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Enterprising solutions to military spouse unemployment
Editor's Note: The following story highlights military spouses at Enterprise. Committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace, Enterprise Holdings is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn more here.
One of the biggest challenges in joining your loved one at duty station after duty station is pursuing your own meaningful career. Any military spouse can tell you that. Often just as you're poised for promotion, duty calls. You may find yourself in a new part of the country (or the world) with meaningless credentials and no professional contacts.
"Throughout our different assignments, I witnessed other military spouses who would essentially have to restart every time they would get to a new duty station," says Bilita Shelton, whose husband was an Air Force intelligence analyst for 20 years. "I did not have to do that. I never took a step back. And I've had a very successful career as a result of it."
What made Shelton's experience different? She works for Enterprise Holdings, parent company of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent A Car, and National Car Rental. With over 10,000 locations in more than 90 countries around the world, Enterprise illustrates the definition of career mobility for Shelton and thousands of others.
Forging New Opportunities in Alaska
And military spouses have begun passing the word that Enterprise is a military-friendly place to work. Army wife Sharon Arteaga recalls renting a car from Enterprise on her first day in Fairbanks, Alaska, when the military spouse behind the counter told her about potential careers at Enterprise. Despite having an interview set up with another company, Arteaga decided to look into Enterprise. The Enterprise interview experience made her job decision easy.
"Every single person in that office," she says, "including my branch manager, was military-affiliated."
Arteaga began her Enterprise career in the Management Training Program, which she describes as "one of the best experiences of my life."
"I have never worked for a company that invests in their employees the way Enterprise does," Arteaga says. Enterprise offers its employees so many different career opportunities and the training they need to take on those new challenges."
After two years and three promotions at Enterprise, Arteaga is the assistant manager at the Fairbanks International Airport branch. The Enterprise model of training and promoting from within goes all the way up the ladder: Enterprise's current CEO, Pam Nicholson, also began her career as a management trainee.
"Our senior leaders are very involved, and that's something I've never really seen with any other company," Arteaga says. "My regional manager motivates me to do more than I would have on my own. The fact that someone at that level cares about what I need, that's very important to me."
Training and Mentorship in South Texas
Shelton's days as a management trainee are far behind her. After being promoted 14 times during her career at Enterprise, she is now the group talent development manager for South Texas. She develops and implements training programs for management trainees like Claire Tillman, a Navy wife in Houston.
Tillman discovered Enterprise's Management Training Program at a university career fair. Amid a sea of potential employers, Enterprise's willingness to give her nine to 12 months of hands-on training before she stepped into a management role made the company stand out. Of her six months in the program so far, Tillman says her greatest resource has been the wisdom of her superiors.
"It's not just my manager that I can reach out to," Tillman says. "I can reach out to anyone with questions like, 'Hey, so what did you struggle with?' Or 'What's your advice on this?' And I think that's cool that they're so open to really helping you out."
Enterprise has an open door policy, that anyone in management is available and approachable.
Family Owned, Family Feel
Despite its size, Enterprise Holdings continues to be owned and operated by the family of founder Jack Taylor, who was a World War II Navy pilot. Enterprise continues to operate on his "Founding Values," which Shelton says are the key to what's special across Enterprise.
"They are in everything that we do," she says. "You have that family feel, from making sure your employees are taken care of to making sure your customers and business partners are taken care of. You always know the company's going to do the right thing, and it's very comforting to know you work for a company like that."
Arteaga says she and her husband have spent many weekends, workplace outings, and holidays with her "work family." She says that her coworkers ask how she is doing daily while her husband is deployed, and that her management has been "extremely flexible" when she needs time off.
"I've had two bereavement leaves in the past year, and they went above and beyond," she says. "My branch manager called me almost every day to ask me, 'Hey, how are you doing? Is everything ok?' They wanted to make sure I was ok first."
Military Hiring Initiatives and Philanthropy
In addition to creating a welcoming and flexible work environment for military spouses and veterans, Enterprise also honors Taylor's service in the armed forces through a number of military hiring and philanthropic initiatives.
The Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Enterprise-Rent-A-Car brand, has committed millions of dollars to the Fisher House Foundation – a nonprofit organization that provides no-cost lodging to the families of veterans receiving treatment at military medical centers.
"Employees attend most of the Military Spouse Employment Partnership, Hiring Our Heroes, and Department of Defense hiring events at a local level," says Pam Webster, Assistant Vice President of Talent Acquisition at Enterprise. "Many of our local teams also have annual Veterans Day events to honor employees who have served. Our local HR teams also provide custom branded giveaways to our veterans and members of the military to commemorate their service, such as challenge coins, hats, and keychains."
Webster also notes that many Enterprise operating groups have formed employee resource groups for service members, veterans, or military spouses. Enterprise also supports reservists by sending care packages and paying a salary differential while they are called to active duty.
Of course, helping military spouses have successful, continuous careers supports active duty service members in its way. Shelton encourages all military spouses to consider making Enterprise their next employment move.
"I would absolutely tell them it's definitely the best decision they can make for their career," she says. "It was very comforting and reassuring to know that you can have a successful career with a great company that's going to take care of you while you are supporting your spouse in the military."
This post is sponsored by Enterprise.
The Marine lieutenant colonel who was removed from command of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May is accused of lying to investigators looking into allegations of misconduct, according to a copy of his charge sheet provided to Task & Purpose on Monday.
President Donald Trump just can't stop telling stories about former Defense Secretary James Mattis. This time, the president claims Mattis said U.S. troops were so perilously low on ammunition that it would be better to hold off launching a military operation.
"You know, when I came here, three years ago almost, Gen. Mattis told me, 'Sir, we're very low on ammunition,'" Trump recalled on Monday at the White House. "I said, 'That's a horrible thing to say.' I'm not blaming him. I'm not blaming anybody. But that's what he told me because we were in a position with a certain country, I won't say which one; we may have had conflict. And he said to me: 'Sir, if you could, delay it because we're very low on ammunition.'
"And I said: You know what, general, I never want to hear that again from another general," Trump continued. "No president should ever, ever hear that statement: 'We're low on ammunition.'"
This 400-pound feral hog is one of more than 1,200 that have invaded a Texas Air Force base since 2016
At least one Air Force base is waging a slow battle against feral hogs — and way, way more than 30-50 of them.
A Texas trapper announced on Monday that his company had removed roughly 1,200 feral hogs from Joint Base San Antonio property at the behest of the service since 2016.
In a move that could see President Donald Trump set foot on North Korean soil again, Kim Jong Un has invited the U.S. leader to Pyongyang, a South Korean newspaper reported Monday, as the North's Foreign Ministry said it expected stalled nuclear talks to resume "in a few weeks."
A letter from Kim, the second Trump received from the North Korean leader last month, was passed to the U.S. president during the third week of August and came ahead of the North's launch of short-range projectiles on Sept. 10, the South's Joongang Ilbo newspaper reported, citing multiple people familiar with the matter.
In the letter, Kim expressed his willingness to meet the U.S. leader for another summit — a stance that echoed Trump's own remarks just days earlier.
Constant deployments broke the Air Force's B-1 fleet. Now the service is facing a major bomber shortfall
On April 14, 2018, two B-1B Lancer bombers fired off payloads of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles against weapons storage plants in western Syria, part of a shock-and-awe response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his citizens that also included strikes from Navy destroyers and submarines.
In all, the two bombers fired 19 JASSMs, successfully eliminating their targets. But the moment would ultimately be one of the last — and certainly most publicized — strategic strikes for the aircraft before operations began to wind down for the entire fleet.
A few months after the Syria strike, Air Force Global Strike Command commander Gen. Tim Ray called the bombers back home. Ray had crunched the data, and determined the non-nuclear B-1 was pushing its capabilities limit. Between 2006 and 2016, the B-1 was the sole bomber tasked continuously in the Middle East. The assignment was spread over three Lancer squadrons that spent one year at home, then six month deployed — back and forth for a decade.
The constant deployments broke the B-1 fleet. It's no longer a question of if, but when the Air Force and Congress will send the aircraft to the Boneyard. But Air Force officials are still arguing the B-1 has value to offer, especially since it's all the service really has until newer bombers hit the flight line in the mid-2020s.