SOLON, OH – Thanks in part to a new law that provides tax credits to companies that hire veterans, a Solon manufacturer has recently hired three veterans and anticipates filling four open positions in conjunction with a pilot program carried out by the Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network (MAGNET). U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) visited Zircoa, Inc. today to highlight the VOW to Hire Heroes Act 2011 and release the results of MAGNET’s pilot program to place veterans in good-paying manufacturing jobs in Northeast Ohio.
“Our commitment to our servicemembers shouldn’t end when they leave the military. Just as we invest in our servicemembers in times of war, we should do so in times in peace—and that includes the federal government and private companies alike,” Brown said. “There are so many reasons why it makes sense for Ohio small businesses to hire veterans. These are talented, dedicated, and experienced men and women that can be incredible assets to companies. Zircoa is just one of many companies in the Cleveland area and across Ohio that are not just capitalizing on the skills that veterans bring to the table, but will also see significant tax breaks for hiring these returning heroes.
“Servicemembers risk their lives protecting our nation only to return home to fight each day looking for work. We cannot leave one veteran behind in the economy and country they helped to create and protect. That’s why this new veterans jobs law is so important,” Brown added.
Brown was joined by veteran Jason Haffner, Zircoa’s plant manager, as well as company CEO and President Ronne Proch to outline how the new law has enabled the company to hire former servicemembers and why hiring veterans has been beneficial for Zircoa. Mary Ann Pacelli from MAGNET also joined Brown to discuss the Network’s successful pilot initiative to match returning veterans with training for available manufacturing jobs in the Cleveland area. To date, MAGNET has:
- assessed more than 150 veterans interested in manufacturing jobs.
- trained 24 veterans, including skill specific training for Computer Numerical Control (CNC) operation and resume writing and interviewing
- placed 30 veterans in more than 10 companies in Northeast Ohio
“MAGNET is honored to have had the opportunity to work with the Veterans Employment Representatives in the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services offices here,” MAGNET’s Pacelli said. “Our project has been successful in placing more than 30 veterans in manufacturing jobs here in Northeast Ohio, and we believe the partnership we created with the Veterans Employment Representatives will allow them to continue assessing and placing eligible veterans with our manufacturing employers.”
In November 2011, the Senate passed and the President signed into law the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, which included another piece of legislation cosponsored by Brown—the Hiring Heroes Act—that aims to ensure that all servicemembers transitioning to civilian life receive the job training skills they need to find employment. Employers can receive up to $2,400 and $9,600 in tax breaks per veteran hired between November 22, 2011, and January 1, 2013. The VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 also:
- Makes the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), an interagency workshop coordinated by Departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs, mandatory for servicemembers moving on to civilian life to help them secure 21st Century jobs through resume writing workshops and career counseling.
- Expands education and training opportunities for older veterans by providing 100,000 unemployed veterans of past eras and wars with up to 1-year of additional Montgomery GI benefits to go towards education or training programs at community colleges or technical schools.
- Provides disabled veterans up to 1-year of additional Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Benefits.
- Allows service members to begin the federal employment process prior to separation in order to facilitate a truly seamless transition from the military to jobs at VA, Homeland Security, or the many other federal agencies in need of our veterans.
Zircoa, Inc. engineers and manufactures specialty ceramic materials. It was founded in 1952 in Cleveland, later relocating to Solon.