When you are not a member of armed sources, you usually do not greet anyone during the day. Yet Jordie Kern, founder of 7 Eagle Group, has created a business that not only honors veterans past and present, but also helps them thrive in civilian life.
7 Eagle Group is a recruiting company specializing in placing American veterans in manufacturing and industrial jobs. Their unique niche combines two elements that make a business successful: A burning need in the market with the genuine passion of an owner.
Jordie’s passion for 7 Eagle Group grew out of gratitude for his father’s service during WWII. It is the story of a father who selflessly gives himself to his country so that his children have a better life, and of a son determined to ensure that the sacrifice of all veterans is not in vain.
Scared 16-year-old kid leaving for WWII
Joel Kern grew up in a poor Spanish family in Boston. At 17, his father lies about his age and gets involved out of patriotism. “Everyone joined in,” Jordie said. “There was so much patriotism during the war.
Jordie’s dad had never been out of Boston, but the next thing he knew was that he was on a boat, heading for the South Pacific. One of his teammates was a neighbor from Boston, who joined him at the same time.
“They were so scared my dad said they slept together on a cot and cried,” he recalls.
Still, his father mustered the courage to survive and returned home to raise a family of 5 in Chappaqua, NY, where Jordie grew up.
Fast forward to seven years ago, when Joel’s entrepreneurial son made the connection between vacancies in the manufacturing world and the number of veterans looking for work. “We wanted to connect veterans across the country with employers looking for their unique skills,” Jordie said.
Veterans: a reliable workforce lacking in one area
While 7 Eagle Group can place veterans and other types of workers in any industry, over 70% of the positions they hold are in manufacturing, ranging from C level to factory positions.
The majority of the jobs are in the field, which tend to be ideally suited for veterans. “It’s tough physical work that takes tenacity and courage,” Jordie said. “Veterans work well under these conditions. They have generally been in much more difficult situations.
Veterans work hard, want to be upright and active, and are disciplined. They also bring a unique quality that employers see less and less these days: “They show up every day,” Jordie said. “We are shocked at how employers are just looking for people to introduce themselves. “
One area where veterans lack, however, is their ability to show off their skills to potential employers. “The military does a great job of training troops for the tasks they need in the service,” Jordie said. “But they do a horrible job teaching them how to sell themselves.
This is where 7 Eagle Group comes in.
Make the link with a proven process
Jordie’s 7 Eagle Group team works with companies in all industries and sizes, but they have excelled with manufacturers such as Bath Iron Works (a shipbuilding company in Maine owned by General Dynamics), MSI Surfaces ( an international marble counter top manufacturer based in California) and Conard Corporations, a Connecticut-based aerospace photoengraving company.
7 Eagle Group receives a request to fill a position, then contacts its large pool of seasoned candidates and approaches passive candidates who match the job requirements well.
To help veterans showcase their skills and tell the story, 7 Eagle Group harnesses the power of video. “We are asking the veterans to record a 2 minute video that allows them to tell their story and show how they present themselves,” Jordie said.
Typical manufacturing jobs for 7 Eagle Group include a position in the factory. Manufacturers want prospects with basic skills and a great work ethic; they will then do training on equipment and processes.
The quality of the workers is exceptional. “CEOs love to have veterans, they’re so mission-oriented,” Jordie said. “They don’t like to leave work until the mission is done. You don’t see that in the typical 9 to 5 crew. “
Jordie’s Message to Employers: Define a Career Path for Your Employees
Most of the job applications Jordie’s team receives are for physical labor for less than $ 25 an hour. These are generally very difficult to fill and keep filled. This is because the low hourly rate does not inspire much loyalty.
Employees will typically change jobs in the blink of an eye, even if the increase is only 30 to 50 cents per hour. “With low income, that kind of money can make a big difference,” Jordie said.
There’s no denying that this type of work doesn’t always justify a higher pay, but Jordie says companies would be more successful if they followed the model set by the military.
“When you join the military, they do a great job showing you the career path and the trajectory,” Jordie said. “In the civilian world, companies don’t let talent know that there is a career path. Then it looks like a dead end job, and they quit. “
Veterans are comfortable with how the military provides the opportunity to advance, and he thinks companies would do a much better job of retaining veterans if they followed that simple model. “Make them feel that there is a career for them in your business,” Jordie said.
The ideal scenario: training veterans to have an impact
Following the military model helps retain talent, but it can also be rewarding for everyone involved in the HR process. Jordie shared a story that highlights the kind of personal satisfaction he gets when the system works the way it should.
“Dustin Decker is a veteran who worked as a truck driver,” he said. “He had a keen interest in embarking on a career in cybersecurity. 7 Eagle Group put him in touch with free training and a paid internship, which ultimately led him to full-time employment.
This type of success is driving 7 Eagle Group to the next phase of its evolution: workforce development. He has launched an initiative to train veterans in cybersecurity and help meet a need that grows with each passing day.
It is poetic justice that the next phase of 7 Eagle Group’s growth seeks to protect America. Veterans have sacrificed so much to help our country. We salute Jordie Kern for working hard to make sure we return the favor.
For more information visit Group 7 Eagle.
This profile is part of an ongoing series aimed at raising awareness of the manufacturing industry of Winbound, a manufacturing marketing agency. If your business would like to be featured in a profile, contact Greg Mischio.