MasterMinds: The Value of Veterans

At Channel Partners Evolution, we are partnering with TrainOurTroops to take Veterans@ Channel Partners to the next level.

Buffy Naylor, Senior Managing Editor

August 3, 2017

4 Min Read

**Editor’s Note: MasterMinds is a biweekly feature in which we invite leading master agents to share information, insights and expert opinions about what’s going on in their agencies, the IT/telecom channel or the business community in general.**

In March 2016, Michael Goodenough, a member of the Channel Partners Editorial Advisory Board, invited two military veteran job seekers to shadow him at the spring Channel Partners Conference & Expo and learn about the tech industry and the channel. The following August, two more veterans were invited to Channel Partners Evolution in Washington, D.C.

By the time of the spring 2017 Channel Partners Conference & Expo, the initiative to invite veterans had a name — Veterans@Channel Partners — and had grown to facilitate invitations to 11 veterans.

Channel Partners supplied a dedicated meeting room and full Expo passes. Granite Telecommunications stepped up to underwrite travel, hotel and incidental expenses. Cloud Girls and Women in the Channel (WiC) provided mentors for some of the veterans, and WiC also hosted female veterans at its colocated networking event.

The veterans were referred by Hire Heroes USA, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and firms providing mentors included Carrier Access, Cellular Optimization, CenturyLink, Clarify360. EffortlessOffice, Nuvalo, Platte River Networks. Richardson Communications, TelecomQuotes and WTG.

And for Channel Partners Evolution, Sept. 25-25 in Austin, Texas, the program has gained even more momentum.

We have partnered with TrainOurTroops, an Austin-based 501(c)(3) veteran non-profit organization that provides U.S. veterans and their spouses with free advanced online training and certification solutions to give them a competitive advantage in the civilian job market and ignite their careers. And Granite has again stepped forward and agreed to help underwrite costs.

Organizations across the country support TrainOurTroops to drive various veteran scholarship programs while also allowing the marketing aspect of TrainOurTroops to drive veteran-branded initiatives for those organizations to obtain global exposure and awareness.

TrainOurTroops provides courses that are driven by the needs of organizations. Once finished with a given road map of courses, veterans receive online testing, templates and deliverables, certification, and visibility to organizations that want their newly acquired skill sets. They also find a community of other veterans to network with. TrainOurTroops allows veterans and their spouses to start new careers or simply add additional advanced skill sets in order to become more valuable to their current employers.

According to Glen Brynteson, founder and president of TrainOurTroops, courses are created around six critical organizational disciplines: customer experience (CX) solutions, competitive intelligence (CI) solutions, strategic modeling (SX) solutions, product design and launch intelligence (PX) solutions, win/loss analysis (WL) solutions and emotional intelligence and thought leadership (EX & TL) solutions.

TrainOurTroops focuses on getting veterans assessed, trained, prepared and engaged in the marketplace to obtain…

…solid positions to better support their families and excel in their individual careers. They want to ensure veteran families remain strong in a challenging work environment and be successful in any organization or profession.

“We don’t just want to help veterans get jobs,” says Brynteson. “Our goal is to provide a higher quality of life for veterans by giving them the training they need to get higher-quality and higher-paying positions within organizations. The same applies to their spouse. We want to lift the entire veteran family unit. It’s the least we can do for the people that were willing to put their life on the line for our freedom.”

“We ask a lot of our veterans,” he says. “They serve our country in some of the most dangerous environments and difficult situations faced by any American. Yet having endured those experiences, too many veterans returning to civilian jobs find themselves in work that barely pays enough to live on.”

According to Brynteson, 31 percent of employed veterans say they are underemployed or in a low-paying job, a number that’s up from 23 percent in 2015, according to the CareerBuilder Veterans Day Job Forecast. Add to that, many of the jobs targeted to veterans are low-skilled and therefore low-paying, which sets up vets for poverty and struggle, rather than for success.

At the Austin event, TrainOurTroops will have a booth on the exhibit floor and will be raising awareness and donations for their veteran training and placement initiatives.

For information on how you can support Veterans@Channel Partners, contact Buffy Naylor or Lorna Garey.

Have information or insights you’d like to share? Submit it to [email protected].

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About the Author(s)

Buffy Naylor

Senior Managing Editor, Channel Futures

Buffy Naylor is senior managing editor of Channel Futures. Prior to joining Informa (then VIRGO) in 2008, she was an award-winning copywriter and editor, then senior manager of corporate communications for an international leisure travel corporation and, before that, in charge of creative development and copywriting for a boutique marketing and public relations agency.

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