A recent Veterans Leadership Forum (VLF), hosted by the Pittsburgh chapter of BNY Mellon's VETNET employee resource group, brought together senior BNY Mellon executives and talent professionals, members of the broader Pittsburgh nonprofit and academic community, and veteran leaders and champions from other companies to discuss the business case for engaging veterans. Conversations focused on how best to help U.S. veterans 'cross the corporate bridge' into the private sector.
Participating organizations included PNC, The Heinz Endowments, Covestro, Highmark, University of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University, and the U.S. Department of Labor's Pittsburgh Veterans Employment Initiative Group.
Speakers shared examples of the challenges faced by U.S. veterans as they reenter civilian life and highlighted the opportunities available to them when they cross the corporate bridge. They discussed the importance of coaching not only veterans but also hiring managers and recruiters about how to translate military skills into tangible business benefits.
Perhaps the most important takeaway from VLF was a direct call-to-action to engage with U.S. veterans no matter where they transition to after their service. 'In addition to thanking a veteran for their service, ask them about their experiences so far,' said Ian Stewart, CEO, Treasury Services and Chairman, BNY Mellon Pennsylvania. 'Ask them where they want to go from here, then ask them how you can help.'
The agenda included keynote speaker, Guy Filippelli, CEO of RedOwl Analytics and cofounder of the COMMIT Foundation, an organization dedicated to creating tailored transitions for top veteran talent and reaching veterans across the country with transition assistance programs.
The keynote address was followed by a panel discussion including Filippelli, Megan Andros, Program Officer, The Heinz Endowments, and representatives of Pittsburgh's VETNET Chapter.
VETNET is a BNY Mellon employee group that serves as a resource for the professional development, retention and advancement of returning military as they transition to new careers and civilian life. Membership is open to all employees, engaging many of BNY Mellon's retired military personnel, military reservists, military family members, and allies who champion the leadership and impact that veterans have on the company.
'BNY Mellon is a proud corporate leader in the greater Pittsburgh region,' said Stewart. 'We brought together this group of influencers to challenge the broader community to make a difference for veterans as they transition out of military service.'