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AT&T’s Goal of Hiring 20,000 Military Veterans by 2020 Reached Ahead of Schedule

Besides Commitment to Hiring Military Servicemembers, AT&T Has Many Resources for Veterans to Succeed

JoHanna Martinez was far from a typical cheerleader in her hometown of San Antonio, Texas. Beyond cheering for her team, she wanted to make a bigger impact, and serve her country. So JoHanna traded in her pom-poms for combat boots and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) during her junior year of high school. A month after graduation, she was at boot camp, going through basic training and learning how to be a Marine. She spent four years in the USMC Communications Division, where she learned valuable life skills.

“The Marine Corps taught me discipline, the true sense of teamwork, and enforced tenacity that has carried me throughout my career,” JoHanna said. “The soft skills I learned continue to benefit my perspective regarding leadership, preparation, training and integrity.”

AT&T’s JoHanna Martinez, a U.S. Marine, poses for a photo with retired U.S. Marine Gen. and former U.S. Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis at an event at Dallas Baptist University on Sept. 20, 2019. 

Starting a New Chapter

After completing her service in the Marine Corps, JoHanna found a successful civilian career at AT&T. She’s part of the Talent Acquisition team, supporting veterans, military spouses, and underserved communities who have an interest in working at AT&T. It’s been the ideal role for JoHanna, who has been with AT&T 19 years.

“I’m sometimes the conduit between candidates and staffing managers,” she said. “I partner with external organizations that share our careers with their candidates and offer opportunities to learn more about our culture and possibilities.”

Achieving a Goal Ahead of Schedule

The commitment JoHanna has to military veterans and their families extends throughout the company. In 2013, we announced our commitment to hire 10,000 veterans. After achieving that goal, we set a new goal in 2016 to hire an additional 10,000 veterans, for a total of 20,000 by 2020. In November 2019, we achieved that goal early – more than a year ahead of schedule.

“I’m proud to work for a company that recognizes the sacrifices, leadership attributes and unique perspective veterans bring to our business,” JoHanna said. “Our commitment to hiring veterans has been a long-standing tradition AT&T was doing long before it was ‘a thing.’”

Besides bringing more military veterans into the workforce, we are focusing on new ways to attract veterans, while augmenting training programs to help and retain veterans so they can grow as the company evolves.

JoHanna Martinez poses for her official U.S. Marine Corps photo in 1998, left, and how she looks today, as part of AT&T’s Talent Acquisition team, supporting veterans, military spouses, and underserved communities who have an interest in working for the company.

Providing Resources for Veterans

For starters, the new AT&T Veterans Media Fellowship, in collaboration with Veterans in Media & Entertainment (VME), is a 13-week program for veterans who are interested in careers in the entertainment industry. VME connects veterans to industry jobs, internships, education and to each other. Approximately 15-20 veterans will be selected and they will get an in-depth understanding of the media industry landscape through a project-based curriculum designed to provide real life, job-ready skills.  The fellowship applications will be accepted from Nov. 5-26. Those veterans selected will be announced on the NFL Red Zone on Dec. 15.

AT&T also shows its support through Get to Zero, an internal AT&T program that supports suicide prevention efforts among the military veterans community.

Furthermore, AT&T funds a $100,000 scholarship program for veterans and their children to help them continue their education. We also have various mentoring programs that pair veterans who are transitioning from military life to civilian careers with AT&T veteran employees who have walked the path they are about to travel.

As someone who has been successfully able to leverage her military skills into a thriving career at AT&T, JoHanna has this piece of advice for servicemembers who are looking to start a new chapter in the civilian world:

“I wish I would have understood the power of networking and the humility in asking for help early on in my career,” she said. “People transition and assume their military experience is going to be transparent and understood because it’s been your norm. The civilian sector appreciates your service but it’s challenging to articulate your experience to someone that has no concept of military culture. Find mentors, sponsors and advocates that will pay it forward. Most importantly, when you don’t understand: ask.”

To learn more about careers and resources for veterans at AT&T, click here.