The Port Authority today launched its most comprehensive recruitment initiative ever to attract veterans for available agency jobs, with the goal of having those who served in the U.S. military comprise 5 percent of the agency’s workforce in 2020. The new policy aligns with a Board of Commissioners directive in September that the agency greatly enhance its existing recruitment of veterans for available positions.

Under the new initiative, the Port Authority and PATH will consider active military duty in place of certain education requirements in assessing qualifications for a position and waive all test application fees for veterans. These practices were instituted earlier this year for Port Authority Police Department recruitment and now will be expanded to the entire agency.

To achieve its 5 percent goal, the agency has hired a dedicated Diversity/Veteran Recruiter who will expand the agency’s existing presence within the veteran community at recruitment events. This year, agency recruiters have already attended five events through Veterans on Wall Street, City University of New York and John Jay College, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and Fort Hamilton, and pledge to double their outreach in 2018.

The agency has also established a goal of connecting with at least two staffing firms specializing in referring veterans for specific opportunities and at least six non-profit organizations that provide support and on-the-job skills training to help assimilate veterans into the agency’s workforce.

“Having been raised by a father who courageously served two tours of duty in the U.S. Army in the 1950s, I clearly understand the importance of tapping into the skills these dedicated men and women can contribute to our workforce,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “We send the very best, brightest, technically savvy soldiers overseas, and once they return from their tours of duty, this agency is making a strong commitment to get them on board to assist us in carrying out the region’s transportation mission.”

“Veterans who receive extensive training in the military as they dedicate themselves to protecting our country’s freedom possess a wealth of skills and talents that will provide great value to this agency and its customers,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “Many veterans have already made their mark across the agency and in so many areas, including senior leadership roles. It’s critical that we continue to tap into the extensive pool of qualified military veteran applicants and match them with available jobs that best fit their extensive skill sets.”

The Port Authority’s commitment to veterans includes a commitment to supporting those already serving at the agency. In November, the agency launched a new Employee Resource Group entitled PAVA (Port Authority Veterans’ Association), and efforts are ongoing to provide networking, coaching and mentoring opportunities for all members of the agency’s veteran population.

At the Port Authority, veterans can find a variety of career opportunities in Aviation, Port, Rail, Police and Security, Technology and Engineering, among other areas. As hiring managers fill positions, the agency pledges to ensure that diverse slates for certain roles include at least one qualified veteran.

In addition to its outreach efforts, the Port Authority is employing technology to recruit veterans for available positions. The agency recently launched an enhanced careers website, which includes upcoming career events for veterans, FAQs and testimonials from veterans working at the Port Authority, all available at jointheportauthority.com/pages/veterans-outreach.

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