Veterans Day has been celebrated at Dell in a myriad of ways over Army Veteran Alejandro Rivas’ 19-year career. Currently he works on the Global Talent Management team in HR, but he’s also worked in other areas of Dell, including manufacturing. Celebrations have been inclusive of all areas of Dell and span the country. They range from ceremonial in nature to supporting programs like the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.
“I’ve been involved with Veterans Day celebrations over the last 19 years at Dell, and this was prior to having our employee resource groups,” Rivas (pictured above) said. “We raise the flag at our main building, Round Rock One in Texas, and have guest speakers join us to celebrate.”
Veterans Employee Resource Group Program Manager Tina Schroer fondly recalled the 2015 celebration.
“We had a local high school band perform,” she said. “The community group did an awesome job with planning the event. The military side and the civilians we work with all pulled together.”
Navy Lieutenant Commander Cherry Lynch (pictured below), who works in Dell’s Resolution Expert Center said, “A lot of us come in our uniforms, if we can still fit in them!”
Hiring, Supporting Vets
At Dell, however, support for our veterans extends far beyond Veterans Day celebrations.
Five years ago, EMC was a founding member of the Veterans Job Mission, a small coalition of 11 leading companies committed to hiring 100,000 Veterans by 2020. It’s snowballed and has resulted in hiring more than 340,000 veterans to date.
“As a first step into the whole recruiting realm, it’s just been breathtaking,” said Lou Candiello (pictured below), a Marine veteran who is responsible for military recruiting at Dell.
Moreover, both Dell and EMC were active participants in the White House’s Joining Forces program prior to integrating this past August. The company committed to hiring 2,000 veterans between now and 2020. The national initiative, which just celebrated five years, was created to expand employment and career development for veterans and military spouses.
“Dell EMC was selected to participate in the Joining Forces anniversary celebration at The White House,” Candiello said. “One of our military spouses actually received recognition from the First Lady, which was wonderful.”
Yvonne Neal, Federal Services Program Manager and a military spouse, knows firsthand the support Dell gives to vets and spouses.
“I was working for Dell when my husband came up on orders to leave. My manager at the time connected me with a federal manager who said, ‘Do you have a laptop? Do you have a phone? You can work anywhere,’” Neal said. “I moved to that team and I stayed for almost five years.”
Paying it forward; vets recruiting vets
Candiello feels veterans are an untapped talent resource and is proud Dell recognizes the value they bring to the workforce. In addition to the active military recruiting process, once hired, there are also numerous programs and employee affinity groups to support veterans.
“I think that a big part of supporting veterans within the company is the mentoring process,” Brad Johnson, a Navy veteran who works in Dell EMC’s Federal Division said. “We have some very structured programs to help both mentoring and advancement.”
Johnson himself (pictured above) was hired through a Navy referral.
“Someone I served with on submarines—and who was familiar with my skills and the way that I worked—said, ‘You know what? You should really look at this organization,’” Johnson said. “I now help hiring managers understand what value they get when they hire a veteran into the company and why these people will be successful. The culture here fits. The work ethic fits. The mission support fits.”
Rivas (pictured below) agrees the culture is an excellent fit for veterans. Even after 19 years, he has no intention to go anywhere else and is excited that Dell is continuing to push for hiring more veterans, while creating even more support for those who are on board already.
“There’s a huge movement now in Dell with regard to the veteran population,” Rivas said. “We have a lot of ex-military people out in the workforce; how do we get them into Dell and not just that, but—taking it a step further—how do we transition them into Dell?”
Dell supports veterans through a number of programs, including employee affinity groups at both the national and local levels. The company is hosting celebrations across the country during the week of Veterans Day 2016. Find out more at https://jobs.dell.com/military.