Building on the success of its ‘Heroes Work Here’ initiative to hire, train and support military veterans, The Walt Disney Company, USAA and General Motors, in cooperation with the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA), will bring Disney’s Veterans Institute to Detroit on Friday, June 5 at the General Motors Headquarters.
The daylong seminar, which will be emceed by Stephen Clark, WXYZ Detroit news anchor, is designed to educate and inspire Michigan-based companies of all sizes to build their own veteran hiring programs through special employer and veteran panels, workshops, speeches and presentations. Highlights of the seminar include opening remarks from Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and General Motors CEO Mary Barra, a keynote address from ABC News Anchor Bob Woodruff and veteran hiring best practice workshops from Disney’s Veterans Institute.
The event is presented in partnership with MVAA, which will lead discussion panels focusing on veteran hiring and retention, personal stories from veterans who have transitioned into the civilian workforce, as well as state and federal resources available to both veterans and organizations looking to employ them. MVAA created the “Veteran-Friendly Employer Program” in 2014, recognizing Michigan companies and organizations committed to attracting and retaining top veteran talent.
“Since our Heroes Work Here initiative launched in 2012, more than 5,000 former servicemen and women have become part of the Disney family and another 5,000 veterans have found careers with companies across the country as a result of our program,” said Disney Chairman and CEO Robert A. Iger. “Hiring veterans is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do, and we are pleased to share our insights to create career opportunities for our Veterans.”
“GM has been a strong supporter of the U.S. military for more than 100 years now, and our support continues today through a wide range of philanthropic, education, training and employment initiatives,” said Mary Barra, CEO, General Motors Company. “GM employs thousands of active and former military and their spouses. We are proud to serve those who have served our country, and we welcome this opportunity to partner with Disney to share, learn and encourage best practices in veteran recruitment and hiring with other companies and organizations across Michigan.”
“Veterans are a strong addition to any company because of the training and leadership they gain while in uniform,” MVAA Director Jeff Barnes said. “However, organizations looking to hire veterans often have a hard time understanding how these skills translate into the workplace and how they can best utilize veteran talent. Disney, USAA and GM have led the way in creating a blueprint for others to follow when it comes to veteran-hiring programs and employment, and MVAA is excited to bring more of these best practices to Michigan.”
The event builds on the success of Disney and USAA’s regional Veterans Institute seminar in San Antonio last August, which attracted more than 300 participants who were trained by experts from Disney’s Heroes Work Here initiative on best practices for helping veterans make a successful transition from the military to the civilian workforce.
“We saw great outcomes from the work Disney Institute did in San Antonio last year, and we’re fortunate to be a part of bringing this program to Detroit,” said Stuart Parker, CEO of USAA, which has hired more than 9,700 veterans since 2006. “Veterans are mission-oriented, disciplined and have a deep dedication to serving the community. With more than one million active-duty men and women expected to separate in the next five years, we want to share best practices to provide them a stable and successful post-military career.”
Detroit-based Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest Veterans Affairs mortgage lender and local leader in veteran hiring, is a supporting sponsor of the seminar.
For Michigan-based employers interested in launching a veteran hiring program, please register at GMprogramminghq.com/hoh, using the access code “GM”.