Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Success at Orion 5Ks for Veteran Charities

Orion would like to thank all the runners, sponsors, and donors who supported the 2nd Annual Patriot Challenge 5K in Cary, NC, and the Go the Extra Mile for the Vets 5K in West Chester, OH.

The 2nd Annual Patriot Challenge 5K was held September 26, and, despite constant rain, welcomed most of the about 200 runners that signed up! The event raised nearly $16,000, with an additional $12,000 of in-kind donations for Operation Military Embrace, Children of Fallen Patriots, and Warrior Hike! Orion matched the donations with over $2,000.

Runners enjoyed the All American Paint Booth where they added stars and stripes to their arms, legs, face, or hair to show their colors. Members of Rolling Thunder led runners along the road portion of the course, and the top three male and female runners received prizes provided by Omega Sports.

2nd Annual Patriot Challenge 5K

The Go the Extra Mile for the Vets 5K on November 15 was a great event! The 5K experienced a 22% increase in runners from last year, with 290 registered runners! All proceeds from the event directly benefit our partner Veteran Organizations, The Heroes' Fund and Operation Military Embrace.

With beautiful weather and great guests like Mr. Red, Wayne Hutchison, Service Officer from the VFW Ohio, and Gapper, the event went extremely well and raised almost $15,000 raised for charity. Runners enjoyed a race after party at the Dingle House Irish Pub.
Todd Phillips, VP of Client Delivery at Orion International, Mr. Red, Wayne Hutchison, Service Officer from the VFW Ohio, Gapper, and David Coe, Senior VP of Strategic Programs at Orion International, at the 2nd Annual Go the Extra Mile for the Vets 5K

Thank you for helping us raise money for these worthwhile causes!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Grooming Your Company’s Next Leaders through Leadership Development Programs

Leadership Development Programs (LDPs) are utilized at companies like Georgia-Pacific, Medtronic, and Michelin, where veterans are recruited for their intangible leadership abilities and then taught hard skills like engineering, sales, or operations. Because veterans bring with them positive leadership and organizational improvement skills, companies like these realize that they can combat an aging workforce and groom their next generation.

In his article, How to Create a Leadership Development Program, Tim Donnelley lays out four important aspects of creating an LDP. First, he explains that you need to assess your goals and ask what it is you want your future leaders to accomplish. Second, he says you need to identify your candidates, which Hire a Hero posits should be veterans! Third, Donnelly advises that you use real world examples in the program, as an LDP is “only as good as its practical applications”. Finally, he writes that in an ever global economy, it’s important to teach leaders to be purposeful in establishing relationships with staff they may not see on a daily basis. 

A great example of a company successfully leveraging military talent and molding it into their company's next generation of leadership iArdagh Group, a leading glass container manufacturer in the U.S. Their Former Military Professional Development Program (FMPDP) is designed to provide glass manufacturing experience for candidates with a Bachelor's degree and those with advanced degrees, seeking careers in manufacturing management. After completing the orientation process, FMPDP members are assigned to a plant location to begin rotations as part of the plant's manufacturing team. The program is carefully structured to provide an opportunity to learn the various aspects of the Ardagh manufacturing operations. 

Companies that carefully create LDPs for military veterans find that exposing them to many facets within their companies helps in their development, retention, and performance.

Click here to learn more about recruiting veterans for your LDP.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Happy Veterans Day!

The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.” --Patrick Henry
Today is a day set aside to honor the service of all U.S. military veterans. We here at Orion would like to thank the men and women among our staff who have served, as well as those we help find civilian careers, for their selfless service and dedication. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Completing the Mission: Why You Should Consider Veterans for Your PM Roles

Project Management Institute (PMI) research anticipates that between 2010 and 2020, there will be a more than 12% increase in demand for project management practitioners in the U.S., resulting in nearly 6.2 million jobs in 2020. This projected growth coupled with an increasingly older and retiring workforce makes veterans an excellent talent pool from which to recruit for careers in Project Management.

So what makes veterans such a great fit? Well, think of all of they’ve done in the military— from managing the movement of equipment or people to planning a mission. These short-term “projects” match the definition of Project Management as defined by PMI: “a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.”

Ben Metzler, a retired Army Major who is now a Project Manager at Element Fleet Management, describes how his time in the military prepared him for his civilian career as a PM: “Most of my career was in Operations, which translates really well to running projects in the civilian world. There are significant parallels between my experience as a BN Operations and Executive Officer and leadership positions to my new career as a Project Manager.” 

He continues, “The way the Army conducts day-to-day operations is very project based.  Preparing for live fire gunneries, individual, team, and battery/company/battalion gunneries, Table gunneries, field exercises, prep for deployment, etc., all fit the PMI description of projects. They all are individual and distinct entities that have a definite beginning and end and require input from a number of different personnel and organizations within and outside of the unit.  I feel like I am better prepared to succeed in my new career than I would have been had I risen through the ranks of the civilian world.” 

Further, PMI explains that a project team often includes people who don’t usually work together – sometimes from different organizations and across multiple geographies. Veterans routinely find themselves working side by side with a diverse group of people, including those within the military and those living in the areas where they are stationed. They are able to manage different skillsets and personalities and complete a project.

Kevin Rogers is another great example of how military experience translates into Project Management. As an Air Force Captain he flew B-1B bombers as a back-seater, which he feels didn’t prepare him for much else. That is until he took a look at the many additional duties he had as an officer allowing him to build a breadth of experience. Kevin is now an IT project manager. “I ensure projects to develop functional software stay on time, on budget, and deliver the requested results,” Kevin states, “It is a lot like being a training officer in the Air Force, where I was responsible for ensuring everyone got the training they needed to deploy without busting our annual budget.”

In the Project Management Institute’s 2015 Veteran Brochure “Take Your Military Experience And Transition To A Career In Project Management”, PMI President and CEO, Mark A. Langley, writes “Many veterans have project management experience—just under a different name. The challenge is in the translation and repackaging of their skill sets so that hiring managers spot their skills. Mission-related often translates to ‘projectized,’ and the government and military are highly projectized environments, which make many veterans a natural fit for the project management world.”

Todd Phillips, Vice President of Client Delivery at Orion International adds, “Over the past 10 years, we’ve seen a number of veterans transition to project management in a broad range of industries to include manufacturing, construction, and supply chain.” He goes on to advise hiring managers to seek veterans with a demonstrated record of managing people and resources, as well as excellent communication and organization.

Ben and Kevin are just two examples of why Orion has experienced great success in matching veterans with careers in Project Management.  Hiring Managers should not underestimate veterans’ experience balancing human capital, critical resources, and time constraints. These are the very traits that make them ideal candidates for a career in Project Management.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Orion International Hosts Upcoming 5K Supporting Cincinnati-area Veterans and their Families

To Support Wounded Service Members Across the Country and Local Military Veterans and Their Families, in the Greater Cincinnati, Ohio Area

Go The Extra Mile For The Vets 5K
West Chester, Ohio - November 15, 2015
Check-in: 8:30 am 
West Chester Towne Centre | West Chester Township, OH
Register now!

2014 Go the Extra Mile for the Vets 5K

Join us for the 2nd Annual Go the Extra Mile for the Vets 5K! This family-friendly event will feature a timed 5K run/walk, t-shirts for all participants, sponsorship tents and vendors, and a race after party at The Dingle House Irish Pub. All proceeds from the event directly benefit our partner Veteran Organizations, The Heroes' Fund and Operation Military Embrace.

Finish up the race in the Yelton Winner’s Circle sponsored by Yelton Fine Jewelers. The top male and female runners will receive $250 gift cards to Yelton, as well! After the race, join us at The Dingle House where we will be presenting race awards and raffle prizes starting at 11:30 am. 

Last year's event was a huge success! Due to contributions and participation, we were able to raise a total of $19,589 for our 2014 partner charities! We truly appreciate the support and look forward to seeing everyone again next month.

Are you a US Veteran? Register now using promo code "VET10" and register for only $25.00! Corporate Sponsor packages are also available, as well as In-Kind Donations. And for those that cannot attend, you can still donate to this great cause!

Click here to learn more and register.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Veteran Spotlight: Kevin Robillard

Hire a Hero recently followed up with Orion alumnus Kevin Robillard, an Aviation Captain, and UH-60 Blackhawk Assault Company Commander in the Washington Army National Guard. Now a Senior SIOP and Inventory Leader with Honeywell Aerospace, Kevin assumed that employers would be lined up to extend him job offers following five years of active duty. He was in for a surprise and soon made finding a career a full-time job.

Kevin soon reached out to Orion and was almost immediately scheduled for an upcoming hiring conference. Despite holding what he believes to be a non-applicable degree for most corporate positions, Kevin interviewed with several companies through Orion, and received a call-back from Honeywell Aerospace for an ISC Supervisor role, which he accepted in December 2012.

Kevin advises hiring managers looking to hire veterans to understand that a veteran's suitability for a job goes beyond their direct experience. “I had zero manufacturing experience, zero aerospace experience, zero corporate experience, zero civilian supervising experience,” explains Kevin, “yet I did have leadership, team-building, operations, planning, problem-solving, and demonstrated success in all of those realms, along with the world-class training and mentorship that the US Army provides.”

Kevin continues, “I believe that most successful businesses and hiring managers value the intrinsic leadership principles instilled in service members above job-specific experience."

For the first two years of his career at Honeywell, Kevin supervised anywhere from 20-70 direct reports in an aerospace manufacturing facility, starting on second shift and moving to first shift about a year in. Within the last six months, he received a promotion and transfer into the Materials group as a Senior Sales, Inventory, Operations and Planning (SIOP) Leader, where he advises the site leadership on strategic initiatives and the direction to take the factory in terms of census, hours, overtime, inventory, etc.

Kevin explains that veterans bring a unique skill-set to any career they choose. The training and experience veterans receive during their military service sets them apart and makes them a valuable commodity to potential employers. “Every Soldier is a leader,” Kevin says, “and there are dynamic careers in America’s top companies just waiting for leaders to step in and begin making an impact." 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Robert Nardelli Shares Veteran Hiring Advice

Robert Nardelli, Founder, Chairman & CEO at XLR-8, penned some very sage advice recently as part of LinkedIn’s Pulse series #HowIHire. Having served as CEO of GE Transportation, GE Power Systems, The Home Depot, and Chrysler, Nardelli is well-positioned to offer advice on how to build a winning team. Titled Bring Your Inner Child to the Job Interview, Nardelli shares what he looks for in job candidates, which proves to be very useful insight for job seekers and hiring managers. As the title states, he looks for a childlike curiosity or for candidates that “exhibit passion and enthusiasm for work… folks who are willing to learn and grow both horizontally and vertically within the business.”

In addition to his desire to hire eager, enthusiastic people to his team, he also looks for team leaders. And it’s in veterans that he’s found this latter quality. At GE, Nardelli championed initiatives like the Junior Military Officer (JMO) Leadership Program and continued with similar programs at The Home Depot and Chrysler.

“I turned to veterans, whose leadership skills on the battlefield translate quite well into the battles of the boardroom. Their passion and commitment to the job, their cultural sensitivities, and their ability to work as a team have never let me down,” writes Nardelli.

And while some veterans may lack industry experience, Nardelli explains that he views their hiring as an investment as opposed to an expense. So, while hiring manager should see it as an investment, veteran job candidates should show that they’re worth that investment!

Nardelli recalls that he, like many business leaders, started at the bottom, but arrived at his initial interviews with “energy and knowledge that demonstrated they were well prepared for the challenges ahead.” Companies hiring veterans already know about their tangible skills, but shouldn’t necessarily always hire for those skills alone when looking for future leaders. Nardelli’s advice to seek open-minded and keen candidates can lead to a strong team that gets the job done.

Hiring veterans is a smart move, but one that must be done with the proper onboarding and guidance for non-military hiring managers. Thousands of companies have turned to Orion International over the past 24 years for just this type of support, many of whom have developed a Military Talent Program with Orion. These programs address all phases of the process, from sourcing, candidate attraction and recruiting, through on-boarding, integration, and retention. Companies like Siemens, Honeywell, SpaceX, and Honda are growing the number of veterans in their ranks while increasing their bottom line. 

Click here to learn more about what a Military Talent Program can do for your company.