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Virginia Secretary of Veterans Affairs & Homeland Security Terrie Suit, Northern Virginia Community College President Dr. Robert Templin Address NVTC Board

Virginia Secretary of Veterans Affairs & Homeland Security Terrie Suit joined the NVTC Board of Directors on Tuesday, Sept. 11, at LMI in McLean to discuss Virginia’s efforts to help military veterans gain private sector employment.

Suit explained that while the Virginia unemployment rate is 5.6 percent, the unemployment rate among Virginia veterans is 10.65 percent and among veterans age 20-24 it is 30 percent. She added that veterans come out of active duty with a skillset that enables them to perform well at specific jobs, but they often have difficulty translating those skills from the military into the civilian job market, and the private sector struggles to understand military ratings, designations or specializations. To combat this problem, the Commonwealth has developed the Virginia Values Veterans (V3) Initiative, which offers interested Virginia companies assessments and customized training to assist them in successfully recruiting and retaining veterans. Suit encourages companies to contact the Virginia Department of Veterans Services to learn more about the V3 Initiative and become a V3 certified employer.

(L-R) NVTC Vice Chair Sudhakar Kesavan of ICF International, NVTC President and CEO Bobbie Kilberg, NVTC Chair Brad Antle of Salient Federal Solutions and Virginia Secretary of Veterans Affairs & Homeland Security Terrie Suit at the Sept. 11 meeting.
(L-R) NVTC Vice Chair Sudhakar Kesavan of ICF International, NVTC President and CEO Bobbie Kilberg, NVTC Chair Brad Antle of Salient Federal Solutions and Virginia Secretary of Veterans Affairs & Homeland Security Terrie Suit at the Sept. 11 meeting.

During a question and answer session, NVTC Board Member Steve Cooker, executive vice president, Monster Government Solutions of Monster.com, shared that the company released a Veterans Talent Index report (located on NVTC’s Industry Reports page) addressing these concerns, with insights and analysis from veteran professionals, recruiters and hiring managers, as well as a military skills translator. Board members were also encouraged to engage their human resources departments in discussions about how best to match veteran applicants to open positions. Suit encouraged NVTC member companies to consider veterans for internship positions that will help them more quickly adapt their skills to a business setting.

NVTC Board Member Bob Templin of Northern Virginia Community College addressed Board members about SySTEMic Solutions.
NVTC Board Member Bob Templin of Northern Virginia Community College addressed Board members about SySTEMic Solutions.

Also during the Board meeting, NVTC Board Member Bob Templin, president of Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), presented information on NOVA’s SySTEMic Solutions, a collaborative effort with a number of the region’s technology companies to increase the supply of front-line workers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields by working with school students and adults from low-income, minority and immigrant families. Piloted with a half-dozen technology companies in Prince William County and Manassas, including NVTC member companies Micron, Lockheed Martin, CSC and BAE Systems, SySTEMic Solutions currently serves more than 1,000 students with plans to scale the initiative throughout Northern Virginia over the next three years. Dr. Templin urged companies interested in sponsoring the program or providing mentoring or internships to participating students to contact him.