The transition to civilian life can be a challenge for new veterans who — after serving their country in places like Iraq and Afghanistan — face higher unemployment rates than non-veterans. Through the new V.E.T.S. program, Freddie Mac provides IT jobs to help those who've served launch civilian careers.
The New York company Sharp Decisions recently launched V.E.T.S. (Vocations, Education and Training for Service Members) after a year-long pilot program that trained and placed veterans in tech positions — at companies like Freddie Mac. During the intensive one-month training on software testing, veterans are paid by Sharp as salaried employees with benefits.
At a recent training session, VP Tim Snyder, Freddie Mac's head of software testing, welcomed the second "squad" that will be sent to Freddie Mac. Snyder himself is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm. "We're delighted to hire even more veterans through this program to give them an opportunity to launch a new career," said Snyder. "Our first team of vets hit the deck running to help us deliver a major software project — and it's impressive that it was ahead of schedule."
One special aspect of this program is that the vets hired are in essence deployed as a squad when they join Freddie Mac. So for the first four months on the job they worked together as a team, with a unit leader, on one large project. It's a built in support system that helps them acclimate to a new work environment. "The vets are focused and understand what they have to learn and do to get the job done," Snyder says. Software testing is a particularly good fit for veterans because it's a regimented process, Snyder adds.
Sharp Decisions CEO, and program founder, Karen Ross says: "Military veterans are tech-savvy. They have experience in technology warfare. They've worked on command control systems and platforms that are transferable into the strategic software technology industry."
"We're excited to expand our partnership with Freddie Mac to continue the success of an innovative model that hasn't been done before," said Ross.
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