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Veteran’s Employment Opportunities Abound

Good times are here again for all veterans seeking employment opportunities. This year is off to a roaring start with the unemployment rate standing at an astounding 5%. Economists consider an unemployment rate of 5% to be full employment after factoring out seasonal and structural unemployment. In addition, a look at the monthly jobs report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that we are adding in excess of 225,000 jobs each month. It does not get much better than that!

Puzzle pieces concept for employment within the United States of America.

Reinforcing the promise of employment are the statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau about the steady flow of legal immigrants into the United States, which at last count numbered one million per year. They are coming to the USA for one reason, jobs.

What kinds of jobs are available? The short answer is everything from entry-level positions to jobs in senior management. Airlines are seeking entry-level customer services reps and reservationists. Big Box retailers, like Walmart are seeking experienced truck drivers at a starting salary of about $75,000 plus excellent benefits. Investment companies like BlackRock, an asset management firm, have postings on their career pages for a variety of finance related positions. Posted jobs include Web Infrastructure Engineers. A quick look a Craig’s List reveals a wide variety of local jobs. And, there are numerous federal government jobs available, which you can find on this website. There is no reason why any veteran should be out of work in these good times.

Companies in most industries, particular those considered “military friendly companies” are seeking veterans to fill many jobs cutting across all functional lines throughout the entire United States. Who are these companies? What opportunities are they offering? Let’s consider companies in just three industries; food, shelter, and defense.

The Food Industry

All people need food to survive regardless of the economic cycle. This robust industry includes companies like Walmart, Acme, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Costco, McDonalds and Chipotle. They are always seeking employees for a variety of jobs across the USA. We are not talking about the stereotypical “store floor” jobs like shelf stockers, but behind the scene jobs like sales reps, marketing managers, and human resources managers. You never see these people on the store floor. For example, I just reviewed the Career pages for one of our favorite military friendly employers, Costco. I found jobs not only at hundreds of store locations, but also at the home office in Issaquah Washington, and at many regional offices scattered throughout the country. The jobs spanned every imaginable occupation from Pharmacist to Customer Service Representative to Lawyer and Accountant. Costco is a community conscious employer, noted for treating its employees with dignity and respect. When you are on the Costco website, go to the Jobs page and click on “Costco and Veterans. And, when you are in a Costco store check out the hot dogs at their food counter. For a buck-fifty, you get a huge hot dog and a 16 oz. soft drink. That’s the reason why Costco sells in excess of 150 million hot dogs each year. Costco operates its own hot dog manufacturing facility because no one supplier could produce that many in any one year. It’s the same for rotisserie chickens; 150 million sold each year. This smooth marketing giant is looking for job candidates with a long-term career horizon.

The Shelter Industry

This industry includes everything from residential and commercial construction to the manufacture and sale of products found in the finished buildings, like doorknobs, windows, floor tile, and appliances. Some of the companies in this flourishing industry are the upscale homebuilder, Toll Brothers, and home goods retailers like Lowes and Home Depot. Residential and commercial building is booming and this industry offers hands-on jobs in the construction trades for carpenters plumbers, painters and electricians, structural steel workers, and many others. In addition, there are jobs in corporate infrastructure for supply chain managers, information technology managers and human resources directors.

One of our favorites is Home Depot, a military friendly company. I reviewed their website and found many excellent job opportunities. Some of them are: Sales Consultant, Roanoke VA; Installation Services Manager, Raleigh NC; IT Developer, Atlanta GA; and Security Officer, Tempe AZ. Go to their website for more job listings and be sure to read what Home Depot does for veterans.

The Defense Industry

Companies in this huge industry are constantly seeking veterans for a variety of technical and non-technical positions. Military friendly leaders in Defense are: General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney, and Raytheon. GE, one of our all-time favorites, is moving its corporate headquarters from Connecticut to Boston and that move alone will create hundreds, if not thousands of new jobs for veterans in the Bay State.

A favorite in this sector is Pratt & Whitney. Air force veterans will know why. Pratt has a very successful record of obtaining government contracts for all types of military aircraft and aircraft components. Their latest win from the Department of Defense was a $1.4 billion contract for F135 aircraft engines. To meet the completion deadline, Pratt will hire thousands of new employees to fill a wide range of technical and non-technical jobs. The company values the discipline and skills veterans have, and actively recruits candidates with military experience.

On Tuesday, April 12, 2016, Pratt & Whitney released the following statement on their webpage: F-35 Joint Program Office Awards Pratt & Whitney LRIP 9 Contract for F135 Engines. Go to the website for more information about this contract and remember to look for job openings. You will find them listed under United Technologies, Pratt’s parent company, Under Careers, look for U.S.Military and note what they have to say about veterans. They even provide a Military Skills Translator to help veterans translate their military skills into civilian terms. You will find a wide array of job opportunities that include the following: Financial Planning Analyst, Hartford, Ct; MBA Intern, Rockford, IL; F135 OT&E Field Service Representative, Edwards Air Force Base, CA; and, Server and Storage Specialist, Rockford, IL.

Moving Forward

In our June article, we will focus on the process of job-hunting for veterans. It is more than just crafting a dynamite resume. Also, we will list more of our favorite industries, and companies in those industries offering jobs for veterans. Stay tuned!


This is a very robust job market. All veterans will find well-paying and meaningful jobs if they follow the guidelines for civilian job hunting. You can find them in my book, OPERATION JOB SEARCH, A Guide for Military Veterans Transitioning to Civilian Careers. It is available in paperback and eBook from Amazon, B&N and Skyhorse Publishing Inc.

Veteran’s Resources

Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Department of Labor, c 2016, JIST Publishing Co.

This helpful resource lists thousands jobs by industry. It describes each job, the required qualifications, the approximate salary, and the number of anticipated job openings for the next five years. It is available in paperback and eBook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Jist Publishing.

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The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

About The Author

John Henry Weiss is the author of OPERATION JOB SEARCH, A Guide for Military Veterans Transitioning to Civilian Careers. He is the founder and owner of Weiss & Associates, a nationwide executive search firm targeting the education and communication industries. His recruiting activities focus on securing candidates, both veterans and non-veterans, for positions in sales, marketing, finance, and technology. John began his career as a teacher in Chicago after graduating from De Paul University with degrees in Sociology, Education and English. Subsequent work experience included corporate positions in sales, marketing, product development and editorial with major education and technology companies such as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Apple Computer.