Tag Archives: veterans

Delivering on our Commitment to Military Veterans

Veterans Day, nationally observed every year on November 11, is a celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. Through recent milestones, AstraZeneca has continued to pursue our goal of maintaining a workplace that attracts military veterans, addresses their unique needs and leverages their skills and experience to strengthen the company as a whole.

2016_MFE_Logo_200x200The 2016 Military Friendly® Employer designation recognizes employers who have invested considerable time, money, and personnel to build military recruiting and retention programs, as well as policies to accommodate Guard and Reservists who continue to serve our country. AstraZeneca is honored to be included in the 2016 list of the Military Friendly® Employers. We earned a place on this prestigious list by recognizing the competitive edge that transitioning military give to our workforce. The talent, skill, and experience veterans bring to the workforce is priceless.

AstraZeneca’s commitment to those who serve was also demonstrated with Paul Hudson, President, AstraZeneca US, recently signing the Employee Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Statement of Support. The intent of the program is to increase employer support by encouraging employers to act as advocates for employee participation in the military. Since its inception, hundreds of thousands of employers have signed Statements of Support, pledging their support to Guard and Reserve employees. Paul Hudson and Topher Brooke, Vice President, US Diabetes, and Executive Sponsor of the AstraZeneca Military Support Employee Resource Group, met with Gary Stockbridge, ESGR State Chair, to add AstraZeneca to the list of companies who commit to supporting military employees.

AstraZeneca recently participated in an event with the National Journal, during which a panel of veterans discussed the needs regarding veterans returning to the workforce following the end of their service. As an employer, AstraZeneca recognizes the value that veterans bring to a company and the importance of actively recruiting and retaining military veterans. Our Military Careers site is catered specifically to this population, where those interested can search for AstraZeneca jobs, read employee testimonials and learn more about our commitment to veterans.

Veterans offer valuable skills and experience that employers should actively seek to grow the strength and diversity of their workforce. We strive to continue to implement ways to make AstraZeneca a place that veterans and military employees see their full potential through fulfilling career opportunities and support resources.

Pictured above, Paul Hudson (right) signs the ESGR Statement of Support, with Topher Brook (left) and Gary Stockbridge (center).

Veterans Transitioning Back to Civilian Life: Opportunities for Transformation in the Workforce

Almost 7% of the roughly 319 million Americans in the United States (U.S.) are veterans, according to the Census Bureau. Figures published by the New England Industry Liaison Group suggest that the military has over 7,000 jobs across more than 100 functional areas, but approximately 19% of these military jobs do not have a direct civilian equivalent. In many cases, additional certifications are needed for veterans to obtain equivalent jobs after leaving the service.

It is important to attract, hire and retain qualified diverse employees – to remain competitive for prospective employees, and to ensure diversity of thought, skill, background and experience are embraced in a way that will address the needs of the evolving population. What military service skills can veterans carry over to a civilian workplace and how should companies harness these proficiencies? What challenges do veterans face upon return to the U.S.? Participants of a recent thought leader reception, underwritten by AstraZeneca in partnership with the National Journal and moderated by Steve Clemons, Washington Editor-at-Large, National Journal & The Atlantic, engaged in a lively discussion spanning these questions and others.

20151008_NJ_On_The_Homefront_153Paul Hudson, President, AstraZeneca U.S. and Executive Vice President, North America kicked off the discussion by urging representatives from veterans’ advocacy organizations, employers, Hill staffers, Congressional committees, think tanks and media to drive transformation so that all veterans transition back to jobs where they can contribute their training and diversity of perspective to a meaningful purpose.

The panel of speakers was made up by Eric Eversole, Vice President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and President, Hiring Our Heroes; Lieutenant Colonel Brian Gilman, Director, National Organizations, Chairman’s Office of Reintegration, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Department of Defense; The Honorable Martha McSally (R-AZ), Member, House Armed Services Committee; and Matt Miller, Chief Policy Officer, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. The panel highlighted the need for stronger collaboration, opportunities for mentorship, increased understanding of the evolving needs of veterans and better transitional programs.

Recent figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest that almost 49.5% of the 21.2 million veterans in 2014 are neither employed nor seeking employment. In addition, veterans commit suicide at a higher rate than non-veterans. To help veterans better transition to civilian life, attendees noted a need for more best-practice sharing across organizations and at the community level. Not only is it critical that we provide jobs for veterans that best leverage their unique voices, views and talents, but we must also work to provide support to their families and spouses.

For example, a report from the Institute for Veterans and Military Families found that the unemployment rates of 25 to 44 year-old Armed Forces female spouses were almost three times higher than their civilian counterparts. Attendees stressed a need for helping young service members and their families build networks and find mentors. At AstraZeneca, for example, we have a Military Support employee resource group where employees can connect with our wide network of military members and their families across the globe. Additionally, we are involved in a number of other initiatives to support and make a difference in the lives of our military men and women.

20151008_NJ_On_The_Homefront_093AstraZeneca also supports a program at HonorHealth, a hospital system based in Phoenix, Arizona that aims to hire and deploy Transition Support Services (TSS) specialists – former combat medics – to provide personal assistance to Medicare beneficiaries recently discharged from the hospital for congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction and pneumonia. As one of the only programs of its kind, these TSSs engage with patients upon admission to the hospital, at the time of discharge and for at least 30 days post-discharge, focusing on using medical and wellness education and relationship-building tools to assist patients in not only managing symptoms, but helping them live happier, healthier lives.

As we look ahead to the Veterans’ Day holiday on Wednesday, November 11, we are reminded of the opportunities to help employers and all Americans better understand veterans and their value in the community as civic assets. AstraZeneca is committed to continuing the dialogue and ensuring that the many voices, views and talents of military veterans can be meaningfully used to address the unique needs of the U.S. population – including the critical needs of the patients we serve every day.

The reception was part of a series of events coordinated by National Journal LIVE, a premier events business that convenes top leaders in the Washington, D.C. area to discuss possible solutions to the country’s biggest challenges.

AZ Lends Support for National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic

Now in its 28th year, the 2014 National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic was held March 30 through April 4 in Snowmass Village, Col., bringing together nearly 400 U.S. military veterans and active duty service men and women with disabilities to conquer a snow-covered mountainside.   Participants were provided adaptive winter sports instruction from more than 200 certified ski instructors– including current and former members of the U.S. Disabled Ski Team.  They also took part in a number of activities including alpine and cross country skiing, rock climbing, scuba diving, kayaking, snowmobiling and more.

For more than a decade, AstraZeneca has been a national sponsor of the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic, which is co-sponsored by DAV (Disabled American Veterans) and The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  AstraZeneca’s support this year helped fund a weeklong stay in Snowmass for approximately 200 participants.

AstraZeneca is involved in a number of other initiatives throughout the year to support and make a difference in the lives of our military men and women.

AstraZeneca Employees Participate in MLK Day of Service

AstraZeneca’s Adrienne O’Neal, Associate in Patient Safety, Medical Affairs, along with Latisha Bloise, Associate in Patient Safety, Medical Affairs and her daughter Morgan Hicks pitch in during the MLK Day of Service.

AstraZeneca’s Adrienne O’Neal, Associate in Patient Safety, Medical Affairs, along with Latisha Bloise, Associate in Patient Safety, Medical Affairs and her daughter Morgan Hicks pitch in during the MLK Day of Service.

On Monday, January 20, AstraZeneca employees participated in the 19th annual Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service, pitching in on a number of volunteer projects at Girard College.

AstraZeneca employees rolled up their sleeves alongside Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and other officials, representatives from Girard College, business and community leaders, students and more to contribute to this year’s signature project, which involved the assembly and packing of critically needed supplies for Philadelphia public schools.  As part of the project, AstraZeneca volunteers helped to sort thousands of books for the PHILADELPHIA READS program.  The books will be distributed to underserved Philadelphia public schools and libraries.

Children take part in activities at the annual Kids’ Carnival on the MLK Day of Service.

Children take part in activities at the annual Kids’ Carnival.

AstraZeneca volunteers also packaged donated diapers and wipes along with informational flyers for mothers in need, and created thank you cards and pillow case covers for veterans.  Others helped facilitate the Education Works MLK and Me Activity at the annual Kids’ Carnival.  As part of this activity, children created their own mini-book that included facts about their life, side-by-side with biographical facts about MLK.  The carnival also offered children an opportunity to paint murals, make crafts, read about Dr. King and more.

Other events held as part of the MLK Day of Service included a community health and wellness fair, a job fair and a civic engagement expo.  AstraZeneca was a sponsor of the initiative, which this year attracted an estimated 125,000 volunteers who participated in more than 1,700 projects throughout the Philadelphia region.

AstraZeneca Employees Celebrate Veterans’ Day

AstraZeneca employees participate in a panel discussion on Veterans' Day to discuss military skills in the workplace.

AstraZeneca employees participate in a panel discussion on Veterans’ Day to discuss military skills in the workplace.

In observance of Veterans’ Day on Monday, November 11, AstraZeneca employees attended a panel discussion organized by the company’s Military Support Community employee networking group that explored the value that military personnel bring to the corporate workplace.  The panelists, which included employees that have served or are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, shared their personal experiences and insights to illustrate how the skills they learned through military service have translated into their professional careers.

“It was an honor to celebrate Veterans’ Day by having an inspiring conversation with the amazing men and women here at AstraZeneca that have served our country,” said Ken Coyle, executive business director of AstraZeneca and executive sponsor of the Military Support Community employee network group. “I’m proud to work for an employer that recognizes and celebrates the contributions that military veterans have made for us, and continue to make.”

The AstraZeneca Military Support Community, one of the company’s many employee networking groups, is a voluntary association comprised of employees who are in the Reserve Forces, have family members in the military or who are veterans. The goal of the group is to provide support and build a sense of community among employees with military ties, while helping to navigate the impact of military service on families.

AstraZeneca is involved in a number of initiatives that support and make a difference in the lives of our military men and women.  In November 2012, AstraZeneca was named among the Top 100 Military-Friendly Employers by G.I. Jobs magazine. Companies are selected for this list based on the strength of their military recruiting efforts, the percentage of new hires with prior military service, retention efforts and company policies toward National Guard and Reserve service.