AUSTIN (Nexstar) — On Wednesday, the U.S. Army will launch a new partnership with Austin-based Tokyo Electron (TEL) in an effort to help veterans integrate into the business world after leaving the military.
TEL will be teaming up with the U.S. Army’s Partnership for Youth Success to connect more vets with career opportunities in the tech industry. It’s a partnership TEL’s U.S. president, Larry Smith, a veteran himself, has been working on for months.
“I’m grateful to have the opportunity and part of my calling, my passion is to help hire veterans, those that come from a similar background to me that maybe wanted to serve their country, but not make it a career. And it’s often very intimidating and fearful to understand how that experience translates to an industry like ours,” Smith explained.
The partnership adds TEL to the list of companies new recruits can choose from with the PAYS program. When joining the U.S. Army, future soldiers select up to 5 companies, partnered with the U.S. Army, to interview with when they become available for employment.
“They’re not just training these new recruits to be in the military or a soldier, but they’re training to have the skills necessary for life. And then we fit into that, to be able to guarantee them an interview. It’s not a guarantee job, but it gives them exposure to companies who value and I’ve had a history of hiring veterans,” Smith explained.
It’s also personal to Smith for another reason. “We’re going to celebrate this partnership on Wednesday with a friend of mine that goes back 36 years,” Smith said, referring to U.S. Army General Paul Funk.
“He was the commander at Fort Hood prior to his current role. So as a three-star general, he led Fort Hood and that’s where we met and connected many, many years ago. And back in 1985, we were lieutenants together,” Smith said.
Smith explained he knows the fear of the unknown these soldiers go through when leaving the military, and hopes his company can help.
“How does my leadership skills, how does my competency as an infantry man or as a supply chain specialist, translate to what we do in technology? But we can train those types of skill sets. And we value the discipline, the teamwork, the commitment, and the character that is developed after serving our nation,” Smith explained.
The launch will be held on Wednesday in Austin at 11 a.m.