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Title:DuPont pledges that 10 percent of new hires will be Veterans

Author:Edward Hagan

Date:September 2012

Source:The University of Delaware's Independent Student Newspaper

Volume:Volume 3 Issue 74

The DuPont Co. has pledged that starting next year, 10 percent of new hires will consist of veterans.

In late August, the chemical company became the first national corporation to formally support the "I Hire Veterans" program and the Congressional Veterans Jobs Caucus, which are aimed at decreasing veteran unemployment, according to a press release by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

Based on the most recent statistics from the United States Department of Labor, there are currently more than 750,000 unemployed veterans in the country. There are more than 100,000 troops expected to return home in the next three years, Manchin said.

DuPont spokeswoman Tara Condon-Tullier said the company is proud to support returning soldiers.

"We've always had a tradition of looking for veterans to fill roles at DuPont," Tullier said. "With their focus on things like detail, discipline and safety, they often gel very well with the culture here."

She said DuPont, whose workforce exceeds 70,000 people, currently hires 2-3,000 new employees annually. Of these new hires, 7-8 percent of them are veterans, Tullier said.

Cadet Capt. Tyle Tripop, a senior civil engineering major and member of the ROTC program, said he thinks DuPont's pledge of support is a step in the right direction for veterans, who often have a difficult time finding work opportunities or readjusting to life at home after completing their service.

"I think this policy is something that, as a country, we don't really have a lot of," Tripop said. "It's great to see a big company like DuPont taking a stand, though. Hopefully others will follow."

Tripop said he enjoys the program and is considering making a career out of the army by staying for longer than the required service. He said he worries about the career opportunities that will be available to him after he returns home.

Air Force Lt. Col. Andy Dahlgren who is also a UPS plane pilot, said he sees the policy's benefits, but he is skeptical of preferential hiring.

"It plants the seed that an individual may feel a false sense of security," Dahlgren said. "They feel like they don't have to perform or be as accomplished. It's a bad attitude for employment. People should strive to be hired on their merits."

Senior command sergeant major Rob Elliot, also a member of the university's ROTC program, said he agrees with the policy. He said DuPont's effort to hire more veterans is an example of how similar programs can not only help veterans find jobs, but also aid in fostering a better relationship between soldiers and civilians.

"I think it shows that more companies are understanding what is going on overseas and the difficulties that soldiers experience when they come back, despite the negative media," Elliot said.

He said he appreciates that there are more support structures being offered to veterans and hopes more employers adopt policies similar to DuPont's.

"Other companies are going to see the benefits of these programs and potentially do the same thing," Elliot said. "Who knows how far it will go?"

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