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Hiring veterans a focus at PN's 2013 Executive Forum

November 12, 2012

AKRON, OHIO (Nov. 12, 1 p.m. ET) — As America celebrates Veterans Day, Plastics News is pleased to announce that Mary Santiago, director of the Veterans Employment Services Office within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, will speak at PN’s Executive Forum 2013 in Tampa, Fla.

The entire March 3-6 event — dubbed “the industry leadership & skills summit” — will focus on the manufacturing skills gap and how to plug it, to include advice on recruiting service veterans.

Santiago, herself a nine-year U.S. Army veteran, joined the VA in Washington, in February 2010. Her responsibilities include expanding and enhancing recruitment efforts to increase the percentage of veterans in the VA’s workforce, and reducing voluntary turnover by providing career development support. 

Santiago notes that most employers are not adept at reading and deciphering a military resume, so her office is developing a best-practices guide to help employers to understand and translate military skills to a civilian or manufacturing working environment.

As the troop draw-down from Afghanistan picks up pace, tens of thousands of veterans will be returning to the United States, where the national unemployment rate currently stands at 7.9 percent, according to U.S. Labor Department statistics. The jobless rate for veterans who have served on active duty since September 2001, however, is higher – checking in at 10 percent last month, though that represented an improvement from the 12.1 percent recorded in October 2011.

Santiago will be one of more than two dozen presenters at the Executive Forum, with others discussing talent assessment and employee recruitment, retention, education, training and empowerment, among other topics.

For more program details, go to www.plasticsnews.com/forum2013.