Sometimes it's hard to predict what articles will resonate with readers. It's even harder to anticipate which stories in DC Velocity, which is targeted to a specialized audience after all, will take on a life of their own on the Web.
We've just experienced both with a story that ran in our March issue about efforts to help U.S. military veterans who are departing the service find work in the logistics sector. For several weeks after we posted the story, "Hire our heroes ... the right way," it consistently ranked among the most read articles on our website. We've heard plaudits from some folks who are helping vets make the transition from military life to the private sector and from others anxious to share the article with their own networks.
It speaks well, I think, of the professionals we reach with this magazine that many have shown a real interest in helping veterans. It demonstrates an understanding that, whatever you may think of the policies that sent so many into harm's way, we all owe those who undertook that duty something more than applause and expressions of gratitude.
But it is also eminently pragmatic. In her superb report, Senior Editor Toby Gooley described the skills and attitudes veterans bring to the private sector workplace: experience managing assets and people, an understanding of logistics even among those who did not specialize in the field, leadership, a strong work ethic, and more. It's not that veterans are ready to step in and run the DC or the transportation department. As we reported, there are significant differences between military and industry practices that certainly require training. Many veterans, especially those who saw combat, may find the transition to civilian life difficult. More than a quarter of veterans who served on active duty since September 2001 have service-connected disabilities, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
It's that it's the right thing to do for both the veterans and for business.
The bureau reports that unemployment among all veterans who served in that period was 9.9 percent in 2012—significantly higher than for the public as a whole. While that's a couple of points better than in 2011, it is still a troubling number.
Yet the lament I hear over and over again when I discuss staffing with logistics professionals at shows and conferences is the difficulty finding young employees who will work hard and don't have an unwarranted sense of entitlement. As Toby wrote in that March piece, "Clearly, this is a first-class opportunity to match talent supply with employer demand."
If you have not read the story, I encourage you to do so now. Then get your human resources personnel to work.