Editor’s note: This article was produced for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service and first appeared on the VetFran Blog.
Restoration 1 of Springfield, a member of the Restoration 1 franchise, is a water, fire, smoke, and mold restoration company that specializes in 24/7 emergency service to residential and commercial property owners in Northern Virginia.
Restoration 1 of Springfield is led by Cory T. Graves, who served in the U.S. Army for 21 years. Graves was drawn to the industry because it requires many of the characteristics of military life, including teamwork, sacrifice, and a willingness to place the needs of others ahead of your own. In addition to Graves, the company has two full-time and two part-time veteran employees.
In 2018, Restoration 1 of Springfield joined more than 230 U.S. employers of all sizes in being recognized for their commitment to veteran hiring, retention, and professional development with a 2018 HIRE Vets Medallion Demonstration Award. The HIRE Vets Medallion Award is the only federal-level veteran’s employment award that recognizes employers for their investments in creating meaningful, long-lasting careers for veterans.
“We never know what problem we are going to run into, so having responsible, innovative veteran employees makes our company stronger,” Graves says. “Winning the award really means that our entire company benefits, because we have recruited the right kind of personnel to get the job done.”
As a member of the International Franchise Association and the VetFran program, Graves understands that some of the most successful franchisees are from the military, because veterans know how to follow a proven system and make it work—another reason he applied for the Award.
The HIRE Vets Medallion Award also highlights Restoration 1 in the large military community that it serves in Northern Virginia, serving as an outstanding recruitment tool as the company works to grow its business. Graves says that veterans bring responsibility, dependability, teamwork, and integrity to the job, in addition to many other factors that help separate the company from others in the field. And, especially for small businesses, the well-defined award criteria makes the award harder to earn than other existing veteran employer awards, offering recipients the ability to further distinguish themselves from the competition in the communities they serve.
“I think the best part about the application process is that it allows us to reflect on how we arrived at where we are, while enabling us to focus on what we need to consider moving forward in the recruitment and retention of our veteran employees,” Graves says.
For businesses interested in implementing programs for veteran employees, Graves has several words of advice: “Don’t limit yourself to overly strict hiring criteria based on a narrow skill set. Veterans have a proven track record of learning new concepts and can easily adapt to many different environments. Intangibles such as leadership, responsibility, respect, initiative, and loyalty will offset any potential near-term skill gap. Once trained, veteran employees can become some of your company’s greatest assets,” he says.
Just like Restoration 1, veteran-friendly businesses and franchises of all sizes are encouraged to apply for the 2019 HIRE Vets Medallion Award through April 30, 2019. Individual franchisees, multi-unit franchisees, and corporate offices of each brand are all eligible. For more information and to apply for the 2019 program, visit HIREVets.gov.
About the Author: Randall Smith is the HIRE Vets Medallion Program Director for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service. The Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) proudly prepares America’s veterans, service members and their spouses for meaningful careers, provides them with the employment resources and expertise, protects their employment rights and promotes their employment opportunities.