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Veterans and apprenticeships with Fastport — Taking the Hire Road

In the midst of a labor shortage, companies like Fastport are more important than ever. Fastport is dedicated to building partnerships and digital products to assist in the acceleration of businesses and careers for any and all Americans, but particularly U.S. veterans. 

Fastport specializes in technology that helps with the application process for prospective employees, including a resume builder, and creates workforce development strategies for companies in the industry.

After obtaining a truck from someone who owed him money, Dave Harrison, military veteran and executive director for workforce development, government programs and military employment issues at Fastport, took his first steps into the trucking industry. 

“We have a lot of hats and we do a lot of things at Fastport, but we really try to build things for the modern workforce. Our biggest effort, as it applies to trucking, is to facilitate a real standard for training that is acknowledged by all the powers that be, and this year we were able to achieve that,” Harrison said.

With inconsistencies in scheduling and long hours on the road, many in the trucking industry have found it difficult to hire veterans. Harrison and Fastport are finding ways to combat this.

“There are a lot of opportunities for service members now — more than ever. In 2014 the veteran unemployment rate was 23%. Now, companies everywhere are giving out GI benefits to veterans that they employ,” Harrison said. “If you want to be a company that is veteran friendly, then put your money where your mouth is. This shows them that you are engaged.”

He added that clearly articulating career pathways is immensely important for transitioning service members and their families.

“If you can engage them in this way, then they will have a conversation with you,” Harrison said. “I see a lot of people in recruiting that spin things — don’t do that. They recognize what that is and are not interested.” 

Harrison believes that upfront honesty with veterans is the best way to recruit them and ongoing transparency is the best way to retain them, as loyalty is crucial for veterans.

“You don’t have to promise feasts or holidays to keep them on board. As long as that veteran feels like their company cares about them and has their back as much as the veteran has the company’s back, then that veteran is likely to bring more prospective employees like them to the organization,” Harrison said. “That opens up the pipeline to the most inclusive organization in the world — the U.S. military. That word of mouth is priceless.”

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