Onward To Opportunity and Local Employers Serve Top Military Talent

Many employers are realizing that competitive candidates are hard to come by, particularly for roles where individuals move between departments or where employers expect their new hire to make an immediate impact. You know the roles well, they are the ones that can be felt when someone leaves, is promoted, or even reassigned to a new project. Finding the right candidate can be a daunting task, specifically when top candidates have been extracted from the applicant pool.  At this point, choosing a hire can be difficult as the resumes look almost identical minus a few small details. All requirements are met and many of the preferred skills are evident, yet only one can be chosen.

Often times, a certification or professional training relevant to the type of work can be a game changer. Add the valued transferrable skills that veterans bring, and you may find a competitive candidate with both professional expertise and highly valued work ethic.

The Pittsburgh Veteran Employer Coalition (PVEC) is partnered with Onward to Opportunity (O2O) Pittsburgh. Onward to Opportunity provides an opportunity for top military affiliated talent to stand apart from the rest by earning a professional certification relevant to their career path. Growth minded, military affiliated individuals accepted into the program receive no cost training to add value to themselves and your organization. Certifications highlighted in western Pennsylvania and surrounding areas include Project Management Professionals (various levels), Human Resources Professional (various levels), and several Information Technology options.

A professional certification is earned by the veteran who completes training and program requirements through Onward to Opportunity as well as those set forth by the certifying body (i.e. PMI, HRCI, etc). When top military talent finds itself in the final considerations for an internal promotion or as a potential new hire, their continued desire to learn, promote, serve the team, and improve processes add value to the organization beyond the job description. Onward to Opportunity just contributes to your candidates a feeling of overall satisfaction as they grow, which also can enhance retention rates.

Orientations for the program are typically held in person before access to course material is given. These orientations are often sponsored by locations throughout Pittsburgh and offer both an informative and networking focused experience.  After assessing and adapting to the order for social distancing, Program Manager Bart Womack successfully held a virtual orientation on April 25, 2020 for 39 go getters enrolled in the program. These cohort members were still able to attend the orientation in a live and interactive format virtually, as well as network with local employers and program alumni.

An integral part of the orientation is the Foundations Course, where experts in Project Management, Human Resources and Information Technology speak detail about the idiosyncrasies of each certification. The employer partners on the panel for the most recent cohort on April 25th included: PNC, Giant Eagle, Mutual of Omaha, Comcast, and Corporate America Supports You (CASY). These individuals brought a myriad of expertise and professional knowledge to cohort members. The panel was able to identify key sticking points to veteran hiring, benefits to the chosen professional certifications being pursued, as well as tips when approaching employers on virtual platforms. In addition to these employer panel members, alumni of the program were able to give advice on how to approach the training with success in mind.

Onward to Opportunity is available to the veteran and military spouse employees of your organization for the purposes of continuing their career success with you, as well as to those top military affiliated applicants you are looking to hire. We want to see success for those willing to earn it, and this can be an employer resource at no cost to both the veteran and employer.

Registration is now open and must be completed prior July 10, 2020 for the July 18th cohort.

To get started, click here.

Onward to Opportunity