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Watch Virginia Tech veterans panel discussion

From: Office for Equity and Accessibility and Human Resources

An esteemed panel of talent acquisition and labor experts recently shared veteran workforce insights during a discussion hosted by the Virginia Tech Office for Equity and Accessibility Affirmative Action and Human Resources Talent teams.

In case you missed the live event, the event recording is available on demand.

Virginia Tech Director of Affirmative Action Renée Byrd moderated the panel, which featured:

  • Rob Arndt, CEO and founder of BufferSprings, a certified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business offering talent acquisition solutions, and veteran of the United States Marine Corps.
  • Chris Long, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, director of HR at Integrated Computer Solutions and veteran of the United States Air Force.
  • Enrique Noyola, recruiter for the Virginia Tech talent acquisition team and veteran of the Texas Army National Guard.
  • Edward Rogers, district director for the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs for the Mid-Atlantic region.

The discussion topics ranged from the hurdles veterans face when entering the civilian workforce to the best practices for recruiting veterans.

“[One of] the biggest gaps that I see out there for transitioning service members, veterans, and even military spouses during their career navigation process is . . . a skills translation gap, both hard skills and soft skills,” said Arndt.

Panelists also noted state and university efforts to attract and retain qualified veterans, including the Virginia Values Veterans (V3 Program), affinity groups, and corporate partnerships.

“We really have to put our thinking caps on and take a bit more of an offensive approach if we want to get these qualified veteran candidates,” Noyola said. “As a V3 certified employer for the State of Virginia, we go to different workshops. We hold virtual job fairs. We're going to start doing more military installation base recruiting and also promoting the benefits of working at a state agency while using your GI Bill.”

Virginia Tech Emergency Coordinator and United States Army veteran Elvis Rosario presented for the Veterans Caucus. Fellow Army veteran Jessica Pharis, HR program coordinator, provided technical support.

Watch the full veterans panel discussion below.

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