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NSU named Veteran Employer Champion

2021 OKVA Veteran Employer Champion Badge
TAHLEQUAH — Northeastern State University was named a Veteran Employer Champion for its continued commitment to serving the nation’s veterans.

The City of Tulsa, Tulsa’s Community Service Council and the Oklahoma Veteran Alliance recognized NSU and 23 other companies with the honor during a ceremony this month.

“At NSU, we take pride in helping members of our military and veterans’ community be successful as they transition to their higher education goals and beyond,” NSU President Steve Turner said. “As a designated Military Friendly School, we are dedicated to making education as accessible as we can for all service members, veterans and their families. We are thankful for the opportunity to recruit, develop and welcome veterans into our NSU family.”

Since 2012 NSU has participated in the Voluntary Education Partnership with the US Department of Defense. This allows the university to participate in the Military Tuition Assistance Program which serves veterans and their dependents.

NSU also participates in the US Department of Defense’s Yellow Ribbon Program, which provides tuition supplements for certain Veterans Affairs tuition programs.

The NSU Veterans Service Office also works to ensure eligible students are knowledgeable of and maximizing the benefits available to help them achieve their educational goals. NSU has developed ongoing communication plans for students receiving benefits, created lounge areas at its Tahlequah and Broken Arrow campuses specifically for veterans and provide graduating veterans red, white and blue cords.

The Veteran Employer Champions program was created in 2017 with a goal of building an employer network to create programming and peer-to-peer learning for organizations interested in recruiting, hiring and developing veterans in the workplace.

The Community Service Council and the Oklahoma Veteran Alliance Employment Committee developed a rubric and survey process to identify Veteran Employer Champions in Oklahoma and the Tulsa region. This was the fourth year for the Veteran Employer Champion Survey.

To be recognized as a Veteran Employer Champion, companies must meet certain criteria including: veteran hiring and recruiting; veteran resource groups, onboarding, or buddy programs; veteran programs and community support; veteran employee resources and/or supports; veteran executive sponsor leading veteran strategies; and guard and reserve employee supports.

Denise Reid, chair of the Oklahoma Veteran Alliance Employment Committee, said the Oklahoma Veteran Employer Network’s launched in 2018 with a mission to provide connections and resources on how to create a veteran-ready culture where veterans are welcomed, supported, recognized and thrive. She added the network also helps connect veterans to employment.

“We are honored to welcome a new round of companies into the Employer Champion Network in 2021,” said Pete Luitweler, program manager for the Community Service Council’s Oklahoma Veteran Alliance. “We continue to see heightened interest from Oklahoma companies wanting to join a growing network of employers that provide support for veterans in northeast Oklahoma. Their commitment to helping Oklahoma veterans during their transition back into civilian life will not only benefit veterans and their families, but the Oklahoma community for generations to come.”