Disney’s Heroes Work Here initiative has continued The Walt Disney Company’s long-standing tradition of supporting the U.S. Armed Forces by hiring, training and supporting military veterans. Building on the success of Disney and USAA’s regional Veterans Institute seminar in San Antonio last August, Disney, USAA and General Motors (GM), in cooperation with the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA), will now bring Disney’s Veterans Institute to Detroit.
The daylong seminar will take place on June 5 at the General Motors Headquarters, and is intended to educate and inspire Michigan-based companies to build their own veteran-hiring programs.
The event—presented in partnership with MVAA—will include panel discussions that focus on veteran hiring and retention, sharing personal stories from veterans who have transitioned into the civilian workforce, as well as state and federal resources available to both veterans and organizations looking to employ them. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and GM CEO Mary Barra will deliver opening remarks, ABC News Anchor Bob Woodruff will give a keynote address and Disney’s Veterans Institute will present veteran-hiring best practice workshops.
“Since our Heroes Work Here initiative launched in 2012, more than 5,000 former servicemen and women have become part of the Disney family and another 5,000 veterans have found careers with companies across the country as a result of our program,” Disney Chairman and CEO Robert A. Iger said. “Hiring veterans is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do, and we are pleased to share our insights to create career opportunities for our veterans.”
“GM has been a strong supporter of the U.S. military for more than 100 years now, and our support continues today through a wide range of philanthropic, education, training and employment initiatives,” said Mary Barra, CEO, General Motors Company. “GM employs thousands of active and former military and their spouses. We are proud to serve those who have served our country, and we welcome this opportunity to partner with Disney to share, learn and encourage best practices in veteran recruitment and hiring with other companies and organizations across Michigan.”
In 2014, MVAA created the “Veteran-Friendly Employer Program,” which recognizes Michigan companies and organizations that are committed to attracting and retaining top veteran talent. “Veterans are a strong addition to any company because of the training and leadership they gain while in uniform,” MVAA Director Jeff Barnes said, adding, “Disney, USAA and GM have led the way in creating a blueprint for others to follow when it comes to veteran-hiring programs and employment, and MVAA is excited to bring more of these best practices to Michigan.”
Disney and USAA’s regional Veterans Institute in San Antonio in 2014 was a marked success, attracting more than 300 participants who were trained by experts from Disney’s Heroes Work Here initiative on best practices for helping veterans make a successful transition from the military to the civilian workforce. “We saw great outcomes from the work Disney Institute did in San Antonio last year, and we’re fortunate to be a part of bringing this program to Detroit,” Stuart Parker, CEO of USAA, said. “With more than one million active-duty men and women expected to separate in the next five years, we want to share best practices to provide them a stable and successful post-military career.”