Company dedicated to hiring veterans
Nearly 14 percent of veterans after September 11 are unemployed in Washington state. But a Spokane company is working hard to change the statistic.
At Haskins Steel, nearly one in five workers is a U.S. veteran. It’s also no coincidence that the 57-year-old business, located in the Spokane Valley, is making a big effort to hire more vets.
“It’s the right thing to do and we like to encourage other employers to do the same,” said Haskins’ Vice President Craig Dias.
But for the company, one in five is not enough.
“We’re not satisfied with staying at 18 to 20 percent. We can do better and I’m a vocal advocate for hiring veterans,” said Dias.
Dias said out of their last seven hires, four have been veterans.
“They have to have the skills and competencies. When you talk to some of our veterans, you’ll find that there are crossover skills in discipline. They respect authority, they show up on time and those are the kind of core competencies that we look for in any employee,” said Dias.
Those who leave the military said their next step isn’t always clear. .
“I had to take a long time to think about what I was going to do because getting out of the infantry was a little bit hard to have everything transfer over into a civilian job,” said inventory specialist David Blomquist-Worley.
Blomquist-Worley has worked at Haskins Steel for six years. When he got out of the Marine Corps, it didn’t take long for him to realize that the skills he learned in the military could transfer over to a civilian job.
“I came out of the military with a huge confidence in myself because they put you through some things that you wouldn’t really have thought you’d be able to come out on top on. That was a real boost for me and my work ethic,” said Blomquist-Worley.
Ryan Bludau was in the Air Force for nine years, but now works as a millwright.
“I joined the military right after high school. That kind of training that I got in the military and leadership training, communication training I think really benefits an employer,” said Bludau.
“They get a well rounded individual that knows how to work and has a good work ethic and that is willing to work,” said Diaz.
The vets that work at Haskins appreciate what the company is trying to do.
“There are a lot of friends of mine that struggle trying to find places like here. When I talk to military friends, if they’re in the area I let them know that they should at least try checking it out. I know that the steel industry may not be for everybody but this is an excellent place to work,” said Blomquist-Worley.