Company Programs Model How to Recruit, Mentor and Ease Transition to Civilian Workforce
WASHINGTON – The lead battery industry is marking Veterans Day 2018, the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, with dual gratitude for our country’s veterans and active military: First, for their loyal service and sacrifice, and second, for the valuable skills and experience they bring to careers in lead battery manufacturing, recycling and among suppliers.
According to the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, 200,000 servicemen and women separate from active duty in the U.S. military each year. Many employers compete for the training and abilities service members bring to the workforce. But transitioning from military to civilian life can be challenging.
Kevin Moran knows this firsthand. He is executive vice president of Battery Council International (BCI) and a former sergeant in the U.S. Army. Moran said his industry is committed to easing that transition.
“The lead battery industry places a priority on hiring, mentoring and retaining those who have sacrificed to preserve our freedoms,” Moran said. “While in uniform, lead batteries supported service members in many ways, including land, air and sea transportation. It’s only right, that we continue to honor and support them in civilian life.”
How BCI Supports Military Employees
BCI member companies participate in dozens of programs to help service members transition to the private workforce, including Heroes Make America, Veterans Jobs Mission, Allies in Service and more. Here are additional examples.
East Penn Manufacturing: Founded by Air Force Veteran
East Penn Manufacturing operates the largest single-site, lead battery manufacturing facility in the world. It is unrecognizable from its humble launch in 1946 by a young Air Force veteran. Today, East Penn continues to hire veterans like its founder. Consistently ranked as a best place to work, East Penn received the Above and Beyond Award for Support of the Military through the Department of Defense. The award recognizes employers who support members of the active reserves while they serve and still maintain civilian employment. “East Penn has supported my military career for about 25 years,” says Barry Frain assistant plant manager. “When I was deployed, East Penn continued to contribute to and maintain health insurance for me and my family. Normally, you would switch to military insurance during deployment, but East Penn’s philosophy is that when you are deployed, they don’t want you worried about what’s happening at home, but instead to focus on where you are. Leadership also checked in with my family while I was gone. It’s a support network that’s tremendous.”
Frain noted that as his responsibilities and rank within the military grew, East Penn supported additional time off to serve beyond the customary two weeks. Frain pointed out that these high levels of support are companywide and not just for him. Last year Frain retired from the U.S. Marine Corps after serving for 30 years, including the first Gulf War, several tours of duty in Iraq and U.S. posts for homeland security.
Johnson Controls: Seeking Veteran Work Ethic
Johnson Controls, a global technology company and battery manufacturer, employs a former military recruiter to recruit servicemen and women for careers. Ray Cuttino who leads this talent acquisition effort for the Milwaukee-based company says military training provides the foundation for an excellent employee.
“The number one reason in my mind for recruiting military is the work ethic; the ability to show up every day and give 100 percent.” In addition to the employees’ mission mindset, Cuttino added, “Their leadership ability, flexibility and drive to get things done fits well within our culture.” The company partners with more than a dozen organizations committed to the military community and has also formed Veterans Resources Groups at several locations to provide support for their employees.
Exide Technologies: Intentionally Recruiting Veterans
Exide, a worldwide leader in electrical storage solutions, is one of 22 U.S. manufacturing companies recognized as Military Friendly®. That means it has met (and exceeded) a standard that measures an organization’s commitment, effort and success in creating sustainable and meaningful benefit for the military community. In addition to employment opportunities, Exide provides philanthropic support to local veterans in a partnership with Green Veterans. Earlier this year Georgia State Senator John Albers commended Exide for donating iPads to veterans.
Interstate Batteries: Hiring Veterans is Part of “Values Mission” Hiring Initiative
Hiring veterans is a natural extension of Interstate Batteries’ purpose and values, said Chris Montoya, corporate recruiter. “We want to enrich lives as we deliver the most trustworthy source of power to the world.” He said it’s a cornerstone for the company’s Values Mission Hiring Initiative that provides potential career opportunities to active military, veterans and military spouses. In June, Interstate was honored by the Department of Labor for its leadership in veteran outreach. Interstate also partners with many military-focused service organizations like Allies in Service, Folded Flag, Hiring Our Heroes and the Bush Foundation.
Hammond Group, Inc.: Supporting Veteran Appreciation Day
This year, the company is a corporate sponsor of Hammond, Indiana’s 5th Annual Veteran Appreciation Day to honor veterans and active military personnel. The company’s contribution will help support the popular local parade that features antique military vehicles, honor guards and a flyover by the entertaining Lima Lima Flight Team. Stephanie Smith, corporate marketing coordinator, noted that, “As a member of this community for nearly 100 years, we are active in a number of civic programs. But it’s a point of pride to recognize of our country’s veterans.”
For More Information
Battery Council International is the North American trade association representing lead based-battery manufacturers, suppliers, recyclers, and distribution companies – a total of approximately 250 companies and 20,000 employees. For more information on the association, visit batterycouncil.org.
Essential Energy Everyday exists to increase awareness of the critical importance of lead batteries in powering our daily lives. It encourages continued investment in sustainable lead battery technology to store and provide energy on demand. Its initiative is supported by the two global trade associations that represent the lead battery and lead industries, Battery Council International and the International Lead Association.
CONTACT: Lisa Dry