58°F
weather icon Clear

Broadcasters address ways to hire veterans

The National Association of Broadcasters recently held its annual convention in Las Vegas. As part of the event, the trade group sponsored a seminar to advise employers about the value of hiring veterans. The audience included many veterans as well as employers. Employers said they were eager to hire qualified candidates who had military backgrounds.

The keynote speaker was retired Army Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, who told the group that, “There’s a set of values in the military that one does not find in a lot of civilian life.” He stressed what he said was a fact that most veterans who take civilian positions are loyal employees who know how to follow instructions and see a job through to the end.

Of special interest in his presentation was his statement that he has been working with select members of Congress to make a major change in the current G.I. Bill.

Although many former servicemen and women use their benefits for education, he would like Washington to allow the money to be used instead by veterans to start businesses. He said that post-World War II, 49 percent of veterans started their own businesses, and “many are still around today.” But he reported that today, less than 69 percent of veterans start their own enterprises.

He wants to “re-engineer” the G.I. Bill so that in place of education, qualified veterans can use the available funds to begin their own companies. Although there are no Nevada legislators involved at this time, he named several leaders he is working with to make the change happen, including congressmen and senators. Two of the most prominent are Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., (Graham served on active duty and is a colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserves); and Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas. Flynn said he expects Congress to approve the change.

Another speaker was Tony Forbes, director for outreach and engagements for the Nevada Department of Veterans Services. He told the group about the local PBS station’s program that helps transition veterans to civilian life. He also suggested that employers ask themselves two questions about their companies: Are you veteran- friendly? And are you veteran- ready? He said some firms initially assign individuals to work with recently hired veterans in their organizations.

During the question and answer portion, audience member Bill Deutch of Linear Media Inc. reported that he produces a syndicated television program entitled “Hiring America,” which he described as a show dedicated to finding jobs for veterans. Currently in 80 markets and on the Armed Forces Network, it has yet to find a home in Nevada, but Deutch said he has been contacting local stations in hopes of being on the air here.

Separately, the Department of Veterans Affairs reports there are 22 million U.S. veterans, including 2 million female veterans. Both Flynn and Deutch were asked if there are outreach programs for older veterans who often find it difficult to compete against younger counterparts. They both said that their various efforts include veterans of all ages. A National Association of Broadcasters spokesman pointed out that veterans (and others) seeking careers in broadcasting should start by going to the organization’s website, broadcastcareerlink.com.

Military Day

In March, the Nevada Legislature hosted Veterans and Military Day in its chambers in Carson City. Several hundred veterans and several dozen active-duty personnel were on hand to speak with their respective senators and assemblymen, as well as to hear an address by Gov. Brian Sandoval and witness him signing a bill into law.

Katherine Miller, director of the Nevada Department of Veteran Services, was the mistress of ceremonies during the outdoor portion of the event, held in front of the Veterans Wall on the state’s government grounds.

Gov. Sandoval said, “Veterans and Military Day is a solemn day.” He added that he wanted Nevada to be “the most military- and veterans-friendly state in the nation.”

Along those lines he reported that the start of construction of a state veterans home in Northern Nevada is close to becoming a reality. Regarding Southern Nevada, he noted that groundbreaking for the veterans memorial in Las Vegas will be held Nov. 11 (Veterans Day) and the memorial is scheduled open on Memorial Day in 2016. The project will be set on the grounds of the Grant Sawyer Building, not far from downtown. Once set in place, it will be donated to the state.

At the end of the ceremony, Sandoval signed a law extending the length of time from two to five years for veterans with honorable discharges to receive tuition waivers from a Nevada higher-education school.

“The new law is another step toward continuing my goal” of making Nevada the most hospitable veterans state in the nation, he said. Additional pieces of legislation affecting Nevada’s veterans are currently in various committees and are expected to be voted on soon. Asked if he felt they would pass, he said, “I’m very confident.” When asked if the financing for the new programs was already in the budget, he said “If we don’t have the money, we’ll get it.”

Journalist and author Chuck N. Baker is an Army veteran of the Vietnam War and a recipient of the Purple Heart. He can be heard each Thursday from 8-9 p.m. on “The Veterans Reporter Radio Show” on KLAV 1230 AM.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Veteran uses talents to help other veterans

Robert Serge served in the United States Navy for 20 months as part of an ordnance laboratory test facility. As he puts it, “We designed harbor mines and stuff like that.”

Holistic treatments help many veterans

Last year in one of my columns, I briefly discussed holistic medicine and efforts that the Department of Veterans Affairs had been taking to include such treatments in its care of veterans. Since then, the VA has made some additional efforts to include nontraditional treatments.

Gallery helps veterans explore their feelings through art

Artist and businesswoman Chris Frausto used to reside in Boulder City and owned an art gallery here. It was located on a corner, so it was not considered unusual when she named it the Corner Gallery.

Burns’ Vietnam documentary explores ‘truths’ about war

The Vietnam War. The conflict is burned into the minds of millions of Americans — those who fought in it, civilians who lived through the 1960s, historians, journalists, photographers and filmmakers.

Vets’ families find compassion at home away from home

When veterans and active-duty military personnel need help, it’s very common for other veterans and service people to step up to lend their collective hands. Providing assistance to their fellow brothers and sisters is ingrained in the hearts and minds of America’s military culture.

Ex-Tunnel Rat appreciates ‘penthouse’ lifestyle

Boulder City is currently the home of a veteran whose name is “Fearless.” When someone’s name is “Fearless” it could either be a satirical reference, or it could mean that it’s someone who is in reality a very tough individual. In the case of Fearless Fredy King, it’s the latter definition.

USO helps military as they travel, return to civilian life

The general public knows the combination of letters “USO.” Many even know the type of work the USO is involved in. But if one were to ask those individuals what the letters stand for, and where the organization is located in Southern Nevada, the answer might just involve a blank stare unless the person being questioned is involved with the local military or veterans community.

Teacher’s brush with fame included astronaut

Veteran John Glenn was known by most Americans and indeed was internationally famous. Most Americans also know that Glenn died in December at age 95.

Honor Flight offers awe-inspiring experience

Many individuals, especially those who follow issues concerning veterans, have more than likely heard of the Honor Flight Network. The mission of the group is to honor select veterans, especially those who served in World War II, by taking them on all-expense-paid excursions to Washington, D.C., to visit military memorials.

Nevada celebrates veterans’ achievements

Southern Nevada resident and former Army Sgt. Richard “Dick” L. Moyer was presented with a Bronze Star Medal with a “V” for valor this month for his heroic efforts during the Vietnam War.