Basic training: Helping prep America’s military for life at home

Share this

Once America’s servicemen and women return home, most face a new challenge: financial stability. In an effort to help military veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses secure meaningful employment in today’s workforce, 73 employers and service organizations gathered at Turner Field’s 755 Club in Atlanta to meet and educate 240 job seekers in attendance.

The Hiring Our Heroes sports expo was the first of its kind, hosted by the Atlanta Braves and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. SunTrust Bank was among the sponsors, and members of the bank’s Veterans Teammate Network volunteered throughout the day.

The expo was split into two parts: Workshops hosted by SunTrust and General Electric in the morning, and a career fair for the servicemen and women in attendance throughout the afternoon. One of SunTrust’s financial well-being executives Brian Ford taught the workshop to more than 100 military personnel. He discussed “The 8 Pillars of Financial Greatness” and also explored ways military individuals can succeed in their careers and achieve financial stability in civilian life.

"We know this group is disciplined," Ford says. "We focused on other core elements to help them take steps onUp and build their financial confidence."

SunTrust organizers designed the workshop to be beneficial for individuals from all walks of life, says Russell Jolivet, SunTrust senior vice president, talent acquisition—corporate functions, veterans, diversity and inclusion. Whether someone is making $30,000 a year or $500,000 a year, there are elements of private life that can take service members by surprise, he says.

“When you’re in the military, there are certain benefits that you get that are not common in the civilian world,” Jolivet says. “Those things can cause issues if you’re not planning for them.”

Expenses such as housing, health insurance premiums and deductibles, daycare and retirement savings—which are all benefits the military provides to active service members—are expenditures that can catch military personnel off-guard when they’re transitioning to civilian life, Jolivet adds.

Candidates showed great enthusiasm at the event, and many submitted more than one resume to potential employers. By the end of the event, applicants had submitted 930 resumes, managers had conducted 344 interviews and companies had extended 48 offers of employment to candidates.

SunTrust executives and other partners at the event aimed to educate individuals who might not realize the scope of opportunities offered by life outside of the military, Jolivet says.

“These are very talented individuals, so we want to capitalize on that and hire some of them,” he says. SunTrust's Allison Dukes, Atlanta Division President, agrees, adding, "We recognize that our men and women in uniform are well-trained, disciplined in their work ethic and know how to contribute to achieving a common goal as part of a team—all traits and skills that we value at SunTrust."

This content is general in nature and does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.