Germanna Community College has worked hard in recent years to support veteran students, opening a veterans’ center and helping vets get academic credit for past training and experience as well as mentoring from local business leaders.
Now GCC is taking steps to recruit and retain more veteran employees.
Germanna was recently certified by the governor’s office as a Virginia Values Veterans (V3) Program company. The college’s human resources department recently completed training intended to strengthen veteran employee recruiting efforts and boost veteran hiring and retention.
Forty-one of the approximately 600 current employees at Germanna have declared veteran status, according to Liz Hunziker, GCC Recruitment Coordinator. She said there are likely more who haven’t disclosed that status.
“We at Germanna are committed to hiring veterans and are delighted to join the V3 community in providing these employment opportunities,” said Laurie L. Bourne, GCC Associate Vice President for Human Resources. “We recognize that veterans come with a unique set of skills and experience gained during their service in the military. We believe veterans can easily transfer these skills and knowledge to work at Germanna and play a significant part in our mission of helping students.”
GCC was certified as a V3 Educator by the governor’s office last Spring. That part of the program prepares colleges to train veterans to enter the workforce. Germanna was one of the first in the state to receive that designation, largely due to the fact that it has been a leader among Virginia community colleges in providing dedicated support to veteran students, according to Bob Dixon, Veterans Support Counselor.
Three hundred and eighty-one Germanna students are taking advantage of state and federal benefits for the Fall semester, Dixon said. He said there are probably about 100 more student veterans at GCC not being tracked because they aren’t using benefits. Since last Spring, a total headcount of about 900 students have taken advantage of benefits at GCC. Most are full time students, Dixon said. Germanna is working to help military-affiliated students in the region learn more about the benefits they’ve earned, he said.
“At Germanna Community College, we believe in veterans,” GCC President Janet Gullickson said. “We owe them a debt a gratitude and we stand ready to help them make the transition from military life to fulfilling careers in civilian life that pay well. In doing so, we also help our community, our state and the nation as a whole by providing businesses with employees who already have good experience and possess strong leadership skills.”
Germanna’s Military Veterans Service Center located at the Fredericksburg Area Campus in Spotsylvania assists military-affiliated students with academic counseling, enrollment, and federal and state education benefits application and processing, advocacy, and social engagement within the college community. In addition to helping vets get academic credits related to past experience, “We maintain close ties to community business leaders who mentor veteran students and help with internships and job placement,” Dixon said. Degree and certificate programs are approved by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and military services for using federal military-affiliated education programs.
The V3 program has helped thousands veterans land jobs, Gov. Terry McAuliffe said.
“When my administration took office in 2014, we set ambitious goals to find jobs for our veterans and transitioning service members. More than three and a half years later, I am proud to announce that more than 26,000 military veterans are now employed in our civilian workforce through the efforts of our Virginia Values Veterans partners,” Gov. McAuliffe said.