The University of Washington Tacoma is participating in a program that encourages employers to hire veterans. YesVets is a partnership between the Washington State Employment Security Department, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Commerce, the Military Transition Council and local chambers of commerce.
UW Tacoma recently celebrated its first YesVets hire. Jesse Schweizer, '13, a U.S. Air Force veteran, was brought on as a program support supervisor within Student Transitions Programs. Participating organizations fill out an online form each time they hire a veteran. The institution and the employee are then honored in a ceremony. YesVets began on February 1, 2016 and only counts veterans hired after that date as part of its campaign.
UW Tacoma has a strong connection to the military. Twenty percent of the student population is military-affiliated. The university also has longstanding relationship with Joint Base Lewis-McChord. “We’ve made it a point to connect with the base in a positive way,” said Richard Wilkinson, the associate vice chancellor for organizational effectiveness and development.
Wilkinson says the university’s involvement in YesVets reflects its commitment to the military community. “Vets add to the rich diversity of campus and they also bring with them a set of valuable skills and experiences.” Wilkinson sees the relationships as mutually beneficial. “They enrich our lives and we enrich theirs.”
More than 2,300 veterans are counted in the YesVets program. UW Tacoma is one of 597 participating organizations. Wilkinson knows there is a large staff and faculty population at UW Tacoma who served in the military but aren’t included in YesVets. “They might not be included in this program but they are valued members of our community. The work they do helps this university thrive and helps students succeed.”
John Burkhardt, UW Tacoma Communications, 253-692-4536 or firstname.lastname@example.org