October 1, 2012
Mr. Randy Smith
Re: Letter to the Editor
When I recently challenged credit unions to make a determined effort to hire returning servicemen and women, I was pleasantly surprised by the comments I received. A number of credit unions embraced the idea, and I was encouraged by the efforts of the Michigan Credit Union League to actively engage credit unions in hiring veterans.
A credit union executive who has served our country asked me what NCUA was doing to hire veterans. Certainly a fair question, so I asked our staff what our numbers looked like. I thought it only right to share them.
As of September 3, 2012, veterans make up 14 percent of NCUA’s workforce; we are aiming for 18 percent. Disabled veterans consist of 5 percent of the workforce with our goal being 7 percent. NCUA recruiters continue to establish relationships with veterans and veteran organizations by attending job fairs, recruiting events, and informational fairs and by providing information about NCUA and its mission.
To increase our outreach, we have partnered with the National Veteran’s Employment Coordinators (VEC). The VEC has provided names of disabled veterans to managers soliciting applicants from this source. In turn, the agency has provided the VEC with NCUA vacancy announcements to aid veterans in their job searches. Agency vacancy announcements are also provided to the state vocational rehabilitation counselors who provided names of qualified individuals with disabilities, which includes veterans.
NCUA’s vacancy announcements are open government-wide, as well as to the public. This allows NCUA the opportunity to attract and hire more diverse candidates, including veterans. NCUA is currently working with the Office of Personnel Management and plans to implement the new Pathways Program for students and recent graduates this fall which will also further attract veterans to our workforce.
Recently, NCUA implemented the Veteran’s Education Benefits Program whereby the Department of Veteran Affairs provides qualified veterans a monthly educational stipend for time spent in approved apprenticeship and on-the-job training programs. This benefit will be available to qualified veterans in credit union examiner positions while they are attending entry-level training. NCUA will include this information in its vacancy announcements as an incentive for veterans to apply.
The following table shows NCUA improvement in veterans’ employment as compared to total agency employees from 2009 to 2012:
Over the last three years, our percentage of veteran hires to total hires has steadily increased as shown below:
As we ask credit union to do better, so must we.
Michael E. Fryzel
National Credit Union Administration
1775 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-3428