NEWARK, N.J., December 19, 2012 - Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU) and Northeast Iowa Community College have announced a partnership to bring Prudential’s unique veteran training and employment program run by Workforce Opportunity Services (WOS) to Dubuque.
“Increasingly companies are creating programmatic ways to recruit, hire and train veterans because they recognize this approach is a smart business strategy supported by academic research,” said Raymond Weeks, vice president, Veterans Initiatives at Prudential.
In 2009, Prudential and WOS partnered with Rutgers University-Newark to develop a unique program called VETalent that would train Iraq and Afghanistan war-era veterans for jobs in corporate America. Since then, the program has been expanded to Fort Washington, PA, Jacksonville, FL and Dubuque, IA in collaboration with a local colleges or universities. Veterans who complete the VETalent work-study certificate program receive a certificate awarded by the partnering institution. Those who complete the WOS academic component are eligible to be hired by sponsor companies as consultants and full-time employees.
“VETalent is a truly systemic approach to transitioning military veterans into careers in the private sector. This comprehensive approach gives them not only the technical or job-specific skills they need, but also the professional development and mentoring they need to succeed – something other programs are not doing,” said Dr. Arthur Langer, founder and chairman of WOS. “With Prudential leading the way, we're able to give something back to those who have given us so much.”
VETalent participants will undergo two months of full-time WOS training at the Dubuque campus of Northeast Iowa Community College, followed by a one-month training course at Prudential focused on customer service and a culture of quality. After successfully completing the training, the veterans will be put in consulting positions at Prudential for several months before being offered full-time jobs as Customer Service Associates with Prudential Retirement.
“Our customer service associates are the valuable front line of our business,” said Karen Jones, director, Customer Service at Prudential. “The WOS/Prudential training will give the VETalent participants a thorough knowledge of the financial services industry and a solid understanding of the retirement products we service.”
Dr. Liang Chee Wee, president of Northeast Iowa Community College, said, “We are thrilled to partner with Prudential and Workforce Opportunity Services to help provide the training curriculum for our veterans. It isn't every day that we get the opportunity to collaborate with such committed partners.”
Currently, 24 VETalent veterans have been hired by Prudential in a variety of positions including information technology, operations and customer service. In addition, 24 veterans from three VETalent classes are in consulting positions at Prudential; and 22 others are in consulting positions at other companies, including Sealed Air, Johnson & Johnson, Horizon Blue Cross of New Jersey and Merck.
“We can’t solve this challenge for veterans on our own. Our program is a best practice model and we are actively working to share our insights with other corporations. We also seek ways to partner with businesses and government entities to address this challenge more broadly,” said Weeks.
Recently, Prudential received a prestigious Hiring Our Heroes award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for its commitment to providing employment opportunities to post-9/11 military veterans. And for the third consecutive year, Prudential has been named to the GI Jobs Top 100 Military Friendly Employers® list in recognition of the company's Veterans Initiative.
Workforce Opportunity Services (WOS), a 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization, helps provide veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan war eras with career and educational opportunities through unique work-study programs. Working with sponsor companies and university partners, WOS creates customized academic certificate programs that help military veterans make effective transitions into the civilian workforce. For more information, please visit: http://www.wforce.org/
Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a financial services leader, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential’s diverse and talented employees are committed to helping individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth through a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management. In the U.S., Prudential’s iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century. For more information, please visit http://www.news.prudential.com/