Reasons abound to hire a vet

Michael Smith

There are many good reasons Mesa County employers should consider hiring military veterans — from the skills they bring to their duties to the leadership and integrity they bring to the workplace.

Here’s my list of the top 10 reasons to hire a vet:

Accelerated learning curve. Vets have the proven ability to learn new skills and concepts.

Leadership. The military trains people to lead by example, to delegate, motivate and inspire.

Teamwork. Veterans understand the value of teamwork.

Diversity and inclusion in action. Veterans know how to work side by side with all individuals in the workforce.

Performance under pressure. Veterans understand the rigors of tight schedules and limited resources.

Respect for procedures. Veterans have a unique perspective on the value of accountability.

Technology and globalization. Veterans are aware of the international and technical trends pertinent to business and industry.

Integrity. Veterans know what it means to put in an honest’s day work.

Triumph over adversity. Veterans have proven their mettle in mission-critical situations demanding endurance, stamina and flexibility.

Finally, if veterans are hired in our community, it helps prevents homelessness and gives them a sense of pride. Veterans have a hard time asking for help. Hiring veterans prevents them from having to apply for public assistance. Veterans age 18 to 24 years old face additional barriers because all many of them know is a military lifestyle. Hiring a veteran in that age group gives them a sense of purpose and a focus. It also keeps our veterans in our community.

Fortunately, help is available to veterans and eligible spouses to find meaningful employment and training opportunities and to connect them with businesses and training providers in Western Colorado.

The Jobs for Veterans State Grant program provides federal funding, through a formula grant, to 54 state workforce agencies to hire dedicated staff to provide individualized career and training-related services to veterans and other eligible people.

I work for the Colorado Department of Labor Employment under the grant program as a state consolidated veteran services representative.

Consolidated veteran services representatives provide individualized career services to veterans with significant barriers to employment, with the maximum emphasis directed toward serving veterans who are economically or educationally disadvantaged. Veterans with barriers include homeless vets and vocational rehabilitation clients.

In addition, I conduct outreach to employers and business associations and engage in advocacy efforts with hiring executives to increase employment opportunities for all veterans and encourage the hiring of disabled veterans.

I work out of the Mesa County Workforce Center located at 512 29 1/2 Road in Grand Junction. For more information or an appointment, call me at (970) 248-7560.

Michael Smith works as a consolidated veteran services representative for Mesa County. He brings to his duties experience as an employment specialist at the Mesa County Workforce Center in Grand Junction and workforce development specialist at the Pikes Peak Workforce Center in Colorado Springs. He served in the Army as a combat engineer stationed in Colorado and Korea. His column was provided by the Western Colorado Human Resource Association. For additional information, visit the website at