When asked why he chose Home Depot as his employer, U.S. Army veteran Jesse Gavin discussed the company's significance to his future. "I'll have a foundation for understanding how to build homes, restore homes and sell them," he said.
Since separating from the military, it has been Gavin's goal to launch his career in the real estate business. In the spring of 2014, he decided to take advantage of his Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits and is currently working toward an associate degree in real estate. Upon graduation, Gavin will be qualified to become a Licensed Appraiser with the state of Ohio and conduct home appraisals.
Ultimately, his true ambition is to start his own business restoring and selling homes, and Gavin felt gaining practical work experience was essential to his success. On April 10, 2014, he began his employment at the Home Depot in Gahanna, Ohio as a Customer Associate in the lumber department.
Even though he holds a part-time position, he clocks more than thirty hours each week tore through its busiest time of day. "I help customers with projects that deal with framework--stairs, drywall, walls, windows. I stock shelves and answer questions." Oftentimes, he finds his military training comes in handy when working long hours and meeting the customers' needs.
"The ability to transition from one thing to the next and think on your feet helps at Home Depot...You can't just pick these skills up off the street or from school," said Gavin.
Widely recognized as one of the top military-friendly employers, Home Depot considers it a priority to hire veterans like Gavin, whose military experience has equipped them to manage a variety of tasks and respond to situations quickly.
In 2004, the company launched a campaign to hire military veterans, and has since employed 60,000 veterans nationwide. In 2011, Home Depot boosted its efforts by joining first lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden's Joining Forces initiative. Home Depot pledged to increase the number of military hires by ten percent each year for the following five years, which breaks down to employing approximately 55,000 new veterans.
Gavin's experiences at Home Depot resonate with the company's national hiring efforts.
"Home Depot has a lot of respect for military veterans," he said. In his view, the reason Home Depot hires veterans is because of their discipline, their professionalism and their ethics.
Up next for Gavin: making his transition to veteran entrepreneur one step at a time. For now, he hopes to transfer from the lumber department to Home Depot's contractor services department, where he would assist professional contractors and make important contacts for his future business.
Currently, many Ohio stores are hiring to fill a number of positions. Interested applicants should visit careers.homedepot.com to view all open positions and to submit an application. Specifically for military members, Home Depot has created an online skills translator that allows applicants to search for openings that match their military skills and experiences.
For more information about Home Depot and its many programs that support military members, military spouses and families, please visit their website.