Vets finding jobs in health care industry
Published: February 2, 2012
WASHINGTON — Health care companies have become the latest bit of good news for veterans looking for work, even those without any formal medical background, according to employment advocates.
Brad Cooper, executive director of the White House’s Joining Forces effort, said last month that about 30,000 veterans and military spouses have been hired through their industry partnerships. Health care firms have been a surprise entry in those totals, ranking at the top among better-known veteran-friendly industries such as transportation and information technology.
But industry officials say that shouldn’t be a shock, since health care has been one of the few bright spots in the economy in recent years. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics figures, industry firms added roughly 315,000 jobs in 2011, many of those in hospitals and long-term care facilities.
Joe DeMattos Jr., president of the Health Facilities Association of Maryland, said part of the interest in veterans in the industry is the skill sets they’ve developed in the military. For direct-care jobs, like nurses and doctors, the overlap is obvious, but logistics and supply management specialists are just as critical for hospitals and nursing homes.
“You’re looking at transferable skills with pharmacy orders and supply orders, coordination and movement of patients at all types of facilities,” he said. “Plus, veterans are used to working in high-pressure situations and working as part of a team.”
Industry jobs also include security positions and facility management posts at hospitals and long-term care homes, both specialties where veterans are targeted by many companies.
DeMattos said his association recently partnered with the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs in their employment efforts, and has been working to highlight the skills and reliability of veteran employees to its members. A list of the companies that have signed on is available at www.hfam.org.
For more veterans employment stories, visit our Get Hired section.
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