ASLRRA’s Veterans Engagement Award honors industry employers who demonstrate positive policies toward U.S. veterans and who implement unique programs and practices to hire, recognize, support, and engage with veterans in the workplace and the broader community. The award program is open to all ASLRRA railroad and supplier members, and nominations detail that ways in which the applicant company engages with veterans in the workplace and community throughout the year; highlight company programs and activities that support and recognize veterans in the workplace and in the community; and outline efforts to target veterans in company hiring practices.

The 2020/21 award nominations featured a number of exceptional companies and programs designed to recognize and support veterans in the workplace as well as the community. Click here to read more about the important programs and activities of ASLRRA member employers who prioritize hiring, engaging and supporting veterans in the workplace and in the community.

Vancer’s commitment to identifying veterans in the community and creating a program that provides support as they transition to civilian roles has led to a workforce where one in ten employees is a veteran.

Recognizing that military experience provides skills that translate well into positions at Vancer, the human resources team has created the Military Liaisons program, a group of select employees with previous and recent military experience who can demonstrate 1) a positive attitude regarding the military and 2) the ability to promote Vancer in a positive light to enhance Vancer’s efforts to attract employees. Liaisons act as a contact and guide for potential and new employees who are transitioning from active-duty military positions into Vancer roles.

A Military Liaison team member partners with a new employee in several ways, including attending military career fairs, participating in pre-employment tours of Vancer’s facilities by active military service members, discussing the job and department functions, serving as a mentor for questions about transitioning into civilian work, introducing employees to other Vancer military service members, and working with the human resources team to improve military initiatives at Vancer. This program has led to numerous awards and recognitions from the military community.

“Vancer is proud that over 10.5% of our workforce consists of veterans, members of the National Guard, and Reservists. Our commitment to hiring from these groups has led Vancer to receive the Seven Seals Award by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR),” said Kevin Kirkle, Vice President of Human Resources, Vancer.

Since the late 1990s, Vancer has supported STEM programming in their community and at local trade and technical schools which will lead to skills development for veterans that can be attracted to a career at Vancer. Vancer’s Troops2Techs tooling program and partnership with six Midwest community colleges ensures that program participants have the training needed to start on the right foot. Vancer also assists participants with the cost of the program, allowing individuals to graduate debt free.

Beyond its current employee needs, Vancer seeks to recruit and train future generations, growing its visibility in the community and its commitment to skills development by investing in middle/high schools, trade schools, and philanthropic grant opportunities that support developing talent initiatives. Vancer is currently highly visible in other STEM related programs such as Dream It! Do It! and SkillsUSA.

In 2013, Vancer created a corporate owned and operated Foundation, with the objective of establishing consistent and meaningful giving that would have the most effective impact on the communities in which its employees live and work. The Foundation supports opportunities to volunteer in the community, as well as fundraising ideas from the employee base. Recent Foundation awards include the Central Nebraska Veterans’ Memorial in Kearney, NE, and the Nebraska Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial in Omaha, Nebraska.

Click here to view the award criteria. Contact Sabrina Waiss with questions.