A Message to Businesses, From a Veteran Leader


What do veterans need, and how do businesses and communities play a vital role in their success?

Executive Director of Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs shares his thoughts


“We are doing an excellent job of making military and veterans welcome— we are doing great things at finding jobs for them, making sure that they fit into their communities. Probably the thing that we need to continue to do is stay on the cutting edge of finding out, what does the veteran really need from the state of Florida? Not what the feds are supposed to do for them, but what can the state of Florida do that might make it a little bit easier or more attractive to come to Florida, without being detrimental to the state of Florida.”

More than 1.5 million veterans call Florida home and between now and 2030, more are expected to call Florida home. Veterans have skill sets that directly translate into the workforce needs of high-wage jobs. So how do we ensure Florida’s veterans have access to job opportunities?

“It’s making people aware of what we do have in the state of Florida. It takes you six months to get into the military and we put you out in less than 2 weeks, and that’s quite a transition coming down here. The whole thing is making sure we are getting information for instance… Bobby Carbonell and his Florida veterans, they are reaching out to try to make sure that the job market matches what the soldier or the military person is bringing to the table. And, we just need to constantly make sure that our communities and our counties are actually putting the information out of what they need in there.”

Next week, Florida’s businesses, policy makers and industry leaders will join us for the annual Florida Chamber Foundation’s Military, Defense and Veterans Opportunities Summit. When asked what the one thing that he hopes business leaders will take from the event, the answer was clear:

“How to bring a veteran into your business. A veteran is used to being part of a tribe… when you bring them into your company, bring them into the company- make them part of the family. Companies that do that or think about how to that, the ways they can bring them in and assimilate them easier, makes it much better for our veterans. I hope that they continue to market the need for veterans and hiring more veterans.”


Join us next week in Orlando at Florida Chamber Foundation’s Military, Defense & Veterans Opporuntiees Summit. It’s not too late to register!

Why Hiring Veterans Matters

By: Bobby Carbonell, Executive Director, Veterans Florida

Every business has a need for a talented workforce and today’s veterans are a great fit for any company looking for hard-working, intelligent men and women with a unique mission-focused attitude.  Veterans Florida is here to help your business recruit, hire and train America’s best talent resource, our veterans.

Veterans Florida is a non-profit corporation created by the State of Florida to help veterans fully transition to civilian life in the Sunshine State.  We connect veterans to employers, grant funds to employers to hire and train veterans, and educate veterans on how to open their own businesses in the Florida.

Why hire veterans?  According to research conducted by Veterans Florida, hiring agents report that veterans rate significantly higher for productivity, reduced turnover and reduced training needs as compared to their civilian peers.


Whether you are hiring your first veteran or you’re a seasoned veteran-friendly employer, we can help you.

The Veterans Florida Business Training Grant program provides funding to qualifying businesses to train their new, full-time veteran employees. Funding is provided in the form of a performance-based reimbursable grant, for a 12-month maximum term per new veteran employee. A business is reimbursed by Veterans Florida for 50% of the training cost per veteran employee, with a maximum amount of $8,000 per employee.

The Veterans Florida Career Portal was recently launched as a way to connect veterans who live or would like to move to Florida with employers in the state.  Businesses can register for a free account on our website, which gives them the ability to post their job announcements and search our resume database.

Veterans Florida’s comprehensive, nationwide advertising campaign draws hundreds of thousands of veterans and their families to our website to learn more about the benefits and opportunities available for them in the Sunshine State.  By working with Veterans Florida, your business can tap into this audience and recruit from America’s best talent resource:  our veterans.

Our Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program helped over 160 veterans start their own businesses in 2016 and we’re gearing up to start the next program in January.  The program is always in need of business owners to serve as mentors and resources for our entrepreneurs in training.  Florida business owners and leaders who wish to volunteer can reach out to Veterans Florida to find out more.

Businesses can find and connect with Veterans Florida online at www.veteransflorida.org.

Veterans Florida Executive Director Calls on Business Community to Unite Efforts to Hire Vets

“Just because the job title is unfamiliar doesn’t mean that person is not already trained in how to manage people, processes, and handle equipment properly.”

Bobby Carbonell, Executive Director of Veterans Florida


Florida has the nation’s third largest population of Veterans, with more than 1.5 million calling the Sunshine State home. With our state’s population expected to increase by 6 million residents by 2030, more private sector job creation will be needed as service members transition to civilian life.

Bobby Carbonell, Executive Director of Veterans Florida, recently shared his mission to connect Veterans and their families with employment, training and educational opportunities.

“We were created to help fill gaps that the state identified in joining Veterans who want to work with businesses who are looking to hire Veterans. And the other mission we have is helping Veterans who are looking for a final place to move after their service find Florida is the number one Veteran-friendly state in the country.”

Veterans Florida is a non-profit corporation created by the Florida Legislature in 2014. In addition to attracting veterans, the corporation and its partners are spearheading efforts to help business leaders translate military training in to needed skill-sets for future employees.

“We will have new programs available to help educate businesses on how to read military resumes and how to look for Veterans. Just because the job title is unfamiliar doesn’t mean that person is not already trained in how to manage people, processes, and handle equipment properly.”

Carbonell will represent Veterans Florida at the 2015 Military, Defense & Veterans Opportunities Summit on August 6, 2015 in Orlando, where he will speak about trends in Veterans education, training and healthcare.


Get Involved:

Register for the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Military, Defense & Veterans Opportunities Summit where leaders from Florida’s military and defense industry, economic development experts, policymakers and the business community will examine current and future challenges and opportunities.