The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) initiated a Veterans Hiring Program in April 2012 as part of a broader effort related to succession planning. Like many transit agencies, Metro has an aging workforce and one way Metro is addressing the risks associated with 52% of its non-contract and AFSCME workforce eligible for retirement, is to develop a pilot succession plan and a comprehensive strategic workforce plan. One of the pillars of its strategic work force plan is the veteran hiring initiative because Metro believes veterans have received exceptional training in the military, including leadership and personal responsibility and possess the technical skill sets necessary to meet Metro’s future hiring needs.
In 2008 the voters in Los Angeles approved Measure R, a half-cent sales tax, which is expected to generate $35 billion over the next 30 years to fund 17 highway projects and 12 transit projects. (See http://www.metro.net/projects/measurer/) The transit projects will significantly expand the local rail network, and in order to execute those projects, Metro foresees a need for a variety of staff including project managers, contract administrators and rail technical staff such as Track Inspector, Traction Power Inspector, Rail Electronic Communications Inspector, and Rail Body/Paint Repairer. In addition, Metro is always looking for talented customer-focused staff to fill Bus Operator positions. For both the rail and bus operations positions Metro sees hiring veterans as a logical source of talent. In order to find veterans who can compete for these positions Metro has developed partnerships with veterans organizations that can reach out to those communities to tap into that talent pool. Some of those partnerships include: the web job posting portal H2H.jobs, along with the Wounded Warriors and the Army PaYS programs. Metro is also coordinating with the Army’s Transition Strategic Outreach Office which seeks to connect employers to Army talent and more initiatives are currently in development. Additionally, Metro participates in community events honoring military veterans for their service by providing transit day passes which enable veterans to take advantage of the services offered at various community events such as the 2nd Annual San Gabriel Valley Homeless Veteran Stand Down Daily Brief, Thursday, November 15, 2012, 121115-1.
Currently, Metro has over 600 military veteran employees, representing about 6% of its total workforce. Metro has set a 12% goal of veteran new hires over a 3-year period in alignment with APTA’s Transit Military Cooperative Initiative Task Force goals. Our robust outreach efforts have resulted in Metro being recognized as a veteran-friendly employer and Metro has received numerous proclamations, commendations and awards related to the veteran hiring initiative. More importantly Metro has been successful in hiring 83 veterans over the past 15 months.
Below are links to articles related to Metro’s Veteran Hiring Initiative.
- “Metro supports veterans, recognized as veteran friendly business”, posted on “The Source” Nov 1, 2012 by Anna Chen
- “Metro Contributes to the 2nd Annual San Gabriel Valley Homeless Veteran Stand Down” – Daily Brief, Thursday, November 15, 2012, 121115-1
- “Word of Metro’s Veteran Recruiting Efforts Spread Far and Wide” – Daily Brief, Tuesday, October 30, 2012, 121030-1
- “Metro Receives Proclamations from Elected Officials for Being a Veteran-Friendly Employer, - Daily Brief, Tuesday, October 30, 2012, 121030-1
- “Metro Joins Hero 2 Hired – A Virtual Job-Seeking Resource”, Daily Brief, Tuesday, October 23, 2012, 121023-1
- “Metro’s Strategic Workforce Planning Department Representatives Attend Veteran Career Fairs” – Daily Brief, Friday, Aug 31, 2012, 120831-1
- Military Transition News, March-April 2013, “Transportation: An Industry on the Go” – interview with Lonnie Mitchell, Executive Director, Strategic Workforce Planning. http://www.civilianjobs.com/Mar.Apr2013_recruit_military_service_members.htm
- Metro was nominated as a Most Valued Employer (MVE) in 2013 by Civilianjobs.com http://www.civilianjobs.com/MVE_Finalist_2013.htm
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