AKRON, Ohio - Akron-based Goodyear announced on Friday a commitment to hire 1,000 veterans within three years as part of the national Hiring Our Heroes program.
Steven McClellan, President of North American Tire, Goodyear, said veterans would be ideal candidates for jobs at the tire maker because of their leadership qualities, including problem-solving, courage and integrity.
"All of them deserve the opportunity for a second career, and at Goodyear, we're proud to provide that second chance," McClellan said.
McClellan and Bryan Goettel, Director of Communications for Hiring Our Heroes, signed a statement of support that represents Goodyear's promise to veterans looking for jobs.
Goettel said there are about one million unemployed veterans in the U.S.
"With the draw down in forces that we're already seeing from Iraq, and more coming from Afghanistan, there's another million that are expected to enter the workforce over the next five years," Goettel said.
Companies across America have committed to hiring 150,000 veterans or their spouses since the program, operated through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, started in March 2011. The goal is get jobs for 500,000 veterans or their spouses by the end of 2014.
Dallas Olson, an Army reserve and army National Guard veteran, already works at Goodyear as the director of global process engineering. He praised the tire manufacturer's commitment to military families.
"They may not have had great jobs before they deployed, but their leadership skills that they pick up- tried and tested in a combat zone- they come back with an ability to contribute to companies in the United States," Olson said.
Olson said finding work and adjusting to civilian life can be a tough transition for veterans.
"It's a different lifestyle coming back from a combat zone," Olson said.
Goettel said there can a misconception and reluctance on the part of employers to hire veterans because they sometimes raise concerns over Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
However, he said the larger issue is the disconnect between the job seeker and the companies.
"On the job seeker side, how to articulate those skills that they learned in the military and put them in civilian terms. Likewise, from the employer's side, the ability to understand the skills that members of the military learned in the service," Goettel said.