Virginia Human Resources Today - Winter/Spring 2018 - 25
A Lesson in 'What Matters'
By Jeannie Alcott, Executive Director, Greater Richmond SHRM
n 2017, we seemed to be
bombarded with news about
what divides us. It was a rare
pleasure to spend a September
day focused on an issue that most
Americans can embrace - hiring
our nation's veterans. The 2017
Workforce Conference, hosted by
the Virginia Chamber Foundation
and co-sponsored by Virginia
SHRM, Richmond SHRM and IPMA
Virginia, attracted a crowd of
over 600 and boasted an all-star
speaker lineup that included the
Governor, both gubernatorial
candidates and senior executives
from major employers around the
state. With the theme, "Veterans:
Closing the Workforce Gap," panel
discussions included 'The Business
Case for Hiring Veterans' and 'The
Importance of Virginia's Workforce
Pipeline.' But, the session that
resonated most with me was the
annual Virginia Values Veterans
V3 awards ceremony. It was the
part of the agenda that really
showcased what matters.
Back in 2012, Virginia was the
first state to create an official
program, the V3 initiative,
dedicated to improving Veterans'
employment. V3 incorporates
training for employers on best
practices in recruiting, hiring,
training and retaining Veterans.
Companies earn a V3 Certification
by completing a rigorous and
extensive curriculum. Gov.
Terry McAuliffe set an initial
goal of having 11,000 Veterans
hired through the V3 program
by 2017. On July 25, 2017 it was
announced that 25,000 veterans
had been hired through V3, more
than double the original goal.
Hundreds of companies have been
V3 certified and listening to the
impressive accomplishments of the
winning companies, it was clear
that having veterans join their
workforces really mattered.
Bon Secours Virginia Health
System (BSV) was named winner
of the Phoenix Award, given to
the company that went above
and beyond to support a Veteran
employed by their company. An
early adopter of veteran hiring,
BSV has hired over 600 veterans
since 2012. Early this year, BSV
hired its first veterans through the
the only such
program in the
opportunity for employment and a
pathway to licensure and long-term
medical careers. BSV was one of
the first health systems in the state
to commit to the program and the
first hire was James Tuppince,
who served as a corpsman in the
U.S. Navy for six years. "Because of
this program, I'm able to not only
practice, but continue to practice at
the capacity I was in the military,"
said Tuppince, who now works at
the Bon Secours Training Center
medical practice. "I'm in school to
be a dietitian, and I'm here getting
that hands-on experience while I'm
In addition to the MMAC
program, the health system offers
training programs, confidential
counseling services, the Stars
& Stripes Employee Resource
Group and other resources to
veterans. "Our health system
values veterans, who have
learned teamwork, appreciation
for diversity, discipline and
adaptability from the military.
Veterans help make our health
system stronger, more nimble
and more diverse and we are
committed to hiring hundreds more
over the next few years."
I don't leave many conferences
thinking about what matters,
but I left this one knowing that
a commitment to hiring veterans
matters. For employers. For
veterans. For Virginia.
Want to get V3 certified?
Jeannie Alcott is the Executive Director
of Richmond SHRM.