Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Veteran Spotlight: Logan Ferkol

Hire a Hero sat down with Logan Ferkol, a former Avionics Technician, to discuss his new career. Orion recently matched Logan with IM Flash Technologies as an Ion Source Rebuild Technician. Logan couldn't be happier with his experience with IM Flash.

So far, the most rewarding part of his job is getting to work with cutting edge technology and being an integral part of the team that develops a new process to build semiconductors. His electrical background with the Navy’s technical schools has helped him understand how to rebuild electrical assemblies.

Logan’s experience troubleshooting aircraft has helped him solve problems in a high stress environment. For example, he played a key role in identifying a contamination issue at a major fabrication plant that was costing it over a million dollars in failing memory chips.

Logan feels that IM Flash beats out all other competitors with its benefits package and commitment to its employees. He appreciates that the company strives to be the best in its field while also maintaining its codes of conduct and high standards.

Orion is proud to have matched a veteran like Logan with a company like IM Flash Technologies.  To learn more about how your company can recruit talented veteran candidates for your open positions, please click here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Orion Proud to Participate in the Serving Our Soldiers 5k Fundraiser

Last Saturday, April 23rd, was sunny and warm, and it was a great day to raise money for our troops and veterans! That morning, employees of the Raleigh Orion office participated in a 5K race that was hosted by Serving Our Soldiers. The proceeds from the 5K went to purchasing and shipping care packages to three adopted platoons deployed in Afghanistan. They also went into a fund for a scholarship started this year that will provide financial assistance to a veteran who wishes to go back to school.

Founded by two teenagers, Serving Our Soldiers (SOS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing support for our troops and veterans. Its founders, Caroline and Clare, started the organization because they felt that Americans, particularly teenagers and young adults, don’t provide enough support for servicemen and women. SOS has held other fundraisers and events as well, such as thank-you card drives. For more information about SOS, visit its website or Facebook page.

The race was held at Ravenscroft School in northern Raleigh, NC and was open to all ages. The 5K was held on the school’s wooded cross-country course, and included string and tire obstacle sections. Volunteers from the ROTC program of nearby North Carolina State University were stationed throughout the course to guide participants along the correct path.

Orion thanks SOS and the volunteers from Ravenscoft School and NC State’s ROTC for making this a fun and rewarding event!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Why You Should Attend an Orion Distinguished Candidate Conference

Orion's National Distinguished Candidate Conferences (DCC) enable you to develop a strong pipeline of future leaders and bolster strategic organizational growth. Orion Distinguished Candidates represent the top tier of military talent transitioning from Active Duty. For each DCC, our recruiters work hard to make the best possible match for each candidate and client company attending.
On Monday, April 25th and Tuesday, April 26th, we’ll be holding our Distinguished Candidate Conference in Philadelphia, PA, with over 100 transitioning and former Military Officers interviewing at the event. These veterans include Service Academy graduates and candidates with bachelor’s degrees and a minimum GPA of 3.0 from top tier colleges and universities. Our DCC also features candidates with advanced degrees (such as MBAs), professional certifications (such as PMP and PE) and those who have been consistently ranked above their peers in Officer Evaluation Reports.
Nearly 40 companies will be interviewing, including Siemens, Unilever, Lutron, Clark Construction, PetSmart, Cintas, Stryker, Air Liquide, Otis Elevator, and Gemma Power Systems. These employers will be hiring for nationwide positions like Engineering Manager, Production Supervisor, Sales Engineer, Project Manager, Sales Manager, Plant Manager, Six Sigma Black Belt, Warehouse Manager, and Leadership Development Programs.
Our DCCs offer a unique format, designed to maximize a company’s chances of connecting with the right candidate. Here’s what you can expect:
  • 30 minute presentations for client companies to address candidates on the day prior to interviews.
  • An additional opportunity for socializing with the candidates and other hiring managers at our President's Reception.
  • Prescreened, qualified officer candidates suitably matched for your particular hiring needs.
  • A private and professional interview setting.
  • Personalized attention to ensure the best in customer service, including insight on the candidates and advice on the most effective hiring strategy.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Why You Should be Recruiting Senior Military Officers

Many companies approach building a military talent program with a preference for Junior Military Officers. And, while JMOs are an excellent talent pool from which to recruit, Hire a Hero wants to remind hiring managers that they should be considering Senior Military Officers, as well.  We have helped many successful Senior Military Officers who are able to leverage their Leadership, Project Management, Maintenance Management, Technical Management, Logistics, and/or Business Development related experiences in the civilian work force.

Ben Metzler is one such veteran. A retired Major in the Army, Ben was matched with a Project Management career in fleet management through Orion. “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,” says Ben.

“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.  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," he explains.

There are many positions for which a Junior Military Officer may be better suited, but it is short-sighted to overlook the breadth of experience and potential that comes with a Senior Military Officer like Ben and dismiss them as either “over-qualified", or yet "not qualified" for executive level roles that are a closer lateral move from their military titles.

At Orion, we have seen Senior Military Officers successfully begin careers in a variety of industries and positions. Examples include Supply Chain Managers in the aerospace industry, Production Supervisors in the medical device industry, and Director of Inventory Management in power generation, to name a few. When management and director-level positions call for a seasoned leader, companies are well-served to consider Senior Military Officers.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

5 Important Traits & Skills Veterans Bring to Civilian Jobs

Serving in the military is an experience like no other. Military personnel have learned skills and formed character traits that can be applied in just about any scenario. They’ve shown courage and moral character by choosing the life of protecting others. In the process, they’ve gained hands-on experience in developing the skills and tools needed for success both on and off the battlefield.

We recently surveyed a group of post-transition Veterans on the traits that have served them well in the civilian workforce. According to nearly 2000 respondents, these are the top traits they have successfully carried over from the military into the civilian workforce:

  1. Leadership
One of the most important qualities that military service instills in men and women is leadership skills. Veterans learn quickly to trust and obey the commands of their superiors, while exercising great leadership responsibility themselves. Military officers who are just a few months beyond college graduation are usually given an initial assignment with leadership responsibility of  20+. Enlisted military personnel normally entering at a very young age are put in charge of squads or teams after just a few years of service. Rarely do you see responsibility and leadership of this caliber in the civilian workforce at such a young age. Veterans understand the practical ways to manage behaviors for results at a young stage in their career, even in the most trying circumstances.

  1. Teamwork
teamwork.jpgVeterans are natural team players. In the military, you learn how to collaborate with other people in your unit to solve difficult problems. Veterans’ experience teaches them how to bond and connect with other people to more effectively lead and work with their peers. They know how to build trust and respect necessary to tackle even the most difficult of problems.

  1. Self-discipline
Veterans have put aside their personal wants and needs to protect our country. Veterans have gained a unique perspective on the value of accountability. They can grasp their place within an organizational framework, and are accustomed to being accountable for subordinates' actions to higher supervisory levels. They know how policies and procedures enable an organization to exist.

  1. Strong Work Ethic
work ethic.jpg
Servicemen and women work hard because they know they will either succeed together or fail together. If they can succeed in the military, where the dangers and stress levels can be high, they can also succeed in the civilian world. Veterans know what it means to do “an honest day’s work.” Prospective employers can take advantage of a track record of integrity, often including security clearance. The integrity translates into qualities of sincerity and trustworthiness.

  1. Performance Under Pressure
performance-under-pressure-77483653.jpgIn addition to working hard, Veterans have learned how to perform under pressure. Veterans are familiar working with tight schedules and limited resources. Whether they were facing enemy fire or a difficult task assigned by their commanding officer, Veterans developed the composure and confidence to get the job done. Employers need people who can quickly adapt and respond to different scenarios. They know the critical importance of staying with a task until it is done right.

To learn more about our Military Candidates visit us online or contact Orion International today to speak with one of our Client Service Team Members.  

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

How to Claim Federal Tax Credits for Hiring Veterans

Hiring veterans comes with a variety of great benefits, ranging from the leadership and technical skills veterans bring to the table to cost benefits, like relocation savings or savings on healthcare premiums. Included in this latter category are tax credits that employers can claim for hiring qualified veterans. 

On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the PATH Act) that extends and modifies the Work Opportunity Tax Credit Program (WOTC), resulting in an extension of the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Credits. Both of these credits expired on December 31, 2014, but were retroactively reinstated for 2015 and extended through the end of 2019. These credits, in addition to the Differential Wage Payment Credit, offer three ways your company can claim tax credits.

Returning Heroes Tax Credit
Short-term Unemployed: A credit of 40% of the first $6,000 of wages (up to $2,400) for employers who hire veterans who have been in receipt of unemployment insurance or compensation for at least 4 weeks or who have received assistance from a supplemental nutrition assistance program under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 for at least a three month period during the 15-month period ending on the hiring date
Long-term Unemployed: A credit of 40% of the first $14,000 of wages (up to $5,600) for employers who hire veterans who have been in receipt of unemployment insurance or compensation for longer than 6 months (whether or not consecutive) in the one-year period ending on the hiring date.

Wounded Warrior Tax Credit
Veterans with Services-Connected Disabilities: Veterans with service-connected disabilities hired within one year of being discharged from the military. The credit is 40% of the first $12,000 of wages (up to $4,800).
Long-Term Unemployed Veterans with Services-Connected Disabilities: A credit of 40% of the first $24,000 of wages (up to $9,600) for firms that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been in receipt of unemployment insurance or compensation for longer than 6 months.

Differential Wage Payment Credit 
A credit of up to $4,000 for employers who pay Reserve and National Guard employees while they are away on active duty for more than 30 days and have been employed for more than 90 days. Formerly available only to small businesses in 2015, it is now permanently available to all employers.

How to file:

The deadline to file for those hired January 1, 2015, through May 31, 2016, is June 29, 2016. The forms must be filed within 28 days for those hired after May 31, 2016. Below is a list of the forms needed to file for each of these credits:

Returning Heroes
IRS Form 5884 (or 5884-C for tax-exempts)

Wounded Warrior
IRS Form 5884 (or 5884-C for tax-exempts)

Differential Wage Payment

Many states also offer tax credits for hiring veterans. For example, Alabama has the Heroes for Hire Income Tax Credit, which provides a $1,000 tax credit for job creation to employers who hire recently deployed, now discharged, unemployed veterans.  Click here to learn more and see if your state offers such a credit.

PLEASE NOTE: Orion ICS, LLC, its affiliates and its employees are not in the business of providing tax or legal advice to any taxpayer. This content is for general information purposes only, and is not intended or written to be used without the advice of the taxpayer's independent tax advisor. Thank you for reading about tax credits for hiring veterans.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Orion Thanks Enterprise for Its Donation to Operation Military Embrace
Orion wishes to thank Enterprise Holdings Corporation for its $3,000 donation to Operation Military Embrace. Orion and Enterprise have had an ongoing relationship for several years, and we are very appreciative of the generosity of Enterprise Holdings.

Enterprise Holdings, Inc. is a privately owned holding company headquartered in Clayton, MO. It is the parent company of several car rental companies, including Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo, National Car Rental, and Enterprise CarShare. Enterprise was founded in 1957 by Jack Taylor, who served as a Fighter Pilot in World War II. 

Operation Military Embrace (“OME”) is a non-profit support organization with active officers, directors and volunteers committed to helping wounded warriors and their families. OME’s primary goal is to provide financial and moral support to assist wounded Warriors and their families during their time of critical need. OME is dedicated to supporting injured and/or ill members of all branches and units of the military. OME also works to increase public awareness of the challenges facing members of the 
military. For more information about OME, 
visit the website. 

According to OME President, Jerry Reed:  
"Wow -- This generous donation from Enterprise is so very much appreciated!! Today we attended the retirement ceremony for an injured Marine in San Antonio, Texas. This is part of our OME function to honor, serve and support America’s injured Warriors and their families, and it was really an inspirational event that touched our hearts. Orion has truly been a blessing to America’s injured and ill Warriors and their families through the vessel that is OME."
Orion is so appreciative of our ability to bring together great companies like Enterprise with our dedicated nonprofit partners.