MDHHS awarded prestigious gold-level Veteran-Friendly Employer status

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has been promoted to a Gold-Level Veteran-Friendly Employer by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA).

“With over 400 veteran employees, we have long been committed to recruiting and retaining those who have served our country,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. “We all benefit when veterans have a support system that is designed to help them thrive in state government. The department gains invaluable skillsets and Michigan’s most vulnerable populations benefit from their skills and dedication to service.”

Employers in the Veteran-Friendly Employer program are recognized for their commitment to recruiting, training and retaining veterans. Nearly 400 private and public employers across the state are certified as either bronze-, silver- or gold-level Veteran-Friendly Employers.

Employers must hire and retain a certain number of veterans and implement a number of veteran-focused human resources, support and training programs. MDHHS is one of only 14 employers to meet these criteria.

MDHHS first achieved silver-level status in 2017. Since then, the department has remained focused on hiring and retaining veterans, including implementing a series of programs to provide increased support to the department’s veterans. One such program is the Davenport University Veteran Friendly Scholarship Program, in which MDHHS has partnered with Davenport University and the MVAA to offer scholarships to MDHHS employees and their dependents

These efforts resulted in MDHHS being awarded gold-level status in February 2021.

“Not only is it an honor to work for an employer who is gold level, it is a great feeling to be a part of this team. I have not felt part of a team like this since my days in the U.S. Army,” said Randy Brandt, MDHHS assistance payments worker and a U.S. Army veteran. “This team I work with truly is as strong as its weakest link, and they are always helping one another to make that weakest link our strongest link.”

The Veteran-Friendly program is part of the MVAA’s broader strategy to improve employment, educational, entrepreneurial and other quality-of-life opportunities for Michigan’s 552,000 veterans and their families.

“Veterans bring special skillsets, a strong work ethic and values to the workplace that employers need to help make their operations successful,” said MVAA Director Zaneta Adams. “I congratulate the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for their commendable efforts in recruiting, retaining, growing and supporting Michigan’s veterans. The MVAA applauds the growing list of state departments for recognizing the value of hiring veterans and is committed to working with even more Michigan employers – public and private alike – to help them grow their veteran workforces.”

As the state’s one-stop coordinating agency for veterans, the MVAA is available 24/7 at 1-800-MICH-VET. Organizations interested can learn more on the website for the MVAA Veteran-Friendly Employer certification process.

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