How to Find Qualified Veterans and Transitioning Service Members

Numerous resources and platforms exist to help you quickly locate and recruit qualified veterans and transitioning service members for your apprenticeship program.

Recruiting options

As with recruiting qualified apprenticeship candidates generally, you can post broadly with your state job board or work with your local American Job Center. American Job Centers have staff who specialize in placing veterans, such as Local Veterans Employment Representatives and Disabled Veteran Outreach Program Specialists, who can be especially helpful.
 
Larger programs and employers can also benefit from Regional Veteran Employment Coordinators, who can help connect you with the appropriate federal, state, and local resources while providing consulting and coordination services in support of veteran hiring. You can find and contact your regional coordinator here or by emailing VETS-OUTREACH@dol.gov.
 
You can also post directly to the VA’s online employment center, which veterans and transitioning service members can use to find available jobs.
 
List your available apprenticeship opportunities on Apprenticeship.gov’s job finder. You can find more on how to list your available jobs here or by talking with your state job bank. 
 
As an additional step, consider reaching out to private and third-party services that serve as hiring liaisons to veterans and transitioning service members. Examples include Military Hire, Hire Military, RallyPoint, and NAVNET. Although some organizations, such as the Marine Executive Association, allow you to post jobs for free, most operate as paid hiring services.
 

SkillBridge (for transitioning service members)

The DOD SkillBridge Program allows active-duty service members to spend their final 180 days of service in an apprenticeship in the private sector. During this time, they will continue receiving salary and benefits from the Department of Defense while incurring no costs to the employer.  To begin as a SkillBridge employer: 

Review the employer handbook to see what your obligations will be. These will largely resemble the obligations for other Registered Apprenticeship programs.
 
Complete an online questionnaire to initiate the process.
 
You should receive information from the SkillBridge office shortly after submitting the questionnaire, complete with “next steps.” Continue to follow up with DOD representatives to complete remaining process components.
 
Once your program is approved, transitioning service members (transitioning service members) will be able to discover your organization through the SkillBridge portal. Interested service members must first receive permission to participate in SkillBridge from their military chain of command, at which point you can choose from qualified applicants using your own hiring process. Ensure your website provides clear information on how interested transitioning service members can apply for an apprenticeship.
 

Other outreach tips

Although you may already be considering partnerships with local community colleges for related technical education, consider working with them for outreach as well. Many service members rely on community college systems in their region for continuing education, degrees, and certificates. Because of this, your local community college may already have a sizable pool of veterans and transitioning service members students who would be interested in applying their classroom knowledge in an apprenticeship program.
 
Check the Department of Labor’s Employer Guide to Hiring Veterans for best practices for recruiting and retaining veteran talent, a list of federal, state, and nonprofit organizations you might partner with, and much more.
 

Marketing your program

Various tools translate military job experience to civilian specialties and vice versa. To search by job types you want veterans or transitioning service members to fill, use the civilian-to-military occupation translator at CareerOneStop.org.