Collision repair businesses of all sizes have a potential talent pool of new employees, including those concluding their service in the U.S. military, according to a speaker at this past summer’s Collision Industry Conference in Indianapolis.
Roxann Griffith, with the U.S. Department of Labor’s employment and training services, said Texas-based Service King, which operates more than 340 shops in 24 states, has hired hundreds of veterans over four years.
Griffith encourages body shops to hire those who have served our country in any capacity by sharing tips and resources with collision repair businesses on how to hire and retain those who have exited the military.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s “Hiring Our Heroes” program, for example, offers free hiring fairs on military bases and at other locations around the country, she said.
Those looking to hire veterans should check out the advice and resources included in the free 22-page “Employer Guide to Hire Veterans” prepared by the Department of Labor, Griffith suggested. The department also offers a webpage addressing frequently-asked questions about hiring and retaining veterans.
Griffith said many veterans transition jobs several times after leaving the military before finding their niche, but tend to stay in organizations that provide training opportunities, and that showcase “a military-friendly” attitude or a “veteran culture.”
When a tornado hit near Service King’s headquarters in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in 2016, Service King touted the role that more than 100 members of it staff – including veterans – played in serving hot meals to those in the affected area. That year, it also aired a 30-second ad highlighting Jeremiah Kuehl, one of 100 veterans the company had already hired.
“He talked about feeling like he had transitioned from one family – the military – to another family,” Griffith said of the ad.
He said that Service King welcomed him, understood he had post-traumatic stress and worked around it.
“‘They found a job that was perfect for me,’” Griffith said Kuehl communicated in the ad.
“Because of that one ad, I think Service King had about 400 or 500 applications immediately, all veterans,” Griffith commented.