Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Lowe's committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace. Lowe's is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn More.
As a military-friendly employer, Lowe's has prioritized hiring military members, veterans, and military spouses while finding value in what they bring to the table. As Jennifer Nagy puts it, Lowe's is working hard to prove it deserves this title.
In 1946, World War II veteran Carl Buchan used the skills he gained during his military service to establish the hardware store chain and grow it into what it is today. Lowe's employs nearly 20,000 associates from the military community and one of them is Nagy, whose background as both a veteran and a military spouse lends itself perfectly to a career at Lowe's.
Nagy enlisted in the Air Force at 17 years old. "My parents had to go with me to sign up because I was underage," she recalls. Nagy had hoped to go straight to college, but needed money to make that happen. "I learned that if I enlisted on active duty," she says, "I could get the GI Bill and earn extra money to go to college."
She began her enlistment under an open general job assignment, which meant she could be placed in any job within the service. Though she was openminded, she didn't want to work in air traffic control. But as fate would have it, that was exactly where the Air Force wanted her. Nagy was surprised to find herself thriving. "There were not many women who worked as air traffic controllers, so it was special to be one of the few women doing the job," she says.
While stationed in New Jersey at McGuire Air Force Base, Nagy fell for a fellow member of the Air Force. When her partner was reassigned to a new duty station, she had a difficult decision to make. She chose to leave the Air Force in order to stay with the man who would soon become her husband.
After separating from the military, Nagy decided to fall back on her previous experience working in retail. She was hired by the Limited Brands and spent the next 25 years working for numerous companies as both a store manager and district manager. Her path eventually led her to Lowe's, where she was hired as an area human resource business manager in Mooresville, North Carolina. "I love my job because it is all-encompassing," Nagy says. "I get to do it all — human resources, operations, management, and leadership and development."
Nagy's background as an air traffic controller has helped her grow in the civilian world, especially at Lowe's. "I came to the company with strong problem-solving skills, vast leadership experience, and knowledge of how to train and develop others to do their best," she says. Bringing this knowledge to Lowe's was second nature. "I am using the same skills but in a different environment," she says.
When she decided to give up her own military career to support her husband's service, Nagy struggled. However, with this change, she found great opportunity. "In Lowe's, I found a company that prizes its employees and their unique backgrounds," she says. "Military service is highly respected."
She especially appreciates how Lowe's recognizes the worth of her roles as both a veteran and as a military spouse. "Lowe's gives military members, veterans, and military spouses a chance for their voices to be heard," Nagy says. "For me personally, I have a say in how the company recruits and supports the military." Military-connected employees can gain support and mentorship through Lowe's Business Resource Groups. The company actively participates in recruiting events designed to attract veteran and military spouse employees, both on military bases and off. "From working with the Student Veterans Association to attending the Service Academy Career Conference, we are seeking employees with military service backgrounds," Nagy says.
In store, Lowe's employees wear military vests and military patches as a show of support for military customers and employees. The company offers a military discount every day and supports the military through Lowe's Employee Giving Campaign, where the company offers a match on all donations made to the USO and other military organizations. In this way, Lowe's keeps harkening back to its roots as a military-founded company, continually putting military customers and employees first. "I am proud to be a part of Lowe's," Nagy said. "They understand what veteran employees bring to the company."
Lowe's is, at heart, a military company. Jennifer Nagy, an Air Force veteran and military spouse, benefits from its commitment to service members and their families and helps develop future initiatives. By staying true to its roots and emphasizing its dedication to the military, Lowe's leads by example as a military-friendly employer.
This post was sponsored by Lowes