PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- Michael Wright might be considered a rare case. After stepping off the nuclear submarines he worked on as a member of the U.S. Navy, he was able to directly apply the skills he learned in the military to his job as maintenance coordinator for the Entergy Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan, N.Y.
That experience gave Wright a leg up on the competition he would not have had otherwise—and without it, he might not have been hired, he said.
But many veterans aren’t as lucky finding jobs when they get home. That’s why Wright has become an advocate for Hiring Our Heroes, a national campaign by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to hire 500,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2014.
“A lot of times people say, ‘I drove a tank in the military, but how does that translate to a job?’” Wright said. “You learn a lot in the military about things like integrity, loyalty and leadership that would make you successful in any job.”
Right now, Wright is working within Entergy to start an affinity group, which will help integrate veterans into the company. Wright will also take part in a series of job fairs around the country to help past veterans find work. A few weeks ago, he and his team attended a job fair aboard New York City’s Intrepid, which hosted representatives from approximately 200 companies.
“There’s a degree of life experience that a veteran brings that you don’t get until you’ve gone out and lived a little bit,” Wright said.
Wright’s daughter is currently earning that life experience as an Intel analyst for the U.S. National Guard stationed in Afghanistan. She hopes to one day work for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).