By Joe Kory
Senior Vice President, Aftersales
As we all know, Veterans Day, November 11, is the U.S. holiday that honors the military veterans who put their lives on the line for their country. At Navistar, we treat this day with great solemnity, particularly because hundreds of our current employees previously served in the U.S. Armed Services, including the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard.
Each year at this time, one of our employee resource groups, Military Veterans at Navistar (MVAN), honors employee veterans at a Military Appreciation Breakfast. In a normal year, we’d be gathering in person and handing out special commemorative coins to veterans who are new joiners; this year, given the pandemic, we’re conducting the event virtually.
MVAN supports these veterans by serving as a networking forum that promotes camaraderie and mentorship, while also helping them give back to the community. Its members participate in annual activities like the Chicago Ruck March, which raises funds for veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. During the event, MVAN’s members march for 20 miles while carrying military-style rucksacks.
The group also helps bring more veteran talent into Navistar by supporting the company’s efforts to recruit, support and mentor veterans. For example, the group is currently creating a new tool for Navistar’s online job page: a Military Skills Identifier that will enable veterans to highlight their capabilities when applying for positions. A future goal is to start a rotational program for veterans at the company.
Suffice it to say, this tradition of honoring military service runs deep, both at our company and in our industry. That’s why it gives me special pleasure that on this Veterans Day, we are announcing a special initiative to assist veterans who are seeking to return to civilian status.
The new Service Allies Initiative will connect military veterans with career opportunities at International® Truck and IC Bus® dealers. Among the opportunities the program offers qualified veterans are special internships with network dealerships; special credit given to military mechanics that will ease their path into roles as service technicians; and direct placement into technician jobs for those who are already fully qualified.
We are excited to have the chance to partner with our dealers to facilitate veterans’ opportunities, because it’s not only the right thing to do for our veterans; it’s also good business. As a group, veterans are well trained and highly experienced. They also have many personal qualities our dealers are looking for, including drive, responsibility and the ability to get the job done.
Besides helping qualified military veterans who are seeking work in the civilian sector, this program will also combat the trucking industry’s chronic shortage of qualified service technicians and other highly trained professionals. In addition, the program aligns with our company’s “Navistar 4.0” roadmap for strategic improvement, which includes our “Vision 2025” plans to work in close collaboration with our International Truck and IC Bus dealer network. It does this by supporting our dealers’ recruitment of highly qualified professionals who will help them drive new growth and profitability.
The trucking business is among the most military-friendly industries, and with good reason. By participating in the Service Allies Initiative, our dealers will enhance their opportunity to hire experienced professionals. They will also have the great satisfaction of supporting veterans who have served their country by offering them a new career.