AWARD-WINNING VETS TO TECH PROGRAM EXPANDS WITH “VETS2TECH WEEK” IN THE EAST BAY
Last week, Lawrence Livermore National Lab and the City of Fremont partnered with Nationwide Boiler, Inc., Lam Research and other East Bay employers to launch a pilot called Vets2tech Week. The event aimed to “pre-recruit” veterans into appropriate college programs, educate them on required skills, and provide information about work opportunities with local employers.
The cohort of twelve veterans from Ohlone, DVC, Laney, and Las Positas colleges visited six employers in the East Bay during the week of March 5 to explore careers in the Semiconductor, Defense, Construction, Research, and Manufacturing industries. Since these veteran students are local, they can often qualify for part-time jobs in their field of interest while attending college.
With the widening talent gap in manufacturing and technology industries, programs like these are extremely beneficial. Not only do they connect veterans with employment opportunities in manufacturing and technical careers nationwide, but they also educate employers on the tangible and intangible benefits of hiring veterans.
Beth McCormick of Lawrence Livermore National Lab spearheaded the award-winning Vets to Tech program three years ago, said, “The Vet2Tech week gave veterans the opportunity to compare work environments at six different employers in the East Bay. The veterans that visited the National Lab met lab employees with military backgrounds. The employees expressed how much we value the leadership skills veterans bring to the job. When paired with the right education, these individuals have tremendous potential to achieve.”
The veterans that participated in the Vets2tech Week gained insights into:
- The variety of tech jobs, from machinists to engineers, that exist in the community
- Training and education requirements for each job
- How military experience can add value for employers
- Career options and salary ranges
- Summer internships and part-time opportunities available to students
- Networking opportunities with veterans working with local companies
Nationwide Boiler hosted a veteran student from Las Positas College, who enjoyed learning about the company and walked away feeling hopeful about a civilian career opportunity in this field.
“Lam was happy to participate in Vets2Tech Week,” said Steve Lanza, a VP of Human Resources at Lam Research. “Each company had existing programs and decided to join forces for a more impactful outreach event. At Lam, the students toured our lab, received information on how to transition to the workforce and heard from fellow veterans who are Lam employees.”
Dan Hempsmeyer, a first-year engineering student at Ohlone College and U.S. Marine, visited Lam Research and shared, “Vets2Tech is great because it gets us here in person to talk to other veterans who have taken the same path. I think it’s effective to show us the possibilities.”
Another attendee, Melissa Santo Domingo, is an engineering student at Ohlone College and a former nurse in the U.S. Army Reserves who left a business degree program at DeVry to pursue cybersecurity. She said by participating in the event, it gave her more insight on what it would be like to work at the company she visited and how to apply.
Veterans are a resilient, adaptable, and flexible workforce; therefore, they are well matched for today’s tech jobs. During their service, most veterans have gained immense experience learning on their feet, building discipline, and valuing teamwork, all of which are highly-valued skills that employers are looking for.
Nationwide Boiler is proud to have been a partner on this unique model where employers have joined forces to help veterans gain work in tech. Considering the many benefits of Vets to Tech program, it’s no surprise that the partners have already begun planning for a larger event later this year.