First Lady Michelle Obama visited Micron Technology Virginia (MTV) last week challenging American businesses to further commit to hiring and training veterans and military spouses.
Mrs. Obama outlined a new call to action for companies in the technology and energy sectors to hire 90,000 veterans and military spouses in the next five year as part of the White House's Joining Forces initiative. The initiative was first introduced in 2011 and, to date, U.S. business have hired and trained 850,000 veterans and military spouses, according to the White House.
"That's one of the reasons why I'm here today, because we know sectors like technology and energy are driving our economic growth. These are industries full of good, high-paying positions where our vets can continue to thrive for years and even decades to come," Mrs. Obama said to a select audience of 100 including Micron team members and government and military officials. The event was staged in MTV's gantry facility.
In introductory remarks for the event, April Arnzen, Micron's Vice President of Human Resources, explained that Micron is committed to a culture of diversity and inclusion and has a strong legacy of hiring U.S. veterans for more than 30 years.
"To be competitive in the high tech industry, attracting and retaining best in class talent is imperative. At Micron, we know our team members are our competitive advantage, and we are focused on hiring a broad and diverse workforce that includes veterans," said Arnzen, who also accompanied the First Lady on a tour of the MTV facility led by Site Director Buddy Nicoson.
The skills and experiences of many veterans align closely to the skills needed for Micron's technician and leadership positions, according to Arnzen. When additional skills are required, Micron offers strong training programs such as MTV's Technician Intern Program that allows students to gain technology experience while pursuing their technical degree. Micron has employed more than 129 veterans at MTV alone in the past five years.
A Micron team member, who is a veteran, MTV buyer Tamika Carroll, introduced Mrs. Obama at the event. Carroll, a 12-year Army veteran who joined Micron eight years ago, told the audience she wasn't sure how her military experience would translate into a career in the technology industry.
"My work at Micron is challenging, yet rewarding, and the leadership skills I learned in the Army are skills that apply here," said Carroll. "Micron values what veterans bring to the table."