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Work of Honor: Connecting Our Military with American Jobs

The word ‘military’ is primarily associated with ‘active duty’ in the minds of most Americans — they don’t picture the millions of veterans, retirees and families that stand with those who serve. Unfortunately, this can limit opportunities for military that aren’t in uniform.

One of the biggest hurdles for veterans and military spouses is securing a good job. For veterans, the transition to civilian life can be a bumpy one; military occupational specialities (MOS) don’t always translate to civilian jobs. For spouses, frequent relocations across the country, or even the world, can prevent them from pinpointing a solid career direction. This can leave veterans and spouses feeling lost or unsuccessful in their lives, when in reality they are the glue that holds our nation together.

Work of Honor is an organization dedicated to assisting veterans and military spouses in discovering new job opportunities and connections. Founded in 2015 by Steven Shaw and run by a team of four veterans and eleven military spouses, Work of Honor aims to create a community where each person’s individual talents contribute to a field that best suits them.

Shaw’s father, Jerome Shaw, served in the Navy during World War II and then attended college under the G.I. Bill. In 1950 he founded Volt Information Sciences with his brother on a budget of just $13, and was committed to hiring and working with other veterans.  

“The military gave a lot to him, and he was always giving back,” said Shaw.

Volt provides global infrastructure solutions in technology, knowledge-based services, and human capital acquisition. Today, it employs over 20,000 people worldwide. Three years ago, Shaw and his father decided they wanted to create a separate company more specifically aimed toward veterans.

“Work of Honor’s mission is to shed light on the value of veteran talent in the business community,” Shaw said.

A business networking and hiring event will be hosted by Work of Honor at the Samuel Adams Brewhouse at Eagles Pride, located in DuPont, Washington. It is on Wednesday, August 22 from 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM. It offers veterans and spouses the opportunity to meet with company representatives who seek to hire them, and learn how to use their military experience in the civilian world. Washington’s 15th Secretary of State and Army spouse Kim Wyman will be speaking on her experiences as a career-driven military spouse.

“There’s a number of things in the military that enable veterans to connect and share and help one another,” Shaw remarked. “Setting the bar, networking, being able to access information, and always knowing where the resources can be found. So we emulated those components in our networking events.”

Combining the use of these business and military operational strategies, Work of Honor focuses on strengthening the military community, and in turn strengthening our nation. They believe that providing these advancement opportunities for veterans and spouses will allow them to find a footing in the competition and enhance America’s job economy. Work of Honor has hosted 44 networking events, and holds them every month.

As a member of Work of Honor, you will be directed to military-friendly companies that give priority to veterans and spouses. It will also help align you with jobs specific to your skills and establish a network of people in your industry.

“In the military everyone knows where to find and help one another. In the civilian world it’s a little bit more complicated,” Shaw said. “The networking events are about veterans and military spouses coming together and supporting one another in the professional business community.”

Finding your purpose in the workforce can be as simple as connecting with people just like you.

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