Trump says, “You’re Hired” and Places the Spotlight on Hiring Veterans

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Former Army Officer Kelly Perdew brings attention to hiring veterans as he is selected to be Donald Trump's next Apprentice.

People enjoy pointing out how business classes at major universities now use The Apprentice to teach students about the business world, but the most important lesson may have been taught on this season's finale: Hire a Veteran. Donald Trump closed out the latest installment of The Apprentice when out of over a million applicants he hired the one veteran everyone’s talking about now: Kelly Perdew, a graduate of West Point and former Army Military Intelligence Officer. A quick look through the variety of skills military people possess, qualities which any employer, like Trump, would be wise to expect from a new hire: teamwork, leadership, efficiency, and the ability to perform under pressure. By winning The Apprentice 2, Perdew masterfully demonstrated these qualities for the whole world to see.

Every year over 200,000 military members leave the service. Like Perdew, every one of them is looking to transfer their military skills to a civilian employer. Not all of them can get on TV, though, or meet The Donald. Fortunately, organizations exist today which do the same thing Perdew did: bring awareness to the qualities that make veterans such desirable hires. Orion International, the nation's largest military recruiting firm, has helped over 15,000 military members find jobs over the past 14 years. “We have people calling companies every day advocating veterans, explaining why hiring veterans should be an important part of their corporate recruiting program,” states Orion CEO Bill Laughlin. Not only does Orion help veterans get hired with civilian companies, they hire them for their own staff with nearly all of them having prior military experience. Orion is owned and operated exclusively by military veterans who share Kelly Perdew's military-bred, desire and drive for excellence. Senior Partner Steve Casey was a West Point classmate of Perdew's, while another Senior Partner, Tim Isacco, and four other Orion employees also have West Point and Army Officer backgrounds.

Laughlin is currently working with the Department of Labor’s Veteran Hiring Committee, using what he has learned from the great successes of Orion to make recommendations as the government launches their own veteran-hiring awareness effort, Hire Vets First. “Efficiency is the key,” Laughlin says. “If we and Hire Vets First work in close cooperation and help each other, it only means we’re going to be able to find more jobs for these great candidates quicker.” Another organization joining the mission is MilitaryStars, a company which hosts national job fairs for military personnel from all branches of the Armed Forces including active duty, reservists, guard members, retirees, and veterans. A veteran owned business too, MilitaryStars, according to their website, “is dedicated to bringing together the best military talent and civilian corporations in pursuit of positive employment solutions.” Dave Suszko, a retired Air Force Recruiter and Director of Candidate Services for MilitaryStars, adds that "the transitioning military labor market is second largest renewable labor pool in the nation. These are mature, talented professionals who instantly add value to companies that hire them." Companies definitely agree: Major employers as diverse as T-Mobile, Ferguson Enterprises, and the FBI all attend events regularly, recognizing the special value of military candidates, as well as being known within the service community as a military-friendly company.

Somewhere at an Orion or MilitaryStars event, the next Apprentice could be walking in. As Kelly Perdew proved veterans possess identifiable and transferable skills that can be used in real world situations. They can master a variety of challenges even Trump might not be able to come up with. They may not be on TV, may not be famous (yet), but these Apprentices have the talents to help make their employer a real hit.

For more information visit Orion International at, MilitaryStars at and Hire Vets First at Contact Hal Fischer at (941)358-3443.

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