The veterans employment initiative, “Hiring: Red, White & You!” established by the Texas Medical Center, has reached an impressive milestone of 1,039 jobs for former military members.
“The member institutions of the Texas Medical Center took this initiative to heart and quickly mobilized, making it their mission to remove roadblocks to employment for veterans,” said Robert C. Robbins, M.D., Texas Medical Center president and chief executive officer. “This milestone says a great deal about our appreciation for the sacrifices military men and women have made for our country.”
In January 2012, the member institutions of the Texas Medical Center recognized the challenges facing veterans re-entering civilian life and the workforce. Led by Korean War Veteran James H. “Red” Duke Jr., M.D., retired Army Colonel John B. Holcomb, M.D., and Air Force Veteran Richard E. Wainerdi, they joined forces to help veterans transfer the skills and abilities developed in the armed forces to jobs in the Texas Medical Center health care community.
The collaboration of human resource executives, military networking groups, educational facilities, and the Texas Workforce Commission enabled the initiative to grow. In June 2012, the Texas Medical Center held the first-ever, collaborative job fair using the tag line “Hiring Red, White & You.” More than 500 veterans attended to find out about available job opportunities in the health care community.
“Overall, nearly one in 12 of our nation’s heroes can’t find a job to support their families, and don’t have work that provides them with the confidence and pride that is so critical to their transition home,” said Holcomb, who also is a trauma surgeon at the UTHealth Medical School and Memorial Hermann-TMC. “Our service members who fight to protect our freedoms abroad shouldn’t have to fight for jobs when they return home.”
Brian Wilson, a health care specialist in the U.S. Army, was among the first hired. His mission: to help recruit more veterans like himself. In The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston’s human resources department, he works directly with hiring managers and veterans to identify job opportunities. He also formed UTHealth’s Military Veteran Program.
Francisco Sauceda, a former personnel officer in the U.S. Navy, was hired by the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center. He works with new hires during the pre-employment process, which allows him to welcome other newly hired veterans. His supervisor, human resources manager Rodney Green, says Sauceda brings “energy, passion, and a thirst to learn” to work each day.
The next Hiring: Red, White & You! Job Fair is Wednesday, May 8, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Hornberger Conference Center, 2151 W. Holcombe Boulevard in Houston. For more information about the Hiring: Red, White & You! initiative,