Prudential’s influence in sharing veteran’s employment best practices nets an invitation to a congressional hearing about successful transition programs.
U.S. congressional leaders listened carefully as Chuck Sevola described Prudential’s collaboration with Workforce Opportunity Services to hire veterans and help them transition to the civilian workplace.
Sevola, vice president and head of Veterans Initiatives, appeared June 26 before the House Committee on Veterans Affairs’ Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, chaired by U.S. Rep. Jodey Arrington, R-Texas. Arrington recently introduced a bill to revamp the military Transition Assistance Program, which is designed to help service members transition into civilian life. The subcommittee sought examples of how companies approached veteran hiring practices.
Opening the hearing, Arrington said, “We want to understand what you’re doing and how it’s going and why it’s working. We want to increase the things you’re doing exponentially.”
“I’m really proud that because of Prudential’s commitment to and advocacy for veterans, we were thought enough of to testify in front of the House,” Sevola says. “On a personal level, it was an honor to participate in the democratic process as a representative of Prudential.”
Sevola joined representatives from Dell EMC, Starbucks, Walmart and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes program. He outlined Prudential’s programs, while focusing on its work with Workforce Opportunity Services.
“We tested and refined the WOS Prudential model with the intent of sharing it with other like-minded companies to expand its impact beyond what Prudential could do on its own,” Sevola testified. The program has so far been adopted by more than 60 companies.
Prudential’s operations in El Paso, where 50 percent of employees are veterans or military spouses, is one successful example that impressed U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, whose district includes El Paso. O’Rourke, a ranking member of the Subcommittee of Economic Opportunity, invited Sevola to the hearing.
Veterans face unique challenges, Sevola testified.
“We know that we have to work with hiring managers to make sure they know the skills and abilities of veterans, but we’ve also found we have to work with the veterans themselves,” he said, answering questions from Arrington. “Many times, they believe that because you’re an infantryman or you’re an artilleryman, that those skills aren’t readily transferable.”
“It’s true that we don’t do that type of work at Prudential, but certainly the leadership skills and teamwork in those roles are absolutely applicable.”
For a media interview with Chuck Sevola, or to speak with someone at Prudential about veterans issues, please contact Alicia Rodgers Alston.