Special to Iredell Free News
RALEIGH — Gov. Roy Cooper and N.C. Department of Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders are encouraging North Carolina employers to hire veterans and to apply for recognition with a HIRE Vets Medallion Award, an official program of the U.S. Department of Labor.
The application period runs through April 30.
“North Carolina is America’s most military-friendly state, and the HIRE Vets program is one way for companies to signal their strong support for our nation’s heroes,” Cooper said. “Veterans add value to the businesses that employ them, while also enriching our communities.”
These awards are the only federal-level veterans’ employment awards that recognize an organization’s commitment to veteran hiring, retention and professional development. In 2021, 22 North Carolina companies received a HIRE Vets Medallion Award.
In 2020 and 2021, the N.C. Department of Commerce implemented a first-in-the-nation online feature that highlights North Carolina employers that have received the HIRE Vets medallion award on the state’s job search portal and on the NCWorks Veterans Portal, located at veterans.ncworks.gov. This tool helps veterans more easily find jobs that the recognized companies are currently advertising. The U.S. Department of Labor recognized the N.C. Division of Workforce Solutions staff for their innovative work.
“In today’s tight labor market, it is more important than ever for employers to actively recruit military veterans, and to recognize the unique combination of skills and experience that they can bring as employees,” Baker Sanders said. “The HIRE Vets program provides an opportunity for North Carolina employers to be honored for valuing our veterans, and this recognition can give businesses a leg up in attracting military talent.”
The HIRE Vets Medallion Award is based on several criteria, ranging from veteran hiring and retention to providing veteran-specific resources, leadership programming, dedicated human resources, and compensation and tuition assistance programs – with requirements varying for large, medium, and small employers. There is a fee to apply for the HIRE Vets Medallion Program, which is used to cover the costs associated with carrying out the HIRE Vets Act. The fee for large employers is $495 per applicant, the fee for medium employers is $190 per applicant, and the fee for small employers is $90 per applicant.
Last fall in partnership with the N.C. Department of Military and Veteran Affairs and the N.C. Department of Commerce, Governor Cooper challenged North Carolina businesses to “Honor Veterans by Hiring Veterans.” The state’s participation in the HIRE Vets Medallion Award Program reaffirms the Administration’s commitment to supporting North Carolina’s veteran population.
The N.C. Department of Commerce works in close partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor and employs 70 NCWorks Veterans Services professionals (all of whom are veterans themselves). These professionals, located at NCWorks Career Centers across the state, help connect veterans to employers, as well as to training opportunities. The department also partners with North Carolina For Military Employment (NC4ME) on special hiring events. The state’s “First in Talent” strategic economic development plan calls for expanding such efforts.
To learn more and apply for the HIRE Vets Medallion Award Program, go to www.HireVets.gov.