An event in Winston-Salem highlights the benefits of hiring veterans and gives employers a complete picture of how and why to welcome veterans to their workplace. Think Outside the Box is an annual seminar for HR professionals and employers in Forsyth County, hosted by the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the Winston-Salem Society for Human Resource Management (WS-SHRM), NC-SHRM, and other community organizations. Our second-annual event, held October 18th, addressed the topic of Veterans in the Workforce. Other organizations who participated are Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina and North Carolina for Military Employment (NC4ME). NC4ME is a coalition of organizations from the public and private sectors working together to implement a unique, employer-centric approach to military hiring.

“In 2017, 23,000 service members with the technical and soft skills that businesses need will exit the military through North Carolina’s bases. Our organization can help you learn how to find, assess, and hire your next best employee from that pool of qualified talent.” says Stuart Ruffin, Deputy Director of the North Carolina Military Foundation.

Advocates for veterans often find that HR professionals and employers don’t realize the benefits of hiring veterans – which include both their demonstrated skills and tax perks available to employers who hire veterans. 

5 Reasons Veterans Make Excellent Hires:

  1. They’re Proven Leaders – From basic training to the front lines, our military’s veterans have been taught to respect the chain of command, learn from strong leaders, and take on increasing responsibilities throughout their active-duty careers.
  2. They’re Team Players- In the military, teamwork can save lives. Working as a team is the foundation of serving with fellow brothers and sisters in arms.
  3. They Have a Strong Work Ethic- Veterans experience long hours and extreme working conditions in their service to our country. When they return home, they take pride in their past service and in their civilian career ahead.
  4. They Have Training and Education Opportunities- Today’s military veterans have access to training and continuing education in a vast array of occupations including technology, operations, leadership, medical services, mechanics, automation, and more.
  5. Their Employers Could be Eligible for Tax Breaks- Businesses that hire unemployed veterans may qualify for certain credits, including the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, the Returning Heroes Tax Credit, or the Wounded Warriors Tax Credit.

Our discussion included voices from the Federal and State perspective, as well as specific advice on the EEO compliance factors for veterans’ hiring programs. To learn more, access the information sheet, visit the Chamber’s JobNet information for employers, or visit