Editor’s note: With Veterans’ Day at hand, Jim Goodnight, co-founder and CEO of Cary-based SAS, writes in a blog post how his company strives to support military veterans transitioning to civilian jobs. SAS on Wednesday also announced a new program to offer free SAS courses at 14 military bases and vouchers for certification tests starting in June 18. The following blog was posted at LinkedIn and is reprinted with permission.

CARY – A few weeks ago, SAS earned a top spot among the world’s best multinational workplaces. One of the reasons we remain on this list, as I mentioned in my last post, is our commitment to providing opportunities for everyone – including our military veterans. As a company committed to supporting and hiring veterans, reservists and members of the National Guard, SAS is fortunate to be based in North Carolina. With 130,000 active and reserve military located here, North Carolina trails only California and Texas in that regard. SAS participates in many programs to attract these dedicated, driven people to the company, and to help them make the transition to civilian life.

Such a transition can present a number of challenges, many of which involve working in a non-military environment. To help with that, SAS partners with non-profit organization Enable America to offer mentoring and career development for wounded warriors and disabled veterans. Our Veteran Employment, Training and Support (VETS) internship program provides valuable work experience for military personnel pursuing a degree in IT.  Partnered with a mentor from our SAS IT organization who is also a veteran, participants work on business-critical projects to help them acclimate to corporate environments while experiencing practical career coaching. We also work closely with numerous organizations to ensure veteran employment representatives know the skills SAS seeks from candidates.

These efforts – among many others – helped earn SAS the Pro Patria Award, the highest state-level award given to a civilian employer by the US Department of Defense.

Beyond recruitment, SAS is also committed to helping transitioning service members further develop the coveted analytics skills for which employers from every industry are clamoring. Such organizations are desperate for talented people to help them turn data into meaningful information to make better decisions.

To help with this, SAS is working with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families(IVMF) to offer free SAS programming courses to transitioning service members and their families. At 14 military installations around the U.S., and online, service members of all ranks can add valuable analytics skills to their existing education background that will lead to rewarding career opportunities.

It’s important to know that transition challenges related to employment are not limited to on-the-job skills. In fact, a veteran may have never applied or interviewed for a civilian position. They may not even have a resume; and, if they do, it may not translate their military skills and duties into the skills employers are seeking. Who better to impart those skills than the hiring companies themselves?

There are many organizations with which companies can partner to help transitioning service members and veterans land great civilian jobs. As we recognize United States veterans this week, let’s help them and their families create successful civilian lives that honor their service and sacrifice.

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