San Antonio is a shining example of how corporate America can return the favor to military personnel after serving the country, by hiring vets and their family members, according to Robin Lineberger, CEO of Deloitte Federal Consulting, the keynote speaker at the kickoff luncheon for Celebrate America's Military held on November 1.
Lineberger grew up in San Antonio and followed in his father’s footsteps and enlisted in the Air Force. He told the audience that after he finished his service, he had a deep desire to continue to serve his country by working in a company that served the military. With the military background he learned skills that made good consultant – problem solving, focus and leadership. He now leads a Deloitte team of 7,000 employees.
“In corporate America, we have an obligation to serve our military and the members of our military community by hiring them when they have finished service,” he said. “It is our corporate responsibility.”
He stressed that it is difficult today for anyone to get a job in the current economy, and this is especially true for vets. He noted that unemployment is 20% higher for veterans than the national average. He asked, “Why is veteran unemployment so high?”
He explained that often there is a language barrier, not a skills barrier. However, he said that veterans bring a lot of quality training to a job including high demand skills in technical training, as well as strong values including integrity, loyalty and discipline.
From this perspective, it is easy to see why it is beneficial to hire vets. He announced that Deloitte is part of a coalition of large companies that have committed to 100,000 veterans in the coming year. The program also will encourage small businesses across the nation to hire 500,000 vets and their spouses. With this kind of commitment, he said, the unemployment rate will be significantly impacted.