In general, a company is “veteran friendly” if it takes deliberate action to recruit, hire, train and retain military personnel or veterans.  The military is an incubator for some of the most important characteristics in business, many that take nonveterans years to cultivate.   Employers who promote themselves as veteran friendly attract some of the best and brightest talent in a very competitive workforce.  But those who take veteran friendly a step further, and become “veteran friendlier” are bound to attract the best talent while ensuring that our veterans receive all of the benefits they deserve.

Gary Davenport, of U.S. Army TMDE Activity (Test, Measurement and Diagnostic Equipment) at Redstone Arsenal knows the value veterans bring to the workforce but also recognizes they are in high demand.  To recruit the best talent to meet his workforce needs Davenport began working the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship (AOA) to create a registered apprenticeship for veterans that not only provides specialized on-the-job training with competitive wages but a monthly housing allowance at no cost to the employer.

Registered apprenticeships are truly a win-win scenario in the workplace.  In this instance the veteran apprentice learns a highly specialized skill, while getting paid, receives a sizeable veterans’ monthly housing allowance while in the program and has a guaranteed job with advancement opportunities.  The employer on the other hand uses this advanced recruiting strategy to hire an employee with proven dedication and experience, and in turn develops a pipeline of skilled employees.  With the veteran apprenticeship program, U.S. Army TMDE Activity will also have access to VA Funds while maximizing benefits to those who have served this country.

“The AOA is very happy to be able to ensure our veterans get every possible benefit from registered apprenticeship programs. The program we were able to build with U.S. Army TMDE Activity at Redstone is a great example of the kind of incentives and supports available to get the expertise and dedication of veterans into the civilian workforce,” said Josh Laney, Director of the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship.

The Alabama Office of Apprenticeship worked collaboratively with Mr. James Thompson at the VA State Approving Agency as well as Mr. Gary Davenport with U.S. Army TMDE Activity to make this first-of-a-kind registered veteran apprenticeship program a reality in our state.  “By working with the AOA, training providers and employers who build registered apprenticeship programs become automatically eligible for approval by the State Approving Agency for veteran’s programs. This connects apprentices to a wide range of supports and brings the maximum value to employers. We look forward to many more successful connections in the years to come,” remarked Josh Laney.

Registered Apprenticeship is flexible training strategy and innovative workforce solution for employers to recruit, train, and retain highly skilled workers. Apprentices benefit with increased skills, progressive wages, and a pathway towards a high-demand career. If you are interested in learning how your company can become “veteran friendlier” or if you are interested in other apprenticeship programs please visit for more information.