COLUMBIA, S.C. – Three South Carolina employers were recently recognized as Palmetto Military Employers (PME) for their ongoing commitment to hire and retain military employees during a ceremony held Oct. 22 at the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce auditorium in Columbia, S.C. Those employers were Savannah River Remediation, Verizon Wireless and CB&I.
Operation Palmetto Employment (OPE), South Carolina’s statewide military employment initiative, offers employers a chance to become certified as a PME. Details on the credentialing process were presented to a group of employers, along with informative briefings on the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), Veterans on the Job training, VetSuccess on Campus, and workforce development through readySC and Apprenticeship Carolina.
“This credentialing piece adds some teeth to our program and provides the metrics and data needed to grow and sustain it,” said Paul Prince, member of the OPE credentialing committee and the volunteer management director for the S.C. Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). “We look forward to connecting with employers statewide who want to hire veterans and service members, not necessarily because they served, but because they bring a wealth of knowledge, leadership experience and highly transferrable technical skills to the civilian workforce.”
Representing their employers at the ceremony were Mike Rolfe, project staffing supervisor for the V-C Summer Project at CB&I, Charles Kearse and Kevin Owens, talent coordinators for Verizon Wireless, and Mark Schmitz and Scott Brown, veteran’s liaison members from Savannah River Remediation.
About 10 percent of our workforce, 196 veterans, are a part of our team,” said Schmitz. “I’m proud SRR has helped set the bar in hiring those who have faithfully and bravely protected our nation. We will continue to find ways to tap this important talent pool.”
Verizon Wireless alone has hired 112 service members in 2014 in South Carolina, CB&I has hired 112 service members, and CB&I employs over 900 service members and veterans at five different project sites in South Carolina.
“We are grateful for the support of these employers who appreciate the training and work ethic of our veterans,” said Maj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston, Jr., The Adjutant General for S.C. “These job opportunities speak to team South Carolina’s efforts to recognize the invaluable skill sets of military members and their tremendous sacrifices over the years.”
To find OPE resources or representatives, visit www.OperationPalmettoEmployment@sc.gov