Indiana Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch and INvets recently announced the next-generation website – [INvets.org] – will now connect veterans directly with Hoosier companies. The upgraded website comes as Americans begin to re-enter the workforce and businesses resume operations after closure and reduced production due to COVID-19. The website not only helps to attract out-of-state veterans to Indiana but is uniquely positioned to help Hoosier veterans find their way back to work.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of service members leave the military, with nearly half facing some period of unemployment. As the nation and State of Indiana continue re-opening, the national veteran unemployment rate stands at about 9 percent (as of May 2020), down from 11.8 percent in April, which was the highest unemployment rate for veterans since 2010. Meanwhile, there are more than 100,000 in-demand jobs available throughout Indiana.
“If we are truly committed to a legacy of excellence in our state, we must be committed to elevating all residents to the Next Level – and that includes our veteran heroes,” said Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch. “There are thousands of unfilled jobs in Indiana right now, and programs like INvets will help us connect employers to skilled veterans who know how to get the job done.”
The centerpiece of the INvets program is a free interactive website for veterans that includes the most current information about job opportunities available in healthcare, logistics, manufacturing and tech and other high-demand industries. More than a simple job board, INvets provides veterans details about the skills required for employment at each company and for each job, with links to education and training partners that offer the skills training, credentials or degrees needed. The website also provides information about communities across Indiana so veterans can explore all that Indiana has to offer.
“As a veteran myself, I know the challenges veterans face when they leave the military and transition to civilian life. For veterans to identify their next career path isn’t always easy, and matching their talents and interests with available jobs can be even more difficult,” said Wes Wood, executive director of INvets and an Army veteran. “I want to help veterans find their passion, a good-paying job and experience everything our great state has to offer. That’s what drew me to work with partners in industry and the public sector to develop INvets, which is unique in its mission to attract veterans to Indiana and help them identify career paths and the skills and education needed to succeed in a rewarding career here in Indiana.”
The INvets program is supported by funding from the State of Indiana and complements a host of veteran-focused State programs, including housing, education, and training assistance. In addition, the State of Indiana exempts military retirement pay from state income tax through a phased-out approach over four years.
Since the launch of INvets as a pilot three years ago, more than 150 participating companies have signed up to view veteran candidates and more than 1,000 veterans have participated. With the new website, employers now have the ability to create veteran-facing profiles that provide information about their companies, career paths and open positions. All Indiana companies are encouraged to sign up, create a company profile and gain unlimited access to the website’s database of candidates to easily match qualified talent with job opportunities. All companies can participate free of charge.
INvets was made possible by initial funding from industry partners Allison Transmission, Faurecia, Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, Subaru of Indiana Automotive and Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Indiana, and with funding from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.
To sign up for the INvets program, visit [www.INvets.org]. Once veterans complete their profile online, their information is directed to participating companies. Companies that sign up for INvets have free access to upload company information, job opportunities and to review veteran profiles.
INvets in action
Sarah DeLong and her husband, Kyle Klein, both military veterans, were able to move from Illinois to Indiana, buy a home and start new civilian careers with an Indianapolis medical supply manufacturer thanks to the INvets program.
After completing her profile on the INvets website, Sarah received an email – directly from the company president – for an interview. When she mentioned her husband also was seeking a career change, the company president interviewed him. The two veterans now work at the same medical supply manufacturer, she as a material production coordinator and he as a machinist. They also received assistance through the Honor Our Vets program with moving expenses and home ownership.
“My entire life has changed for the better because of INvets,” Sarah said. “I learned, too, that the skills and training we received in the military were very much in demand by employers.”