Google this week rolled out new tools to help military veterans find jobs, plus announced a grant to help them get IT training.
Veterans who search for jobs on Google can now type “jobs for veterans,” then enter their specific military occupational specialty code (MOS, AFSC, NEC) to find openings for civilian jobs that may be suited to their skills.
The search tool would’ve come in handy for Sean O’Keefe when he was job-hunting nearly five years ago.
Luckily, he had a friend from his days at Columbia University who works at Google to help him get a job at the search giant, where he is now a data scientist. But for other veterans who might not have connections at places where they want to work, O’Keefe thinks the search tool — which Google is also making available to other companies that want to implement it on their job boards — could be key.
“How do you translate what I did in the service to a role at Google or any other company?” he said during an interview with this news organization Tuesday. The search tool “would’ve been very impactful” for him, and he thinks it could help plenty of others.
O’Keefe, a Cupertino native who became a sergeant in the U.S. Army, is involved with veteran-related causes both inside and outside Google. He works a lot with the Grow with Google program, which just launched these veterans initiatives, and has tools specifically for teachers, local business owners, startups and more.
Google also is giving a $2.5 million grant to the United Services Organization, a nonprofit that helps American military service members and their families. The USO will incorporate the Google IT Support Professional Certificate into its program, which could help veterans and their spouses get jobs in the IT industry. The program launches at Fort Drum on Oct. 1.
In its announcement of the grant Monday, Google said those who complete the certification can share their information directly with more than 20 employers, including Intel, Bank of America, Walmart, Hulu and Google itself.
Another way the company wants to help vets is by adding a special attribute to search. Businesses can list themselves as being led or owned by a veteran, and that designation will show up in search results and when users open a business listing in Maps.
Citing government statistics, Google said about 250,000 U.S. veterans enter the job market each year. Also, a study released by ZipRecruiter and the Call of Duty Endowment in November 2017 found that nearly one-third of veterans reported feeling underemployed, or having jobs below their skill level.