Blue Cross and Strategic Staffing Solutions: Teaming Up to Help Veterans Transition into a Career

When veterans leave active duty and look to transition to a civilian job, it can be hard for them to get their foot in the door. In fact, more than half of veterans say they have trouble explaining their military experience and skills to future employers. That’s where a staffing agency can help – they are able to fill their clients’ open spots with talented veterans, creating a win-win situation. And that’s exactly what Strategic Staffing Solutions does for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

Ever since 1995, Strategic Staffing Solutions has helped place employees throughout Blue Cross’ many departments. However, a few years ago, they turned their focus to making sure veterans were being utilized whenever possible. “Veterans are very good at adapting to different environments, so they make great employees,” says Colonel Ken Huxley, director of talent acquisition for Strategic Staffing Solutions. “In the past few years we’ve placed close to 200 veterans and military spouses in open positions across the country.”

One of those veterans is Maurice French, a retired naval officer who now works in the IT production office at Blue Cross. “I was a lieutenant commander in the Navy for eight years, where I worked in naval intelligence and was deployed to Greece, Czechoslovakia, Thailand and Japan,” he says. “When I left the Navy about 30 years ago, I began working in IT. And about a year and a half ago, Strategic Staffing Solutions placed me here at Blue Cross. Now I am a senior project manager where I help keep major projects moving along.”

French’s military service has helped him become a better project manager. “The military has such discipline and makes you think strategically,” he says. “In the IT space at Blue Cross, I need to analyze problems, work out solutions and come up with backup solutions in case the first ones don’t work. The military also gave me a chance to interact with people from a lot of different cultures and learn how to work out conflict in a team, something that is especially useful to me here.”

For more about how Blue Cross focuses on increasing its veteran employees, check out these other blogs:

Photo credit: US Army Africa

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