The Virginia Values Veterans program has honored Smithfield Foods Inc. with two awards during the 7th Annual V3 Awards Luncheon at the Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 Virginia Veterans and Military Affairs Conference in Richmond, Va. The awards recognize Smithfield’s Operation 4000! hiring initiative — aimed at employing 4,000 veterans or 10% of the company’s U.S. workforce — as well as the company’s efforts to support veterans and military families in Virginia and across the country. V3 is a training and certification program created by the Virginia Department of Veterans Services to help employers implement best practices in hiring, recruiting and retaining veteran employees.
“Smithfield has proven to be a leader and an example for other companies when it comes to embracing veterans and the military community in the Commonwealth and beyond,” says Ross Koenig, V3 program manager. “Smithfield has developed strong hiring and retention initiatives and philanthropic support programs focused on empowering our veterans and military families, and the company’s long-term commitment to these efforts is evident across the entire organization. We are proud to recognize Smithfield’s ongoing dedication to supporting our nation’s military.”
Smithfield was awarded the 2019 V3 Triumph Award for creating employment opportunities for veterans and its transformative hiring process, recognizing Smithfield’s Operation 4000! veteran recruitment and hiring initiative and its mentoring and training programs for veteran employees. The award also acknowledges Smithfield’s active participation in the Virginia Transition Assistance Program, which focuses on veteran and military spouse employment, education and entrepreneurship. To achieve its veteran hiring goal, the company created military talent acquisition positions to lead this effort and participates in on-base recruitment events throughout the year. Once hired, veterans have access to mentorship and training programs to hone their talents, grow skillsets and advance their post-military careers through opportunities across the global food company’s expansive footprint.
“We recognize the importance and value that veterans bring to our workforce and the communities they call home, and we must serve them as they have served us,” says Lisa Swaney, chief human resources officer for Smithfield Foods. “We are proud to support the V3 program and the Virginia Department of Veterans Services’ efforts to create meaningful opportunities for veterans and their families to enhance the strength of the business community and our nation.”
Smithfield also received the 2019 V3 Impact Award — Enterprise, recognizing employers with over 1,000 employees, for its efforts to go above and beyond in creating positive and long-lasting impact in military communities. The company’s veteran-focused employee business resource group, Smithfield Salutes, supports recruitment, outreach and internal engagement for veteran employees and military families. In addition to easing the transition into a post-military career, members of Smithfield Salutes participate in several recognition and volunteer activities throughout the year, including veteran-focused employee luncheons and community events.
“As a veteran, I have seen first-hand Smithfield’s dedication to creating opportunities for those who have served their country, from community support to job descriptions geared toward veterans’ unique skillsets and talents,” says Troy Vandenberg, military talent acquisition manager for Smithfield Foods. “It is a privilege to work for a company focused on enhancing the quality of life for our veteran and military communities. I take great pride in representing Smithfield and showing my fellow veterans the many growth opportunities that are available to them.”