Celebrating Veterans in the Service Sector
This November, Path Forward is recognizing our veterans and the opportunities they find in the service sector to enter the workforce after returning home. In addition to confidence, decisiveness and leadership, veterans bring in-demand skills and a strong work ethic to the job every day. Information technology, logistics, marketing, financial analysis and management are a few of the many existing skills veterans can build upon in restaurant and retail jobs to grow, succeed and lead.
Veteran Leadership in Restaurant and Retail:
- A Bureau of Labor Statistics survey cites retail as one of the top four industries that employs veterans.
- According to U.S. Census data, veterans are majority owners of nearly 34,000 restaurant businesses. National Restaurant Association research reports that some 250,000 veterans work in the restaurant industry, with 19 percent in management positions and 14 percent working as supervisors.
- The National Retail Federation Foundation’s Veterans Resources page provides helpful information for veteran-job seekers and current members of the armed forces to learn more about retail industry offerings. The NRF Foundation’s Retailer Resources page educates organizations about why veterans make retail businesses stronger and offers tips on how to hire and recruit veterans.
- The National Restaurant Association Education Foundation (NRAEF) supports servicemen and women, veterans and their spouses by providing training and promoting restaurant career opportunities. The NRAEF also hosts the annual Armed Forces Forum for Culinary Excellence to bring together outstanding servicemen and women for hands-on cooking activities, interactive seminars and mentoring and career-coaching sessions.
An REI Career Story: As director of operations at REI’s distribution center in Washington State, Tom Sydnor relies on many of the skills he learned in the military: leadership, accountability and self-motivation. Whether the focus is supply chain infrastructure, technology, loss prevention or management, a career in retail can offer veterans boundless opportunities.
A Bakery’s Mission to Help Veterans: The Dog Tag Bakery in Washington, DC was started by Dog Tag Inc. , an organization that helps put veterans with service-related disabilities back into the workforce. According to a PBS News story, “The five-month training program gives veterans, who might otherwise be unemployable, real world experience and the chance to learn a trade at Dog Tag Bakery in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C.” Like many others who learn new skill throughs restaurant and retail jobs, “The veterans and other program participants learn how to run a small business, including managing a staff, marketing the products and producing the baked goods.