New initiative hopes to boost employment opportunities for Kansas City veterans

November 10, 2016
Kansas City, Mo.

Kansas City, MO – Supporting the troops needs to go beyond just buying a yellow ribbon magnet for your SUV. In honor of Veteran’s Day on Nov. 11, several area companies and organizations are working to go much further to show their commitment and support to both newly enlisted soldiers and veterans in the Kansas City area.

In a community-wide collaboration, representatives from Infinite Energy Construction, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City and the U.S. Armed Forces Recruiting and Veterans Assistance are launching an area initiative to more effectively integrate veterans into the Kansas City workforce.

Chaired by Nilson Goes, chief operating officer at IEC, the group is working to provide veterans – especially those currently transitioning to civilian life – with the resources to connect with local businesses by providing them access to opportunities, interviews and networks. By exposing them to different employers and career options, they hope to expand the level of resources available to veterans as they learn more about the needs that exist.

Goes said that Kansas City’s close geographic location to area military installations – such as Whiteman AFB, Fort Leavenworth, Fort Leonard Wood and Fort Riley – makes this initiative so much more important.

“We have access to well-trained, mission-oriented workers that could – and should – have every opportunity to stay in Kansas City,” he said. “Our group wants to create a relationship that’s mutually beneficial for both employers and soldiers.”

IEC not only talks the talk but walks the walk: The company is proud to boast a 30-percent veteran employment rate, significantly higher than the national average. However, Goes recognizes more work needs to be done to open additional opportunities around the Kansas City area.

“Often, we employers complain about our access to local talent, as well as the lack of focus and commitment exhibited by many millennials,” he said. “But today’s soldiers are extremely well trained, educated and screened, and bring home a commitment and work ethic that’s second to none. Just at IEC, we’ve added many high-level engineers to our team that exceed both on our commercial and military projects because of the skills and experience they received while in the Armed Forces.”

In addition to connecting veterans with area companies, the group also hopes to support the local military community in other ways: hosting pizza parties and movie nights for soldiers about to be deployed, making meeting rooms available so officers can meet, and showing support for military families from the local business community.

The initiative has yet to be named, but Goes said the local groups involved are excited to build a sustainable and impactful program in 2017 to show Kansas City veterans how much we appreciate their service.

About Infinite Energy Construction

Founded in 1996, Infinite Energy Construction specializes in electrical contracting and general contracting for both commercial and government clients. The company seeks to build to a higher standard through a focus on performance, safety and understanding of their clients’ mission
and needs.
Named this year as one of the “Fastest Growing Companies in Kansas City” by Ingram’s, IEC is located in the historic Martin City neighborhood of Kansas City and is MBE, DBE and 8(a) certified.