Bon Secours wins veterans’ award

Published 9:56 pm Thursday, September 4, 2014

Bon Secours Virginia Health System has been recognized by the Families and Work Institute with the 2014 Veterans Employment Transition Award, which recognizes employers for innovative strategies to hire, retain and support military veterans and their families as they transition into civilian life.

Bon Secours was a VET Award recipient in 2012 and received an honorable mention in 2013.

“With a strong military presence in Hampton Roads, as well as in central Virginia, Bon Secours is uniquely positioned to provide hard working service members and their families with employment opportunities once their military careers are over,” Michael K. Kerner, chief executive officer of Bon Secours Hampton Roads Health System said in an emailed announcement.

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“Our employees with military experience bring unparalleled understanding to the importance of teamwork, adaptability, diversity, and the ability to improvise and overcome obstacles. I am proud of these individuals and of our health system in supporting these service members and their families.”

Among applicants, a VET Award review team, which included an external panel of subject matter experts, ranked Bon Secours for strength in several areas.

Its “onboarding program” provides managers with training to transition military personnel into roles within Bon Secours, and a Workplace Warriors program provides coaching and counseling resources to new military employees and their families.

This resulted in 137 veteran hires in 2013 and a 92-percent first-year veteran retention rate that surpassed the health system’s goal of 90 percent, company officials said in the release.

The health system also participates in company-wide programs supporting women veterans. Bon Secours’ flexible workplace program extends time off for employees who participate in military service and provides re-employment rights.

One million former military members are expected to transition into the civilian workforce by 2016, according to the Families and Work Institute.

The VET Award was created in 2012 to recognize employers that were investing in making full use of this talent, with the goal of identifying and sharing leading practices so more companies would derive the benefits of hiring veterans, military spouses and others in the military community.

In addition to Bon Secours Virginia, other 2014 VET Award recipients are JPMorgan Chase and USAA.