The Sword - January 2015

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Federal Tax Credits for Hiring Veterans Extended through 2014,
State Tax Credits for Hiring Veterans,
Upcoming Hiring Conferences,
New Year's Resolutions for the Workplace,
Meet Our Candidates,
National Distinguished Candidate Conference,
Alumni Update: Jesse Flowers,
According to Our Clients,
Refer a Colleague to Hire Military Talent,
Happy New Year from Orion International!,
Connect with Orion

Federal Tax Credits for Hiring Veterans Extended through 2014

On December 19, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, which provides for the temporary extension of more than 50 tax breaks, most of which expired at the end of 2013. The bill is retroactive and covers the entire 2014 tax year. Included in these extenders is an extension of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) tax credit, which expired on December 31, 2013. WOTC is now retroactively in place through 2014, for eligible veteran employees who begin work before January 1, 2015.

WOTC contains provision for both the Returning Heroes Tax Credit, which provides incentives of up to $5,600 for hiring qualified unemployed veterans, and the Wounded Warriors Tax Credit, which provides credit for long-term unemployed veterans with service-connected disabilities to up to $9,600.

Who is an eligible veteran?

  • Short-term Unemployed: A credit of 40% of the first $6,000 of wages (up to $2,400) for employers who hire veterans who have been in receipt of unemployment insurance or compensation for at least 4 weeks.
  • Long-term Unemployed: A credit of 40% of the first $14,000 of wages (up to $5,600) for employers who hire veterans who have been in receipt of unemployment insurance or compensation for longer than 6 months.
  • Veterans with Services-Connected Disabilities: Veterans with service-connected disabilities hired within one year of being discharged from the military. The credit is 40% of the first $12,000 of wages (up to $4,800).
  • Long-Term Unemployed Veterans with Services-Connected Disabilities: A credit of 40% of the first $24,000 of wages (up to $9,600) for firms that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been in receipt of unemployment insurance or compensation for longer than 6 months.

How to file for these credits?

You must submit IRS Form 8850, Pre-Screening Notice and Certification Request for the Work Opportunity Credit and ETA Form 9061 or 9062, Individual Characteristics Form (ICF) Work Opportunity Tax Credit, to the WOTC Coordinator within your State Workforce Agency (do not mail to the IRS) within 28 days from when the veteran begins work. You must then wait for a final determination from your State Workforce Agency that will indicate whether the employee is certified as meeting the eligibility for one of the WOTC    target groups. After the target group employee is certified by the State Workforce Agency, file for the tax credit with the Internal Revenue Service.

PLEASE NOTE: Orion ICS, LLC, its affiliates and its employees are not in the business of providing tax or legal advice to any taxpayer. This content is for general information purposes only, and is not intended or written to be used without the advice of the taxpayer’s independent tax advisor. Thank you for reading about tax credits for hiring veterans.

State Tax Credits for Hiring Veterans

The benefits of hiring a veteran are many – they possess an accelerated learning curve, leadership skills, the ability to work well in a team, a respect for procedures, and give efficient performance under pressure, just to name a few. But did you know that your company could receive a tax credit for hiring a military veteran?

In addition to the federal tax credits which were retroactively extended for 2014 last month, there are many states that have implemented monetary benefits for hiring veterans. Check the list below to see if your state has tax credits that you could be taking advantage of by hiring a veteran today.

AlabamaHeroes for Hire Income Tax Credit – Provides a $1,000 tax credit for job creation to employers who hire recently deployed, and now discharged, unemployed veterans. The credit also creates up to $2,000 nonrefundable income tax credit to recently deployed, and now discharged, unemployed veterans who hold at least 50 percent ownership interest in a start-up business.

AlaskaVeteran Tax Credit – Provides $3,000 for a disabled veteran and $2,000 for a veteran who is not disabled. The veteran must have been unemployed for more than four weeks and have been discharged or released from military service less than 10 years before the date employment begins for a veteran who is disabled; or less than two years before the date employment begins for a veteran who is not disabled. The veteran must also be employed in the state for 1,560 hours or more during 12 consecutive months immediately following the date the veteran is first employed.

For a veteran employed in the state for 500 hours or more in a seasonal position during the three consecutive months immediately following the date the veteran is first employed by an employer in a seasonal position, a $1,000 credit is available.

Arizona – Provides a one-time state income tax credit of up to $2,000 for every unemployed veteran employers hire, with a $4,000 credit for a disabled veteran. Source

CaliforniaCalifornia Enterprise Zone (EZ) Program – Provides a payroll tax credit for employers located within boundaries of a defined Enterprise Zone within a given state. Businesses can reduce state taxes by a portion of wages paid to employees for up to five years.

DelawareVeteran’s Opportunity Tax Credit – Offers employers the ability to receive $1,500 for each veteran hired for three years. The hiring must take place between Jan. 1, 2012 and Jan. 1, 2016. The veteran must have received an Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, or the Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.

FloridaFlorida Veterans Employment Act – Allows a business to qualify for a one-time corporate income tax credit of $5,000 for each veteran the business hires. A business may qualify for an additional one-time $5,000 corporate income tax credit for hiring a veteran with a service-connected disability. The credit will expire June 30, 2019.

IllinoisVeteran’s Tax Credit – Employers can earn an income tax credit up to $5,000 annually for hiring veterans or Operation Enduring Freedom, or Operation Iraqi Freedom. The credit is 20 percent of the total wages paid up to $5,000 to every qualified veteran hired after July 1, 2012. Employers can also earn an income tax credit up to $1,200 annually for hiring veterans of Operation Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom, or Operation Iraqi Freedom. The credit is 10 percent of the total wages paid to every qualified veteran hired after Jan. 1, 2010. Veterans must work at least 185 days during the tax year for the employer to qualify for the Veteran’s Tax Credit.

MissouriShow-Me Heroes On-the-Job-Training – Reimburses employers 50 percent of wages up to 1,040 hours while the veteran is being trained to offset the cost of onboarding.

New MexicoVeteran Employment Tax Credit – Provides up to $1,000 to businesses each time they hire a veteran who has recently been discharged from the military.

New YorkHire-A-Vet Credit –Businesses may earn up to $5,000 for hiring a qualified veteran, and up to $15,000 for hiring one who is disabled. It is a one-time credit applied against the 2015 and 2016 franchise tax years; any credit not used by an employer can be carried over for three years. Businesses must employ a qualified veteran no less than 35 hours per week for one full year. Qualified veterans must attest that they were not employed for 35 or more hours in the previous 180 days. A qualified veteran is someone who served on active duty in the Army, Navy, Air Force, USMC, Coast Guard, Reserves, National Guard, NY Guard or NY Naval Militia and was released from active duty by general or honorable discharge after September 11, 2001.

OklahomaOklahoma Quality Jobs Program – Provides up to six percent rebate if at least 10 percent of new payroll is comprised of qualified military veterans.

UtahVeteran Employment Tax Credit – A non-refundable monthly credit of $200 (year maximum of $2,400) in the first year, and $400 monthly credit (year maximum of $4,800) in the second year is available to employers who hire a qualified recently deployed veteran on or after January 1, 2012.

VermontTax Credit for Hiring a Veteran with Recent Military Service – Provides up to $2,000 for hiring a recently transitioned Vermont veteran.

Washington – Tax credits are provided to businesses that provide full-time jobs to qualified military veterans who have been unemployed for at least 30 days. The credit is equal to 20 percent of the wages and benefits paid up to $1,500. The measure will go into effect on Oct. 1, 2016. Source

West VirginiaMilitary Incentive Credit – Provides 30 percent of the first $5,000 of compensation paid to a veteran. If the veteran was a member of the reserve or WV National Guard, the credit equals 25 percent of the first $5,000 of compensation. The credit equals the percentage of disability suffered by the veteran, multiplied by the first $5,000 of compensation.

PLEASE NOTE: Orion ICS, LLC, its affiliates and its employees are not in the business of providing tax or legal advice to any taxpayer. This content is for general information purposes only, and is not intended or written to be used without the advice of the taxpayer’s independent tax advisor. Thank you for reading about tax credits for hiring veterans.

Upcoming Hiring Conferences

Orion Military Hiring Conferences – Interview Junior Military Officers,
Noncommissioned Officers and Enlisted Technicians Recruited for your Hiring Needs

An Orion Hiring Conference is your chance to interview the best military job seekers, selected specifically for your open positions. You will be presented with prescreened, qualified and suitably matched veterans that are interested in your available opportunities. Click on the dates below to learn more about our upcoming hiring conferences. 

Norfolk, VA (Midwest Technician Event)

Philadelphia, PA

Norfolk, VA

Pittsburgh, PA


Atlanta, GA

Raleigh, NC

Jacksonvile, FL


Norfolk, VA (Midwest Technician Event)

Chicago, IL

Indianapolis, IN

Chicago, IL

January 19

January 19

South Central  

Houston, TX

Houston, TX (Technician event)

Houston, TX (DCC)

January 19

March 2

March 2-3


San Diego, CA

Seattle, WA

San Diego, CA

Seattle, WA

New Year's Resolutions for the Workplace

It’s the beginning of a new year, which means it’s time to make those New Year’s Resolutions. Around 40 percent of Americans usually make New Year’s Resolutions, while 17 percent infrequently make New Year’s Resolutions, and 38 percent don’t make New Year’s Resolutions at all, according to a study from the University of Scranton.

While the most common resolutions are losing weight, getting organized, staying fit, etc., not many address resolutions that could be made for the workplace. If you are one of those who do make New Year’s Resolutions, check out the list below for some resolutions to take into account for this year.

Do the best job you can each day. Make a conscious effort to put 100 percent into your work each day, regardless of outside issues that are beyond your power. You are in control of the quality of work you produce daily. Strive to create content that is valuable to your company, and be on your way to a more satisfying year.

Learn how to delegate, and do it more often. If you are in a manager role or own a small business, learning how to delegate can save you time, money, and your sanity. Learn to let go of certain tasks that you usually do yourself and entrust them to a capable employee.

Avoid excessive complaining. The office environment can be notorious for less than uplifting banter. Try to end negative thoughts and conversation, and focus on the positive. If you find yourself part of a pessimistic discussion, try not to feed the negativity, and find a discreet way out of the conversation.

Learn something new. Learning something new that is related to your company will add to your skills and make you a more valuable asset to your company in the long run. Plus, you’ll get the added feeling of accomplishing something that is outside of your comfort level.

Make the best of your commute to work. The average daily commute for Americans is 25.5 minutes one way, which means that there are a lot of you who spend at least an hour every day in the car. Try to make your commute less of a chore actually something to somewhat look forward to. Love listening to music? Get a satellite radio subscription to listen to more of a variety of music. Love to read? Start listening to books on tape. Your time in the car each day should not feel wasted.

If you aren’t very good at seeing your resolutions through to completion each year, you’re not alone – only 27 percent of those who make resolutions are actually successful in achieving their resolution, while 24 percent never succeed and break their resolution each year.

To help your success rate for your workplace resolutions, focus on just one resolution at a time and continue to build from there, or just concentrate on one resolution. Regardless of what you decide, these resolutions above will help you become happier, healthier, and more productive in the workplace.

Good luck, and Happy New Year!

Meet Our Candidates

The battle for talent in the workplace can be fierce.  It doesn't have to be if you know where to look. Below is a preview of actual Orion International candidates and the valuable skills and experience they possess.

Field Artillery Officer; USMA Graduate View Resume

Strike Fighter Weapons Systems Officer / Flight Instructor with an MBA View Resume

Pilot / Instructor; Air Force Academy Graduate with a Master's Degree View Resume

Logistics Officer View Resume

Nuclear Machinist's Mate View Resume

Electronics Technician View Resume

Maintenance Planner / Gas Turbine Mechanic View Resume

Engineman View Resume

National Distinguished Candidate Conference

Mark your calendar for our upcoming National Distinguished Candidate Conferences:

Houston, TX
March 2-3, 2015

Since 1991, our clients have told us that the most important factor in deciding to hire military through an agency is the Quality of Candidate. Our unique Distinguished Candidate Conferences are designed to recruit, assess, screen, and present the top military candidates for your hiring needs. In 2014, nearly 100 client companies strategically hired Orion’s Military Officers through our Distinguished Candidate Conferences, with over 40% making multiple hires.

Orion’s Distinguished Candidates are carefully selected and represent the very top tier of Military Officers transitioning from Active Duty. They are seeking careers in growth roles including Leadership Development, Operations Management, Engineering, and Sales.

Our Junior Military Officer Candidates at these National Events:

  • Service Academy Graduates and graduates of the nation’s top universities.
  • Candidates with MBAs and other advanced degrees; and those with PMPs, PEs, and other professional certifications.
  • Candidates who have consistently ranked well above their peers in their professional military evaluations.
  • Willing to relocate and geographically flexible.

Distinguished Candidate Conference Highlights:

  • These events will feature 30 minute Client Presentations in which you can present to the candidates you’ll be interviewing in advance. We recommend a C-level or VP Presenter for client presentations.
  • Enjoy an additional opportunity for socializing with the candidates and other Hiring Managers, at our President’s Reception following the Keynote Address on Monday evening.
  • Pre-screened, assessed, qualified Officer Candidates suitably matched for your particular hiring needs.
  • A private and professional interview setting.
  • Personalized attention to ensure the best in customer service, including insight on the candidates and advice on the most effective hiring strategy.

In addition, Orion’s Executive Leadership Team will be available throughout these events to meet and discuss your company’s talent planning and how our dedicated on-boarding programs, assessment tools, and other enterprise-scale service offerings may be able to support your organization in 2014 and beyond.

What do our clients have to say about the caliber of candidates at an Orion Distinguished Candidate Conference?

"Our experience at Orion's Distinguished Candidate Conference was a great success. The candidates were of the highest caliber and extremely well matched for our Leadership Development Program. This event enabled us to hire 5 outstanding JMOs very efficiently, saving weeks of time. I look forward to seeing the impact these new leaders will have on BP." - Program Manager, BP

Our Distinguished Candidate Conferences enable you to develop a strong pipeline of future leaders and foster strategic organizational growth.

Learn more about our Distinguished Candidate Conferences and discover for yourself the impact a Military Officer can have on your organization.

Alumni Update: Jesse Flowers

Jesse Flowers is an Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Identifier turned Consultant placed with Kurt Salmon, a global management and strategy consulting firm. Jesse began his career in September 2014 and says he couldn’t be happier with his time there so far. He sat down with us to tell us about his new career and give advice to his fellow veterans.

There are three aspects of his successful transition to a civilian career with Kurt Salmon that Jesse attributes to his military background. First is his ability to learn large amounts of new material quickly and translate that knowledge into executable skills. Second is leadership, both internal (team leadership) and external (presentation to clients and meeting/presentation guidance skills). Finally is the ability to improvise and adapt.

His new employer must also appreciate these skills, as Jesse has found Kurt Salmon to be very military friendly, with several of the senior partners being veterans.  “The integration into the company is quite simple, but requires you to be a self-starter and have a proactive mindset to managing your career. There is a lot of learning on the job, so if you work here you have to be willing to ‘drink from a fire hose.’” Jesse explains, “The caliber of people that Kurt Salmon hires is very high, so there is no room for a lax work ethic.”

The interview format through which Jesse was vetted was rigorous and allowed for only the highest caliber candidates to be hired. Along with a general math test and logic-based business knowledge test, there was a Behavioral Interview, Case Interview, and Cultural Fit Interview. The last of which Jesse says is not just a “check-the-box event.”

Now that Jesse is working at Kurt Salmon, he has to be an expert in whatever area to which he is assigned. “This means that your high level company clients look to you for expert advice.  This places a burden on you and your team to truly BE the expert.  This overall theme encourages a culture dedicated to ongoing training and learning events,” says Jesse. His military skills are an obvious fit for this type of work that calls for a strong leader who is able to adapt to changing conditions and make informed decisions.

Jesse’s advice to transitioning veterans is simple: translate your military experience (both in conversation and on your resume) and research your potential new position and company. These two basic pieces of advice will serve any transitioning veteran, no matter their rank, MOS, or industry well.

Want to know more about how you can utilize Orion’s services to recruit talented veterans, click here. And don’t forget to check out our other Veteran Spotlights for even more inspiration.

According to Our Clients

“The first Distinguished Candidate Conference I attended exceeded any/all expectations I had. The candidates were high quality, possessed great experience, and were actively engaged in creating professional relationships with Recruiters and Managers throughout the entire Conference. I thoroughly enjoyed attending this conference and plan to continue attending Orion events in the future. I would highly recommend an Orion event to any Company seeking outstanding individuals to join their organization.” – Blair Winter, Talent Acquisition, Multiband/Goodman

Refer a Colleague to Hire Military Talent

Is your company or that of a friend or colleague in need of military talent? For every referral you provide, you will be automatically entered into our monthly drawing for a $50 gift card. Even better, if your referral results in a placement, you will personally receive a $100 gift card as our way of saying thank you. As always, we will maintain your privacy and never share your information nor that of your referral.

Click here to refer a colleague to hire military talent now!

Happy New Year from Orion International!

Connect with Orion

Did you know that there are several ways to connect with Orion and learn how veterans impact the civilian workforce?

• You can join our LinkedIn group for employers, Hire a Hero, Hire a Vet®. This group is a great way to show your support of veterans in the civilian workforce. In addition, we have recently launched the Hire a Hero, Hire a Vet® for Veterans subgroup for all Veteran members who are interested in networking and learning about career opportunities.

• Read our blog, Hire a Hero, Hire a Vet®. This blog covers everything from veterans in the news to general employer-employee relations. Check it out!

• You can follow Orion on Twitter (@hirevets) to receive updates about Orion, learn about upcoming hiring events, and find links to articles of interest.

• Orion is now on Google+! Follow us to keep up to date on all things Orion. 

Join Orion’s Hire a Hero, Hire a Vet  and Hire a Hero, Hire a Vet for Veterans groups on LinkedIn

 Read Orion's Blog

Find us on Twitter



 Follow us on Google+