Posts Tagged ‘Veterans Day’

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Why Unleashing Veterans’ Entrepreneurial and Leadership Skills in Global Commerce Helps Strengthen America’s Economic and National Security

November 9, 2018

Murat Muftari is a Senior International Trade Specialist in the International Trade Administration’s U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service and founder of the Vets Go Global initiative and a former U.S. Special Forces soldier.

On Veterans Day, November 11, 2018, let us take a moment to honor America’s veterans for their sacrifice and willingness to serve for the common good of a grateful nation. For many veterans, their service continues well beyond the battlefield and into the commercial and private sector where transitioning veterans continue to evolve their mission from military boots to executive suits. Whether we look at veteran-owned or veteran-led businesses, it comes as no surprise that veterans thrive as leaders. Their business leadership skills are particularly well suited for international business, where their understanding of the geopolitical environment and how economic factors play a prominent role in U.S. national security allows them to help unleash American ingenuity and expand economic influence around the world.american flag

This economic influence helps provide economic security, defined as the ability to protect or advance U.S. economic interests in the face of events, developments, or actions that may threaten or block these interests. And this economic security translates to protecting U.S. national security. That is why the International Trade Administration and the Vets Go Global initiative works to better empower veteran-owned and veteran-led businesses to continue their mission of protecting our nation, from the frontlines of war to the frontlines of international commercial activity. The economic well-being of the United States depends on the smooth conduct of national and international commerce, so the U.S. can continue to play a prominent role in shaping the international economic environment.

There are a multitude of tools and resources that the International Trade Administration provides to assist American businesses, all a form of economic means to help achieve national security ends. These tools include offering U.S. Commercial Service export promotion services to help increase American exports and the relative size of the U.S. economy; direct U.S. government support of U.S. companies competing for foreign government contracts through programs like the International Trade Administration’s Advocacy Center; increasing foreign investment in the United States through programs like SelectUSA; maintaining access to foreign markets and reducing trade barriers through U.S. Commercial Service commercial diplomacy efforts; and promoting market-oriented economic policies and free and fair trade agreements that help U.S. companies to compete and win in international markets. Continuing to build an American economy that is more dynamic and more robust than economies elsewhere cannot be taken for granted. That is why we must continue to support veteran businesses and all U.S. businesses with the resources and tools they need to survive and thrive in international markets.

The Vets Go Global initiative will continue to collaborate with private and public organizations that offer resources to veterans by presenting additional avenues of economic opportunity to veteran-owned and veteran-led businesses and helping them survive and thrive in global markets.

I call on the veteran-owned and veteran-led business community to continue to rise to the occasion when opportunity knocks and seek to grow your business in international markets. To get started, and learn more about existing export opportunities and resources, contact the Vets Go Global team at vets@trade.gov or your nearest Export Assistance Center.

Again, I would like to personally thank the brave Americans who have served – as well as their families – and those who continue to serve our country as members of the Armed Forces.

 

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Teaching Veterans the Cadence of Global Business

November 8, 2013

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Anne Evans and Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) pose after Evans was awarded the Department of Defense Reservist and Guard Patriot Award.

Anne Evans and Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) pose after Evans was awarded the Department of Defense Reservist and Guard Patriot Award.

If Anne Evans’ 2009 appointment had begun on time, 22 Connecticut veterans might have never had the opportunity to learn about business.

“I was waiting for a meeting and I just started talking to the receptionist in the office,” said Evans, the district director at the U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC) in Middletown, Conn. “I couldn’t believe what she was telling me.”

That receptionist’s husband was a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Navy. After retiring from service, he had trouble finding a job because potential employers felt he had no business experience. Knowing something about the Connecticut business community after years of working in international trade, Evans saw an opportunity to help.

She approached leaders in Middletown and throughout the state. She worked with colleges to find student veterans interested in learning about business. Through the Connecticut Department of Labor’s Transition Assistance Program, she brought on her first veteran for an unpaid internship in 2009. Then in 2010, she was able to secure funding for a paid internship in her office.

Since 2009, Evans has brought in a total of 22 student veterans as interns. Her work recently earned her the Department of Defense Reservist and Guard Patriot Award, which recognizes workplace supervisors who have gone out of their way to support members of the military reserves.

There are currently four veterans in her office as part of the program, helping Connecticut businesses increase their exports. The team in place now is reimbursed through a number of state programs.

Also on Evans’ full-time staff is Coast Guard veteran Anthony Sargis, who earned the first paid internship in the Middletown USEAC in 2010.

Evans is proud to point out that every veteran who has interned in her office has gone on to find employment.

“This is really important work,” said Evans, who knows the motto of each branch of the U.S. military. “We’re looking at ways to keep expanding this program. These veterans deserve it.”