Employers shouldn’t give veterans a chance just because they served the country.

“It’s because of the skills they’ve learned,” said Bill Price, the transition services manager at Fort Carson. “I sit down and talk to the companies and what they tell me is they want someone who is drug free, shows up on time, somebody that is reliable, that can follow directions, that has initiative, that can lead a team, and that remains accountable and responsible.”

Those are all things the military teaches service members that directly translate to outside employment, he said.

Pikes Peak Workforce Center Executive Director Traci Marques believes it’s veterans’ “attitude, attendance and ability to adapt” that make them the ideal new hire.

“You talk about some of those transferable skills in the military, and the great value a veteran — or even a spouse — brings is their ability to adapt to new and changing environments and situations,” she said. “How great is that to have in an employee, as a business? Timeliness another big one because they are taught in the military, ‘If you are not early, you are late.'”

Hiring veterans can also earn businesses tax credits. Companies that hire eligible, unemployed veterans have the ability to take advantage of a Work Opportunity Tax Credit, according to military.com.

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“After recent changes, The Returning Heroes Tax Credit now provides incentives of up to $5,600 for hiring unemployed veterans, and the Wounded Warriors Tax Credit doubles the existing Work Opportunity Tax Credit for long-term unemployed veterans with service-connected disabilities, to up to $9,600,” the military news website states.

Various veteran-related tax credits a company could qualify for include:

Unemployment tax credits

  • Qualified Long-term Unemployment: This is a credit for new hires that begin work on or after January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2019, during which the individual is employed no less than 27 consecutive weeks, and includes a period in which the individual was receiving unemployment compensation under state or federal law. For WOTC-certified new hires working at least 120 hours, employers can claim 25 percent of the first year wages paid up to $6,000, for a maximum income tax credit of up to $1,500. For WOTC-certified new hires working 400 hours or more, employers can claim 40 percent of the first year wages up to $6,000, for a maximum income tax credit of up to $2,400.
  • Short-term Unemployment: A credit of 40 percent of the first $6,000 of wages (up to $2,400) for employers who hire veterans who have been in receipt of unemployment compensation for at least four weeks.
  • Long-term Unemployment: A credit of 40 percent of the first $14,000 of wages (up to $5,600) for employers who hire veterans who have been in receipt of unemployment compensation for longer than 6 months.

Disabled veteran tax credits

  • Veterans with Services-Connected Disabilities: Maintains the existing Work Opportunity Tax Credit for veterans with service-connected disabilities hired within one year of being discharged from the military. The credit is 40 percent of the first $12,000 of wages (up to $4,800).
  • Long-Term Unemployed Veterans with Services-Connected Disabilities: A new credit of 40 percent of the first $24,000 of wages (up to $9,600) for firms that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been in receipt of unemployment compensation for longer than 6 months. The credit can be as high as $9,600 per veteran for for-profit employers or up to $6,240 for tax-exempt organizations.
  • Certain tax-exempt organizations can take advantage of WOTC by hiring eligible veterans and receiving a credit against the employer’s share of Social Security taxes.

More information on tax credits is available on the Department of Labor website at dol.gov.