Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE: HII) was recognized by the Virginia Department of Veterans Services for its efforts to hire and retain veterans. HII President and CEO Mike Petters formally accepted the Virginia Values Veterans (V3) certificate at the V3 Conference in Norfolk. HII was one of nine companies recognized at the conference.
"I never underestimate the importance of how having the right workforce is linked directly to our success at HII -- it's our lifeblood," Petters said at the conference. "At Huntington Ingalls Industries, our overarching recruitment strategy is to hire people who want to learn, to grow and be part of something bigger than themselves as individuals. We are looking for men and women who are responsible, trustworthy, focused, disciplined and reliable. These are characteristics you find in veterans."
HII employs more than 37,000 people and is the largest employer in Mississippi and Louisiana and the largest industrial employer in Virginia. Veterans make up 15 percent of those workers, or approximately 5,500 people. V3 certification recognizes HII's commitment to recapitalize its workforce through the recruitment, employment and retention of veterans.
In his remarks at the V3 event, Petters pointed to HII's recent hiring of a recruiter who is a veteran to work for its Newport News Shipbuilding division. Kevin Howell, former command chief master sergeant for Joint Base Langley-Eustis, joined the HII team this year and focuses on recruiting veterans into the shipyard workforce.
"Without a doubt, veterans -- men and women who have worn a military uniform -- have already demonstrated that they are willing and able to pull their own weight before they even step into our shipyards," Petters said. "They've served our nation. And at Huntington Ingalls Industries, they have an opportunity to continue that service -- albeit in a different way."