Where Heroes Are Hired in San Diego
Local businesses actively support veteran employment
San Diego is, for the most part, a place where veterans are widely accepted and businesses recognize the value of having them on board.
Most recently, The Honor Foundation just broke ground on a new 8,000-square-foot Sorrento Valley headquarters that will host events and programming to assist Navy SEALs and other US Special Ops with moving into the private-sector workforce.
“San Diego is a hub for veteran entrepreneurship and investment, and other cities should look to San Diego as a model of how to tap into the economic resource that veterans offer,” says Paul Rieckhoff, founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. “From veteran-run organizations like GovX to T3 to PsychArmor to the Padres, San Diego businesses understand that their military community is a huge asset.”
Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD), which provides housing and employment services, places approximately 300 veterans a year in San Diego jobs.
Claudia Castro, executive assistant to the company’s president and CEO, says the diverse list of employers that work with them include the naval shipyards, Metropolitan Transit System, Department of Veterans Affairs, Starbucks, and Home Depot. She adds that about 40 percent of the employees at VVSD are veterans themselves.
Each year, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce hands out Veterans Honor Roll Awards to local businesses that are most dedicated to hiring veterans.
According to the chamber’s website, “there are nearly 15,000 active duty based in San Diego leaving the service each year, and half of them choose to stay local—joining more than 200,000 veterans who currently call San Diego home.”
Jerry Sanders, the chamber’s president and CEO, says they are “committed to supporting San Diego’s veterans and strengthening the ties between our region’s military and business communities.” He praises the honor roll program, saying, “Regardless of company size or industry, veteran employees possess a skill set that combines leadership, responsibility, and training that often cannot be taught in the workplace and is a benefit for any business or public agency. The chamber is proud to recognize those companies who have realized this potential and are employing veterans.”
The program’s highest honor is the Vets Honor Roll Member of the Year award, which is given each year to one “Elite” member at the chamber’s Flag, General & Senior Officers Ball.
2016’s recipient was Workshops for Warriors; this year, it’s PKL Services.