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DWD encourages employers to become "vets ready"

March 16, 2021

veteran at job interview

Every year, the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) recognizes businesses that have shown a deep commitment to reaching and supporting Wisconsin's veteran workforce. The Vets Ready Employer Initiative encourages employers to build support systems within their workplaces, hire and retain more veterans, and connect to veterans in the community and their families.

"Veterans gain incredible leadership skills. They are disciplined, safety focused, respond well under pressure, and embody qualities such as sense of urgency, and integrity," says Tom Metcalfe, President of We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service, WEC Energy Group’s two Wisconsin utilities.

WEC Energy Group is a 2020 winner of DWD's Vets Ready Award, along with five other businesses from across Wisconsin.

"Of course, we hope (this recognition) will promote our company as an employer of choice for other veterans, or active military members who may be considering a career in the energy industry," Metcalfe says. "But more importantly, it's an acknowledgement to our current employees that our efforts to recognize and support those who have served have made a difference."

Vets Ready Award winners must have resources available for veterans that offer the chance for employee engagement, growth, and training. Vets Ready employers often offer veteran-specific employee onboarding programs and retention efforts, on-the-job training, and resource groups were veterans can share experiences.

"Receiving Vets Ready certification means that we take the development and success of our veterans seriously," says Co Nguyen, Vice President and General Manager of the Rockwell Automation, another 2020 Vets Ready Award winner. "We are proud of the many programs we have in place to support veterans such as The Academy of Advanced Manufacturing, an intensive 12-week training program that we launched in 2017 in partnership with The Manpower Group."

DWD partners with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Wisconsin Department of Disabled American Veterans, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, and the Veterans Chamber of Commerce on the Vets Ready Employer Initiative. Applications are currently being accepted for 2021. Find out more on the Job Center of Wisconsin website.

2020 Vets Ready winners

  • 4imprint – Gold Level
  • Associated Bank – Gold Level
  • TDS Telecom – Gold Level
  • WEC Energy Group – Gold Level
  • Xcel Energy – Gold Level
  • Rockwell Automation – Silver Level