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Google’s Got Your Six

We celebrated Veterans’ Day last week with parades and much-deserved thank you’s for our veterans. This outpouring of support, however, is often not reflected in the civilian workforce where veterans have trouble finding jobs. Google wants to change that.

Google believes that the best way to celebrate our veterans is by bringing them into the technology sector. Veterans have unparalleled experience, which allows them to bring unparalleled innovation. On the battlefield, servicemen and women must be resourceful, innovative and collaborative in the most extreme circumstances. Personnel must leverage complex technology in isolated and dangerous environments. These experiences have prepared them incomparably for the tech sector at home.

The week of Veteran’s Day 2013, Google and non-profit partner “Got Your Six” announced the launch of VetNet, a centralized hub for veteran career development resources, with an emphasis on securing employment in the tech sector.

According to BusinessInsider, Google’s partnership is only one step in their demonstrated commitment to hiring veterans as leaders of technology initiatives.

“At Google, we hire veterans because of the values that they hold,” said Carrie Laureno founder of the Google Veterans Network.

BusinessInsider pointed out that Google has veterans in many leadership positions at their company. “The company’s head of user operations is a former F-14 pilot, a Navy veteran takes care of green energy operations, and it’s a Marine who oversees the release and recovery of the balloons designed to provide Internet worldwide with ‘Project Loon,’” the article said.

At GovLoop, we have written extensively about the technological innovations our military deploys to improve operations. Whether the military is sent to provide assistance in a natural disaster, respond to national security threats, or destroy illegal weapon stockpiles, cutting-edge technology helps accomplish critical missions. Google is following in the footsteps of government agencies in recognizing the value of these experiences.

As GovLoop community member David Grinberg notes, “Veterans’ Preference should be embraced, not disparaged. Veterans bring unique skills and experience to the workplace that may not be found elsewhere.”

Hiring veterans is not just about thanking someone for their service; it is about finding the most talented people for the job. Google’s VetNet and Veterans Network are initiatives built on that message.

What is your agency doing to bring veterans into the technology sector?

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David B. Grinberg

Another awesome post, Kathryn. America must always honor and remember the valor of our veterans. Moreover, employers should always recognize all the positive attributes veterans bring to the workplace — and not disregard the valuable IT experience that some vets bring to the table.

Google is on the right track in this regard. What would really be cool is if OPM and Google -or GovLoop and Google — teamed up to launch a joint veterans IT hiring initiative for the public and private sectors.

Every American, including employers, owe our nation’s veterans a debt of gratitude which can never be repaid.

John Janek

Just as a plug for one of my favor IT veteran projects, the Wounded Warrior Cyber Combat Academy (http://www.w2cca.org/) is a great program that a non-profit runs up at Walter Reed for recovering vets who are looking to transition into IT Security as a field. They’ve gotten sponsorship from most of the certification bodies, and they’re doing exceptionally good work. As someone who has served in Afghanistan, albeit with the State Department, these activities should be applauded and recognized for the notable value they bring to society.