point.
The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) outlines additional tax credits, beyond the WOTC, you can gain by hiring veterans. Notable credits include:
- The Returning Heroes Tax Credit
- The Wounded Warriors Tax Credit
- The Unemployment Tax Credit
Gain Recognition for Your Commitment to Hiring Veterans
Did you know you can be recognized with an award from the government for your commitment to hiring veterans?
See if your company qualifies for the HIRE Vets Medallion Program, the only federal-level veterans’ employment award recognizing a business’ commitment to hiring, retaining, and facilitating the professional development of veterans. Check out the HIRE Vets Medallion program criteria. This type of award is prestigious. It can bring recognition to your employer brand: great for recruitment; and your public-facing brand: amazing community relations, as well as customer retention and acquisition.
Provide On-the-Job Training Programs and Apprenticeships as an Approved Employer
Did you know that veterans can use their VA education benefits, including the Post-9/11 GI Bill, in on-the-job training (OJT) and apprenticeships with approved employers?
Approved employers typically pay a reduced wage to OJT/apprenticeship participants (the pay must be at least 50 percent of journeyman wage). The employer must provide periodic wage increases up to the last month of training. By that last training month, the pay must be 85 percent of what a typical employee in the position makes.
During the training period, veterans in approved programs can receive a tax-free stipend. Stipend payments are reduced every six months until the program participant reaches journeyman status and corresponding pay.
This option is terrific for employers who offer plumbing or HVAC training to veterans for a couple of reasons:
- You can get a quality apprentice/trainee at a reduced wage since the government pays a stipend.
- You can use the stipend-plus-wages as a recruiting tool to attract veteran job candidates.
Consider Offering More Career Opportunities to Veterans
When you make the decision to actively recruit and retain veterans in your business, you’re:
- Helping someone have a smoother transition into civilian life
- Leveraging hard-earned military experience for the benefit of your company and your customers
- Improving your bottom line with tax credits and training benefits related to veterans
Welcoming veterans in the plumbing industry and HVAC industry just makes sense to us. We appreciate the men and women who serve our country, as well as the employers who help these citizens transition back into civilian life.
Happy Veterans Day from JB Warranties.
Vice President of Sales at JB Warranties