Uber initiative to put military vets behind the wheel

The first Uber passenger in Philadelphia. Uber is currently testing their services in Philadelphia. Photo credit: Uber

Uber is implementing a new initiative to recruit more than 50,000 veterans to not only assist vets with employment but also to help Uber hire experienced drivers.

According to CBS News, Uber is enlisting the help of Hiring Our Heroes, a non-profit veteran service organization, to get the word out.  One of the hardest challenges for vets is finding a good-paying job when leaving the military.

The ride sharing company works around the concept that drivers use their own cars and are able to set their own schedules.  It can be the perfect environment for veterans adjusting to civilian life.

An example of the way this type of employment benefits service members can be seen through Travis Groft, a driver for Uber for one month.  The Air Force veteran served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, spending seven years in the military.

Leaving the service in September 2008, he had a hard time finding a job that adjusted to his lifestyle.

“You kind of feel like a goldfish in a huge sea, right, you definitely don’t know what to do yourself, so I had some high levels of anxiety, readjusting was taking me a little bit,” said Groft.

The flexibility of working for Uber allows him to help care for his daughter and work-full time while attending to college.

“I think veterans are well suited for this type of work, because we’re service-based anyway, and we’re offering a service to someone.  We’re helping them get from point A to point B.  So it’s kind of mission-oriented,” he remarked.

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates chairs the volunteer military advisory board, recognizing the importance of the initiative.

“The reason companies like Uber want vets is because of the qualities that vet bring to the workplace.  They’re disciplines, they’re team players, they’re easily trainable, they’re flexible, they’re loyal and they’re reliable,” he said.

According to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, the company helps veterans buy cars at better interest rates and take less commission from their fares.

“The veterans who are already on the system provide such a high quality of experience, and they just have a better work ethic.  And they’re out there, doing more trips than the average partner,” said Kalanick.

“The most important thing from my standpoint is that the veteran have a choice of some jobs to go to rather than being stuck with one option and Uber is for a certain kind of those veterans who want to be on their own,” Gates said.


Post navigation