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Contact: WDVA Heidi Audette, 360-725-2154 or heidia@dva.wa.gov
                  ESD Janelle Guthrie, 360-902-9289 or jguthrie@esd.wa.gov

OLYMPIA —State Rep. Gina McCabe joined veterans, employers and leaders of the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) and the Employment Security Department (ESD) at the state Capitol today to celebrate the second anniversary of a successful statewide initiative to promote hiring veterans.

McCabe introduced the concept as a demonstration project in the Yakima Workforce Development Area, but YesVets quickly spread across the state and now any employer can sign up and begin hiring veterans through the program.

Since the state launched the YesVets hiring initiative in February 2016, roughly 450 employers have hired 1,300 veterans.

“I’m so proud of the YesVets initiative,” McCabe said. “YesVets is only the beginning of my efforts to fulfill the promises made to our military heroes and their families. Ensuring veterans have jobs to return to should be a priority of not only our state, but our nation.”

“At ESD, we have a highly qualified team of veterans who work to connect our state’s veterans with the businesses who need them,” said Employment Security Commissioner Dale Peinecke. “Now we have nearly 450 businesses participating in this program. What’s next? We want even more employers to take the YesVets challenge and hire a veteran!”

“Veterans make incredible employees,” said WDVA Director, Lourdes E. “Alfie” Alvarado-Ramos. “They have a great work ethic, ability to thrive in a team, self-confidence, discipline, and problem solving abilities that are absolutely unparalleled. When you add the technical skills and abilities that they learned in their military job, you’ve got a pretty unstoppable workforce.”

The group honored businesses and state government agencies who had received their YesVets recognition to date. The event also spotlighted the 12 winners of the ESD 2016 Hire-a-Vet awards. The following employers participated today: 

  • Lacey Green, employer, Bellair Charters and Airporters, Whatcom County
  • Dion McNeely, employer, Commercial Driving School (CDS), King County
  • Alan Wilson, employer, Paragon Systems, Pierce County
  • Randal Shultz, employer, Cannabis Board, Thurston County
  • Reid Bates, Express Employment Professionals, Chelan County
  • Edward Burns Jr. and Tiffany Kelly, Valor Cleaning Services, Spokane

Each representative present at the event received an ESD veterans team challenge coin and a YesVets coffee mug.

How it works

YesVets provides public recognition to employers who actively commit to, recruit for and hire veterans into their open positions. By creating a business environment that publically recognizes and values employers who commit to hiring veterans, YesVets hopes to continue decreasing veteran unemployment. The YesVets decal presented to employers who have hired a veteran, also provides a very public way for both customers and veterans to see that the business supports veterans.

Enrolling in YesVets is quick and easy. Employers simply visit www.yesvets.org and enter basic business and contact information into the online form. Then they are contacted directly by their local veterans employment representative who can help them use the new WorkSourceWA.com job match site built and powered by Monster. Once the employer has hired a veteran, their local veteran’s employment representative presents them with their YesVets decal to proudly display on their business window.

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