In honor of Veterans Day, we wanted to take a moment to highlight the Department of Commerce’s commitment to hiring veterans. In Fiscal Year 2013, 13.2 percent of new Commerce hires were veterans and 3.6 percent were disabled veterans, the highest numbers of veterans the Department has employed in over 20 years.
The Department of Commerce (DOC) Veteran Employment Council, made up of volunteer human resources (HR) specialists, advisors, and program managers, plays a major role in hiring and retaining veterans and works with the individuals once they come on board.
“Here at Commerce, we take hiring veterans very seriously,” said Kevin Mahoney, Commerce’s Chief Human Capital Officer and Director, Office of Human Resources Management. “I would like to thank the DOC Veteran Employment Council for their hard work throughout the year, and we look forward to seeing even higher numbers next year.”
This year, the Department of Commerce trained over 3,100 hiring managers and human resources specialists on veterans’ preference and special appointing authorities for veterans and disabled veterans. Top performing agencies in the Department of Commerce for veteran hiring include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at 31.8 percent, the Office of the Secretary (OS) at 20 percent, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) at 16.2 percent and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) at 13.2 percent.
The DOC Veteran Employment Council is led by former United States Coast Guard officer Sean Lenahan, and has representatives from every major HR office at Commerce. The additional Council members, several of whom are also veterans, are: Charles Clark and Anthony Gales from the Census Bureau; Jennifer Croft from NOAA; Kristen Gilbert from NIST; Sharon Gibson from the USPTO; and Kimberly Trimble, Susan Kreft and Stefan Semeniuk from OS.
Commerce’s Office of Human Resources Accountability (OHRA) [ 1] [SL2] conducted an assessment of the Council’s veteran employment program [ 3] [SL4] in early 2013 and put together[ 5] [SL6] recommendations and improvements that helped guide the program to the record levels seen today. OHRA found DOC’s veteran employment program to be very effective, with members passionate about promoting hiring opportunities for veterans. The Council works collaboratively with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Office of Personnel Management to achieve ambitious goals and continues to set the bar high within the Federal government.
In honor of Veterans Day, a ceremony was held on November 5 at NIST Headquarters in Gaithersburg, MD. Mike Herman, Executive Officer for Administration and a retired officer from the U.S. Navy, stressed the importance of honoring the service and sacrifices of veterans. Guy “Al” Stratton, Chief of Staff of the Department of Defense’s Office of Warrior Care Policy, spoke passionately of the need for commitment to those wounded, ill, and injured service members returning from the battlefield.
Commerce will continue striving to hire more veterans each year. If you are a veteran and interested in employment with Commerce, visit our Veterans Hiring Initiatives webpage  to see available positions.