While across much of Asia, November 11 is either "single day" (a $ 38 billion Alibaba extravaganza this year) or Pepero Day (named because 11/11 looks like a bunch of chocolate dessert sticks), here in the US and parts of Europe, November 11 also marks the end of World War I and the celebration of Veterans Day.
Each year in the United States, tens of thousands of soldiers leave active duty and transition to the civilian workforce, a route that can be startlingly difficult to navigate. How do you describe what an ordnance specialist does with civilians who have no idea what a MOS is? While the military teaches skills that are useful for a wide range of occupations, keeping the right conversations in a job search is the key to making the leap.
That's why a host of new programs aim to make it easier for veterans to take a trip to the civilian workforce, and especially in technology, which obviously has tremendous growth and good jobs waiting for those who can unlock them . I previously covered a TechStars-connected nonprofit, Patriot Boot Camp, that helps veterans who want to get started start navigating the founder route.
One company we haven't covered on TechCrunch before is Shift.org, an a1
Today for Veterans Day, the company announced a new employer partnership with pantelettech startup Better. Com that will see Better.com hire 80 veterans over the next few months using Shift.org as a purchasing pool, with an estimated hiring target of 5,000 veterans and their spouses by 2025 (assuming, as with all high-growth startups, that it high growth continues to skyrocket on all cylinders.
In a press release, Better.com CEO Vishal Garg said that "Veterans are an untapped source of talent that learned, operated, and adapted some of the world's most innovative technologies. to robotics, nuclear technology and cyber. "
I talked a bit with Shift.org CEO Mike Slagh about how he sees these partnerships and his own way to build a company." I started three years ago after serving in Navy for just over five years as a bombing officer, "he explained. In many ways, Shift.org tried to solve its own challenge by moving back to the civilian workforce:
… My story was that I was going to the base of career fairs – there are these big hangers – and you & # 39; you sit across the table from these employers, and they tell you what it's like to work in their company, and they tell you what the culture is [their] and it's just hard to imagine and it's such an anxiety-driven decision , and a great moment of great effort in your life where you want to get it right for your family, you want to get it right for your future career path.
Part of that anxiety is that saying the right things is often more crucial in recruiting settings than having the right skills. Slagh said that "I actually think the gap is much narrower than many naturally assume," but "you often have to have industry-specific context for someone to bet on you when you have a non-traditional background."
Since its launch, Shift.org has partnered with employers such as Better.com, Major League Baseball, and Symantec to help bridge and divide the pipeline into a broader and more diverse set of candidates.
The company was first funded by Garrett Camp by Expa Labs, and netted a reported $ 4 million round from Jeff Jordan at Andreessen Horowitz early last year. Slagh said his hope is to eventually work with hundreds of thousands of veterans, not only securing good jobs, but also training them in the skills they need to succeed in the future. The company is currently working exclusively with Lambda School to provide some of the technical background, for example.