Most of them are well-trained and adept at following orders, but many remain in the unemployment lines for a long time.
We salute Spectrum Health’s Veteran Explorers Program in Grand Rapids, which was launched in 2013 with a goal of putting veterans back to work.
The pilot program started with four participants. The program rotates veterans through three departments, allowing for 10 weeks in each.
LeMark Payne, director of diversity and inclusion for the Grand Rapids-based health system, said Spectrum Health hopes to eventually expand to 60 participants. He also hopes the program can serve as a pipeline for other employers looking to hire veterans, as the skills they acquire during the paid internship are not exclusive to health care.
"It’s not unique to health care, and it really becomes community-focused," Payne said. "There’s still time for other employers to become a part of the program and present employment opportunities for other veterans."
The veterans' discipline, time-management skills and attention to detail is superior, Payne said.
Veterans receive resume help and coaching on how to draw from their civilian and military experience to market themselves to potential employers. Their goal is to land interviews that lead to full-time jobs by the end of the 30-week internship.
Veterans interested in learning more about the program may email InclusionDiversity@spectrumhealt....
We encourage area employers to become part of the program and extend this kind of opportunity to our area veterans. It’s the least we can do to thank them for their service to our country.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.