By Terrence Nowlin
Army veteran and PAE CEO John Heller welcomed guests at a ceremony marking the company's commitment to employing more men and women from the military community. On August 28, the Virginia Values Veterans Program awarded its V3 certification to PAE at its Falls Church, Virginia, headquarters. The certification recognizes PAE's dedication to veteran employees through best practices in recruiting, hiring and retaining veterans and their spouses.
"To me, that's very meaningful," Heller said. "I think this partnership can add a lot of value to our business."
Virginia Department of Veterans Services Deputy Commissioner Annie Walker said the V3 program will help PAE capitalize on its existing dedication to veteran hiring.
"We don't have to tell you the value of hiring veterans because you've already proven that," Walker said. "What the V3 program brings to you is training. We bring to you best practices. We bring to you the opportunity to consult, the opportunity to network with other companies."
Charlie Palumbo, V3 director of transition and employment programs, and Ken Lyles, V3 regional program manager for northern Virginia, joined Walker to present the V3 Program certificate to Heller.
"A business has to look at where they should be based, based on support it gets from the community," Heller said. "Virginia does this and supports this."
The certificate ceremony formalized PAE's involvement with V3, which was initiated earlier in the year. PAE Director of Recruiting Brigit Freedman said great strides have been made since then.
"Currently veterans make up 17 percent of the PAE workforce," Freedman said. "Since V3 certification in May, we've hired 307 veterans and 107 were Virginia residents."
The V3 Program is organized under Veterans Education, Training, and Employment within the Virginia Department of Veterans Services, an agency of the Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs. Since it launched in 2012, the V3 program has provided training and opportunities for hundreds of companies, resulting in more than 33,000 veteran hires.