November 8, 2013

More for veterans than just a salute

As we turn our attention to Veterans Day on Nov. 11 – when we salute and remember those in the military who have given their time and in some cases their lives for our country – it’s gratifying to learn how a few companies in the Boulder Valley are reaching out to veterans.

Blackfox Training Institute in Longmont, in conjunction with Lockheed Martin, offers a state-funded training program that prepares vets for jobs in the aerospace industry.

Meanwhile, Level 3 Communications Inc. in Broomfield is offering veterans a pathway to a job in telecommunications through its Ops Tech Academy.

Blackfox’s president and chief executive, Allen Dill, launched his first training program in September. On Veterans Day, approximately 15 veterans will graduate and be hired by Lockheed Martin with a starting pay range from $16 to $30 an hour. On that same day, 15 to 20 veterans will begin a training session.

Dill had been working on this program for several years. He’s not a veteran, but he gets his inspiration from his father, Albert Dill, who served in the Army under Gen. George S. Patton Jr. and was part of the first wave on D-Day in Normandy during World War II.

“My dad, who is no longer with us (he passed away in 2011), thought the program was a great idea,” Allen said.

Dill says it’s the first program of its kind to provide veterans with military electronics experience as well as skills, training and certifications that will enable those with little or no industry experience develop a promising career path.

“We’re honored to be a part of that.” Dill said. He wants the program to grow, but he will need the cooperation of companies such as Lockheed to step forward and participate.

For more information about this program, look online at www.blackfox.com.

Level 3 instituted military-specific recruiting efforts across the nation several years ago, and in the past year hired more than 140 veterans.

Francie Dudrey, a Level 3 spokeswoman, said the company is looking for people with the right attitude and aptitude for customer service, project management or numerous technical roles.

Level 3’s Ops Tech Academy, started in January, is available to all job seekers, but the company makes a point of encouraging veterans to apply, at no charge. If they meet the basic requirements, pass phone and in-person interviews, they are accepted into the academy.

The academy is a combination of classwork and on-the-job training, and participants receive a paycheck while going through the academy. If they graduate, they receive a permanent job offer.

Those wanting to apply can apply through the “Careers” section online at www.level3.com/en/about-us/careers/.

In the “Nice Touch Department,” Level 3 will kick off its second annual Holiday Mail for Heroes program on Veterans Day.

Level 3’s employees, their families and friends write personal messages on holiday cards that are mailed by the American Red Cross to active-duty service members overseas, military hospitals, military families and to our veterans. Last year, Level 3 distributed 13,000 cards.    

Doug Storum can be reached at 303-630-1959 or dstorum@bcbr.com.

As we turn our attention to Veterans Day on Nov. 11 – when we salute and remember those in the military who have given their time and in some cases their lives for our country – it’s gratifying to learn how a few companies in the Boulder Valley are reaching out to veterans.

Blackfox Training Institute in Longmont, in conjunction with Lockheed Martin, offers a state-funded training program that prepares vets for jobs in the aerospace industry.

Meanwhile, Level 3 Communications Inc. in Broomfield is offering veterans a pathway to a job in telecommunications through its Ops Tech Academy.

Blackfox’s president and chief…

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