- The City of Los Angeles is collaborating with Microsoft to create a free training program that will prepare U.S. military veterans for technology careers, according to an Aug. 11 statement by Mayor Eric Garcetti.
- Named the Los Angeles Veterans Technology Training Academy, the four-month program is based on Microsoft's Software and Systems Academy and will be geared toward preparing veterans for jobs in software engineering, cloud application development and cloud administration.
- All veterans in the city or county of Los Angeles will be eligible, including those who have already transitioned out of the military, per the statement. The program also will connect graduates to local companies to provide job opportunities and mentorships. Its first cohort began Aug. 30.
Veterans provide a unique case study for learning and development professionals. Recent research has shown that some veterans may struggle to transition into the civilian workforce, although many believe job training programs may help.
For example, a 2019 survey of veterans by the nonprofit National Skills Coalition found that 95% supported increased investments in skills and technical training, and 41% said they felt unprepared to enter the workforce after returning from active duty. Additionally, a majority of respondents said they felt training programs would help their transition.
At the same time, other surveys have shown other obstacles for veterans. LinkedIn said in a 2019 report that veterans were 34% more likely to be unemployed compared to their civilian counterparts, with the social media company finding a disconnect between veterans' skill sets and how they are perceived in the job market.
Employers across industries have formed partnerships with the aim of improving veterans' access to opportunities. Last year, officials at PepsiCo told HR Dive about the company's participation in a mentorship program for veterans, transitioning service members and their spouses as well as its work with military and veteran-focused community organizations.
From a recruiting perspective, employers can examine veterans' experiences to identify valuable, transferable skills, sources previously told HR Dive. They also can improve job descriptions to be more inclusive. For instance, a job posting can specify that "relevant military or civilian experience" is acceptable for candidates to present during the application process.