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Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency Recognizes Blue Cross as Veteran-Friendly Employer

The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency recently recognized Blue Cross as a silver-level Veteran Friendly Employer. The MVAA awards gold, silver and bronze level status to employers that commit to military veteran recruiting, training and retention practices.

The company’s progress toward veteran hiring goals and implementing retention programs for veterans earned the company the silver level status. The veteran-friendly employer program is one of the nation’s most rigorous veteran-employment initiatives, and Blue Cross has been working toward achieving this designation for the past three years.

“The recognition by the MVAA highlights our commitment to making Blue Cross an attractive employer for veterans,” said Corrie Beaverson, director, Talent Acquisition. “We’ve partnered with several veteran organizations and other companies across the state with the Veteran Friendly Employer designation to share and implement successful practices that draw veterans to Blue Cross.”

Blue Cross’ Veterans Employee Resource Network has supported Talent Acquisition in this effort. Through the ERN, veteran new hires are offered a six-month mentoring opportunity. During the program, mentors serve as a resource and share knowledge, experience and best practices to support the new hire’s goals and to help navigate the new work environment.

“Through employee engagement and mentoring opportunities, the Veterans ERN strives to make a real difference in the lives of veterans,” said Bill Plies, vice president, Strategy, and the ERN’s executive sponsor. “I’m a veteran myself with nearly 11 years in the Air Force, and I consider my time in the service an honor and a privilege. I’m also proud to work for BCBSM. We’re a mission-driven organization, similar to the armed forces, and we actively recognize and support the veterans in our workforce.”

Celeste Hurst supports Talent Acquisition in veteran-specific hiring and retention programs, and helped launch the veteran mentoring program. The program was designed to help new hires transition from a military culture to our Blue Cross culture, and connect with another veteran in the workplace, Hurst said. She is also a member and regional co-chair of the Veterans ERN.

“I have a real passion as a veteran-focused recruiter because my dad served in the Army, my husband served in the Marine Corps and my son is currently serving in the Army National Guard, so I’m really thankful that my work allows me to support a group that means so much to me,” Hurst said.

Employee Resource Networks are managed by the Diversity and Inclusion department, and membership is open to all employees. They are a resource to the business to help employees celebrate diversity and increase awareness and understanding.

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Photo credit: Nastco

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