Rental companies provide opportunities for veterans
By Brock Huffstutler
November 19, 2023
Surrounding this year’s Veterans Day observation, several equipment rental companies have announced recognitions received and initiatives undertaken related to their commitment to hiring and providing opportunities for those who served.
Herc Rentals, Bonita Springs, Fla., has been recognized by three programs for providing career opportunities to military veterans and active service members:
Top 10 Military Friendly® Company — For the ninth year in a row, has been designated a Military Friendly Company by Military Friendly, a national organization supporting the U.S. military and its veterans. In Military Friendly’s 2024 survey, Herc Rentals received a gold designation for the second year in a row and was ranked sixth on the Top 10 Military Friendly Company list.
Military Times Best for Vets: Employers List — Herc Rentals has been recognized on the 2023 Best for Vets: Employers list by Military Times. Best for Vets rankings are based on the results of a voluntary survey that asks companies about their policies, practices and benefits for veterans and their families. The survey captures the areas of greatest importance to transitioning service members, veterans and their families when looking for an employer.
HIRE Vets Medallion Award — Herc Rentals also has been named a recipient of the 2023 HIRE Vets Medallion Award, presented by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Recipients of the HIRE Vets Medallion Award meet employment and veteran integration assistance criteria including: veteran hiring and retention percentages, availability of veteran-specific resources, leadership programming for veterans, dedicated human resource efforts, and pay compensation and tuition assistance programs for veterans.
Herc Rentals said these recognitions underscore its ongoing commitment to hiring veterans and active service members and ensuring they have a long-term career and growth plan that uses the diverse skills they acquired through the military service. The company said it is committed to fostering a culture of inclusivity and has partnered with DOD Skillbridge to develop and activate strategies to recruit and career path veteran talent. The company’s Veteran Employee Resource Group (VRG) also aims to provide a smooth transition for military professionals into the civilian workforce.
“These distinctions validate our active commitment, effort and success in creating sustainable and meaningful benefits for our military community,” said Herc Rentals President and CEO Larry Silber. “The diversity of skills, perspectives and experiences veterans and service members bring to our organization enriches our culture and helps to drive our business. We will continue to support them through recruitment, advocacy and career development strategies.”
The Home Depot
The Home Depot Foundation, the nonprofit arm of The Home Depot, Atlanta, has committed to invest $750 million in veteran causes by the end of fiscal year 2030. The Foundation said it surpassed $500 million invested in veteran causes since 2011, meeting its previous financial commitment two years early. Through this incremental $250 million, the Foundation, its nonprofit partners and Team Depot, The Home Depot’s associate volunteer force, will focus primarily on affordable housing issues and impact an estimated 50,000 veterans.
“The Home Depot and The Home Depot Foundation have a long history of living our values by giving back to the heroes who have selflessly served our nation,” said Ted Decker, chair, president and chief executive officer, The Home Depot. “We achieved our goal of investing half of a billion dollars in veteran causes two years earlier than expected because of the tireless efforts of our nonprofit partners and our associates who give back year-round through Team Depot. Our mission is not complete while there are still veterans who lack an affordable and reliable place to call home — that’s why we’re growing our commitment to $750 million by 2030.”
According to the Housing Assistance Council, nearly a quarter of all veteran-owned homes (approximately 1.76 million homes) are more than 60 years old, and 1.6 million veteran households report difficulty entering their home or accessing the kitchen, bedroom or bathroom. In addition to facing inadequate housing, more than 33,000 veterans are experiencing homelessness, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Home Depot Foundation said its funding to its network of national and local nonprofit partners will focus on tackling these issues by reducing the cost of housing for veterans, helping them access housing and ensuring they are able to age in place in their own homes.
As part of its investment, the Home Depot Foundation will also award more than $14 million in new grants to veteran housing nonprofit partners like Habitat for Humanity International, Volunteers of America and Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors. With these grants, the foundation and its partners aim to enable more than 800 critical home repairs for veterans over the next year, provide more than 500 units of housing for at-risk veterans and support the construction of five new mortgage-free smart homes for combat-wounded veterans.
Sunbelt Rentals, Fort Mill, S.C., has earned recognition as a 2024 Military Friendly Employer for the fourth consecutive year. Sunbelt Rentals received a Gold Designation, indicating that the company scored within 10 percent of the 10th-ranking employer in their category.
“It’s an incredible honor to receive this award,” says Shane McKenzie, director, Veterans Program, Sunbelt Rentals. “Our values include safety, action, teamwork, and innovation — all ideals shared by veterans. We pride ourselves in our work in aligning the skills that veterans gain during military service with a suitable position where they can thrive.”
Sunbelt said that as part of its commitment to support veterans, it created the Sunbelt Rentals Veterans Program to empower veterans to find a fulfilling workplace where they can enrich the culture and contribute to the “Power of Sunbelt”. The program focuses on four key pillars of resources, recruitment, recognition, and retention, and assists with challenges faced by the multinational veteran population. Sunbelt said that more than 10 percent of its workforce is comprised of veterans.
“Organizations earning the Military Friendly Employers designation have wholeheartedly invested in comprehensive and impactful initiatives that bring about positive, life-changing results for our valued service members, dedicated military spouses, and esteemed veterans,” says Kayla Lopez, senior director of military partnerships, Military Friendly. “We salute these exemplary employers who raise the bar and understand that hiring military personnel is not merely an act of goodwill but a testament to a standard that truly embodies sound business wisdom.”
Military Friendly said it is the standard measured by VIQTORY, assessing an organization’s commitment, effort, and success in creating sustainable and meaningful benefits for the military community. More than 1,500 organizations compete annually for Military Friendly designation.
United Rentals, Stamford, Conn., has been named a recipient of three awards that recognize the company’s practices surrounding the hiring of veterans.
United Rentals said a significant portion of its team has a military background and the company remains focused on hiring, retaining and advancing the careers of veterans.
“United Rentals has a strong focus on veterans because we believe individuals with military backgrounds align with our company’s values of strong leadership, teamwork, discipline, diversity and work ethic,” said Craig Pintoff, executive vice president and chief administrative officer, United Rentals. “These awards reflect our ongoing commitment to helping veterans make their careers at United Rentals and to joining us in working with our customers to build a better future.”
United Rentals received the following recognitions:
2023 HIRE Vets Medallion Award from the DOL for the company’s initiatives in recruiting, employing and retaining veterans. United Rentals met award criteria and “demonstrated both patriotism and recognition of values veterans bring to the workplace,” according to the DOL.
2024 Military Friendly Employer, Gold, which is designated for employers setting an example with military and veteran programs and initiatives. Companies are assessed on various criteria such as veteran hiring, retention and career advancement. The Military Friendly program, operated by VIQTORY, creates civilian opportunities for veterans.
2023 Military Times Best For Vets, which highlights efforts to recruit, retain and develop current and former service members and support military spouses and caregivers. To determine award winners, Military Times evaluates companies in the areas of most significant importance.