San Joaquin Awarded the 2019 California Employer Advisory Council Veterans Employer of the Year

By Annette Silva, DLA Distribution San Joaquin Public Affairs

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The leadership of DLA Distribution San Joaquin, California, and the American Federation of Government Employees Local 1546 union led a vigorous veteran hiring campaign, which led to the installation being awarded the 2019 California Employer Advisory Council’s Veterans Employer of the Year.  The award recognizes an organization’s commitment to an outstanding record in the hiring and promotion of veterans.

San Joaquin’s commander Marine Col. Andre Harrell, AFGE Local 1546 president Damiana Maggio and AFGE Local 1546 1st vice president Fernando Lucero accepted the award on behalf of the installation at an awards luncheon May 2 in Monterey, California.

“Our Veteran Heroes already understand the value of servant leadership, team work, professionalism, and process discipline when it concerns mission accomplishment.  Many of the same institutional values that we embrace and live by in DLA, are the same for the Services so it results in an easy transition for our Veteran employees.  You don’t have to teach a Veteran these qualities or attributes because it’s deep-rooted from military inception at boot camp or officer’s candidate school,” said Harrell at a recent Veteran Job Fair.

San Joaquin’s veteran hiring initiative was possible through a join partnership with command, management, AFGE Local 1546 leaders, EEO, headquarters Human Resource personnel, Department of Veterans Affairs and the California State Employment Development Department. In coordination with these key partners, San Joaquin created an outreach campaign targeting affinity groups to include veterans which led to a 7 percent staffing increase in 2018 and an increase in our veteran workforce to 419 personnel.

San Joaquin takes pride in hiring military veterans to include disabled veterans to support their critical logistics mission. With a workforce of 1,500 employees that is comprised of 34 percent veteran service members, Team San Joaquin has worked with DLA and Distribution HQ to exercise targeted recruitment tools such as Direct Hiring Authority or Veteran Recruitment Appointment, to ensure our local and statewide Veterans have an opportunity to work for DLA if desired.

“Our key partnership between AFGE Local 1546, EEO, Management, Installation Operations, local Veteran support organizations, the City of Tracy, Modesto and Stockton, and our workforce was essential in our recruitment efforts toward hiring qualified Veterans,” commented Harrell.

He went on to explain that in nine months San Joaquin on boarded 79 Veterans and have 15 more Veterans in the pipeline to fill vacant positions.  Further, the installation also hired two homeless veterans for our strategic Unitized Group Ration mission.
“Serving the Warfighter is an honorable vocation in which every DLA employee takes pride in. We are equally proud and fortunate to recruit our honored Veterans upon retirement or separation from the armed services,” concluded Harrell.