Neil A. Carousso produces and co-hosts WCBS Newsradio 880’s Small Business Spotlight series with Joe Connolly. Click here to watch the weekly video segments featuring advice for business owners on survival, recovery and growth opportunities.
  • Veterans Organization Builds Remote Talent Pipeline to Fortune 500 companies

    By Neil A. Carousso

    NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The transition from the military to the workforce is often a challenge for veterans, but the pandemic has exacerbated that challenge. A non-profit organization based in Manhattan is taking up the task to virtually match vets and major U.S. companies.

    “We’ve got some super smart people who enlist in the military and we wanted to create those pipelines for them to get into these Fortune 500 companies,” said Lt. Col. Michael Abrams, founder of FourBlock, who is currently serving in the United States Marine Corps Reserve.

    FourBlock prides itself on preparing veterans for a career after service. The average salary for its national members is $92,811, according to the non-profit’s 2020 data.

    “The companies that we work with are the ones who pay good salaries,” Abrams told WCBS 880’s Neil A. Carousso.

    Since the pandemic hit, FourBlock pivoted from in-person networking events to virtual workshops and training on remote interviews.

    Maxwell Acker-DeOliveira was looking for a job after recovering from COVID-19 in California where he was visiting family in May. FourBlock helped him prepare for remote job interviews with Deloitte in June – a process that happened rather quickly.

    “I’m a social creature,” said Acker-DeOliveira, explaining Zoom meetings presented an obstacle for him to get over.

    The Marine sergeant had been used to leading a six-man sniper team for five years. His deployment concluded in March 2018.

    “You kind of have to push through that wall,” he said, adding, “You either network or you stay on the bench at Deloitte.”

    Acker-DeOliveira was hired at the Big Four accounting firm within the month as a technology services optimization consultant.

    Abrams said hiring managers understand they can trust veterans to take the initiative while working remotely.

    “They’re not going to just sit around and wait to be told what to do,” he said, continuing, “They’re going to kind of figure out what needs to get done and get it done.”

    Abrams emphasized it’s “trust and resiliency,” experience gained through their military service, that makes veterans attractive hires in the pandemic.

    Watch the video above for more on this story.

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