Local Company Answers Call of ‘Hire-a-Veteran’ Initiative
For more information about the “Hire A Veteran” initiative or Horizon Services, please contact Mary Pullella or Eric Crawford at (302) 762-1200.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to work with veterans,” says Mark Aitken, co-owner of Horizon Services, “They’re the heroes. We’re just a company that’s trying to help out.”
Veterans often hear “thank you for your service”. That’s a sincere acknowledgement of the sacrifices they’ve made to serve their country, and a nice gesture. But sometimes veterans need more than a gesture and a thank you; they need help transitioning from combat to career.
That’s why local plumbing, heating, and cooling company, Horizon Services, is in support of the ‘Hire a Veteran’ initiative. This initiative focuses on hiring veterans and providing them with lifelong careers. Horizon Services has employed veterans for over 25 years. In 2013, the company stepped up their commitment to serving those who serve us by collaborating with the Veteran’s Administration to support the G.I. Bill. That means veterans can receive benefits under the G.I. Bill while they learn a new trade and profession at Horizon Services. Horizon is now helping dozens of veterans transition from combat to career. In the last two years, Horizon has grown their staff to include over 40 veterans, with more to surely come.
The concentrated initiative to hire veterans began after Horizon Services’ co-owner, Mark Aitken, talked with the veterans already on staff at Horizon. “I’ve always really admired veterans, so I started talking to a couple of these guys—asking them where they served,” Aitken said. “I got to know them, and was totally impressed at how hard they worked, how disciplined they were”. But the veterans also told Aitken how hard it was for them to normalize back into society; how many of their veteran friends struggled to find work and to cope with PTSD and similar issues. “I had no idea how many veterans were unemployed. I couldn’t believe it,” Aitken said. “From then on, we’ve actively sought veterans out because most of them are great workers, and also because it’s the least we can do for the service they’ve provided for our country.”
As a result, Horizon has become one of the largest and most active employers of veterans in the area. So much that Aitken was inducted into the Honorary Commanders Program of the Delaware National Guard in 2015, and was singled out by Governor Jack Markell for supporting the “Hire a Veteran” initiative. But when the recognition and accolades for Horizon’s veteran-friendly culture start piling up, Aitken quickly demurs. “It’s an honor and a privilege to work with veterans,” he says. “They’re the heroes. We’re just a company that’s trying to help out.”
For more information about the “Hire a Veteran” initiative or Horizon Services, please contact Mary Pullella or Eric Crawford at (302) 762-1200.
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