New Survey Indicates Veterans Are Optimistic about Return to Civilian Careers but Want Training & Ed


New Survey Indicates Veterans Are Optimistic about Return to Civilian Careers but Want Training & Education for Jobs That Will Make a Difference

'Voice of the Veterans' Survey Published at Launch of 'Get Skills to Work'; a New Coalition to Train & Match U.S. Veterans for Careers in Advanced Manufacturing

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- GE (NYS: GE) and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF) today unveiled poignant insights from the 'Voice of Veterans' survey, which found that 76 percent of U.S. veterans and active duty military preparing to transition to civilian life are confident they can be successful in their private-sector careers. Despite this optimism, 66 percent believe their skills are undervalued by private sector employers.

The survey was published at the launch of the 'Get Skills to Work' coalition, which has been created to harness the existing skills of veterans by: accelerating training for careers in advanced manufacturing; helping veterans and employers translate military skills to in-demand advanced manufacturing positions; and empowering employers with tools to recruit, onboard and mentor veterans. Further details on the coalition can be found at

The online survey examined the professional attitudes and mindsets of more than 1,000 U.S. veterans and active duty military service members under the age of 45 who are transitioning to civilian careers.

Findings revealed that veterans seek the right training for their civilian careers just as they received in the military. Respondents particularly want skills training and education that can translate skills into stable, rewarding civilian careers that make a positive difference in the world.

"What stands out in this data is that veterans are motivated to make a difference beyond their military careers. Given their contributions, we must pay attention to the unique challenges and opportunities they face as they navigate the transition to civilian life," said Mike Haynie, founder and executive director, IVMF. "There is a lot we can do to match the desire to work in dynamic, rewarding industries with training that creates a pathway for success."

Key findings from the 'Voice of the Veterans' survey revealed:

Young veterans are optimistic about their civilian careers, but acknowledge a gap between the skills they gained in the military and the private-sector roles they can fill

  • Seventy-six percent of young veterans are confident they can be successful in their careers, despite the many challenges faced when transitioning to civilian life; and this confidence level increases with age

  • Sixty-six percent of respondents feel their skills are undervalued. Unparalleled work ethic, leadership, teamwork, discipline, and dedication are translatable skills they have to offer the civilian workforce

  • Seventy percent of respondents believe the skills they earned in the military align with a job in the manufacturing industry

Respondents believe their "Ideal Job" is within reach with proper education and training

  • Seventy-nine percent are motivated to find educational opportunities to help them find and advance their civilian career

  • Work/school balance (48%) and financial burdens (35%) pose barriers to their pursuit of education

Young veterans are looking beyond the basics of a stable, well-paying job with good benefits to a value-driven career

  • Seventy-six percent want a civilian career that makes a positive difference in the world

  • Seventy-eight percent seek a career that fills them with a sense of pride

Industry has a role in facilitating their transition to the private sector

  • Sixty-two percent of respondents believe that companies have a responsibility to provide veterans with opportunities to enter and succeed in the civilian job market, close behind the government (seventy-one percent)

Results of the 'Voice of the Veterans' survey were unveiled today as GE and the IVMF joined with business, digital, academic and not-for-profit partners to launch the Get Skills to Work coalition, aimed at bolstering the talent pipeline, enhancing American competitiveness and giving our nation's veterans the skills and tools they need to compete for the jobs of the future. Coalition partners include The Manufacturing Institute, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Alcoa Inc. LinkedIn, Futures Inc., Atlantic Council, the Gary Sinise Foundation and Techshop.

"The U.S. manufacturing industry is growing, and we stand ready to provide our military veterans with the training, education and mentorship they are seeking to build long-term, well-paying careers that make a positive difference in the world," said Frank Taylor, Chief Security Officer of GE. "The skills earned in the U.S. Armed Forces translate to today's sophisticated, highly technical manufacturing industry, and we are confident that working together with America's heroes, we are poised to drive American competitiveness."

The 'Voice of the Veterans' survey was commissioned by GE in partnership with the IVMF and conducted by independent research firm Edelman-Berland. For a full report on the research findings, as well as information about Get Skills to Work coalition, please visit

About GE

GE (NYS: GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For more information, visit the company's website at

About Institute for Veterans and Military Families

The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) was founded in 2011 by Syracuse University as the result of a historic partnership with JPMorgan Chase & Co. As the first institute of its kind in the nation, the mission of the IVMF is to leverage the intellectual, programmatic and human capital resources of higher education in support of the post-service life course of the nation's veterans and military families. Specifically, the IVMF focuses on developing impactful programming, cultivating actionable research, conducting policy analysis and providing technical assistance positioned to address the social, economic and public policy challenges facing the veterans' community. The IVMF team approaches this mission as a collaboration, forging enduring partnerships with government, private industry, institutions of higher education, philanthropic organizations and other stakeholders committed to supporting transitioning service members, veterans and their families.

Lindsay Lorraine
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Jaime Winne Alvarez
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