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News Nov 11, 2022

VetNet Brings Legions of Inclusion, Diversity to Jacobs

Honoring and celebrating our veteran and military spouse talent on November 11

“We're all part of one team, one tribe, and the military has been living that philosophy — breathing it — for the longest time. And now it's spilling out into the civilian world.”

Former Sgt. Dan McNasby

Former Sergeant Dan McNasby

Jacobs Senior Risk Analyst and Global Lead for VetNet

Bringing the military values of leadership, integrity, diligence and diversity to Jacobs, VetNet, the Jacobs Employee Network (JEN) for veterans, their families and their allies, is an embodiment of our foundational core value “We live inclusion.” VetNet members, veterans and military spouses across our workforce are pushing the envelope on innovation and adding irreplaceable value to the business.

With almost 2,000 members across the globe, VetNet operates internally and externally, advocating for military hiring and support programs to help veterans find a place at Jacobs and transition to the civilian workplace. They create opportunities to socialize, provide a safe place for people with similar challenges, and perform outreach activities in their communities.

At Jacobs, our veteran population crosses all walks of life, and VetNet actively participates with the other Jacobs employee network groups, ensuring that intersectional experiences are fully represented. For example, VetNet collaborated with our Women’s Network and our LGBTQIA+ network, Prism, to host a fireside chat with retired Major General Tammy Smith, the highest-ranking openly LGBTQIA+ officer in the U.S. military. VetNet also helped develop Breaking the Bias, a roundtable event with the Women’s Network. During Black History Month, they worked with Harambee on a program about the Tuskegee Airmen. And during Pride Month, they teamed up with Prism again to engage veteran combat soldiers to develop comprehensive safety and security plans for several in-person Pride events, with many veterans marching in their first ever Pride.

This year, VetNet and our Careers Network hosted a Veterans Day panel featuring Former U.S. Navy Lt. Commander and Jacobs President and Chief Operating Officer Bob Pragada. During the session, Bob walked through some of his service time roles and shared how he leveraged his experiences to get where he is today. The discussion also covered military career transitions and how Jacobs supports those in service, during times of transition and post-service.

One key differentiator in bringing the best military talent to Jacobs is our program, Project Soft Landing, which engages with individuals still serving in the armed forces or preparing to leave –providing a path to a relevant career like project management, integrated logistics, systems engineering or cybersecurity. This program not only adds value for our Jacobs, but also gives hires the opportunity to embrace our values from the start.

At Jacobs, we value the innovation and unique set of skills that military service provides. As our own Retired Lieutenant Colonel Oscar Vaughn, a 31-year Air Force veteran, explains, “A veteran comes out with a set of values and a work ethic that is unique because they have been trained differently. So, they take that training and integrity into the civilian force.”

This idea is echoed by another Jacobs teammate Tim Brent, OBE, anactive reservist and recipient of the Order of the British Empire Colonel, who notes, “The big win is when civilians who don't know those skillsets start picking up on them – and at Jacobs we see that time and time and time again.”

Through initiatives like the Armed Forces Covenant and Career Transition Partnership in the U.K., and DOD SkillBridge and Hiring our Heroes in the U.S., Jacobs is taking steps to accelerate veteran hiring and support in our workforce and beyond. These programs support veterans transitioning away from the Armed Forces, offering them the chance to work in a civilian environment for six months to shift out of the military mindset. Additionally, through the Jacobs Military Spouse program, VetNet has been instrumental in meeting hiring goals by providing opportunities to military spouses who might otherwise have problems finding work due to uncertain deployments.

In our If/When podcast series, we recently discussed how service members can successfully embark on the next phase of their careers with Isaac Barnes, president of Eminent Future, and Vice President & Director of Operation for Jacobs' Global Digital Center of Excellence Cleophus Thomas. The can’t-miss discussion tackles questions like how career professionals can best mentor military personnel just entering the job market and lessons learned from each guests’ own service that can help others make the transition. Tune in to the episode wherever you listen to podcasts.

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  • VetNet team in Redding

    VetNet team in Redding, California gathers donations to send to deployed service members

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VetNet also supports charitable organizations working among veterans who fall on harder times when they leave the military, such as  our formal relationship with the Royal British Legion, the U.K.’s largest Armed Forces charity, and the work that many of our veterans do to provide disaster relief across the world through the Team Rubicon volunteer force.

The network also volunteers to send supplies and notes of encouragement to military members and their families. Recently, our office in Redding, California, came together to send a smile to deployed military and service members. The local VetNet chapter organized the effort, asking their teammates to donate various items to include in boxes and soon, they’ll host a “boxing party” to fill boxes, label and ship off to service members. Each box will include socks, snacks, toiletries, condiments, sunglasses, lip balm, gum and a bit of cheer.

Across our Jacobs, our veterans and military spouses are bringing skills they learned in combat and deployment to help us stay on top of our game and our markets, and drive innovation and success through loyalty, ingenuity and battle-tested strength.

November 11 gives us the perfect opportunity to recognize veterans, thank them for their service and celebrate the immeasurable contribution they bring to our business, our clients and the communities that we serve.