How Hilton is Helping Service Members Re-Enter the Civilian Workforce
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In just two weeks, I leave the Navy after nine years of active duty. In discussions with some friends and officers who will soon transition as well, I came across the following offering from Hilton:
(Note that the only PDF we could find was from 2014, before Hilton changed its program branding from HHonors to Honors.)
In summary, Hilton has partnered with the National Association of State Workforce Agencies in 20 states to offer 100,000 Hilton Honors points to veterans, transitioning service members and their spouses to help make travel more financially feasible during job-search related activities. Here are the participating states:
Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Kansa, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia
You can head to this webpage to find the individual points of contact, email addresses and phone numbers for each participating state. Each state workforce agency is responsible for setting the criteria for who is eligible and what job search activities qualify for the points. From the states criteria I’ve been able to find, proof of residency in that state is not required. If you’re going to be doing any job search-related activities in any of the participating 20 states, I would apply to see if they deem you eligible.
As a Virginia resident, I reached out to the POC at the Virginia Employment Commission. In order for you to be approved, they require registration on the Virginia Workforce Connection website, including uploading a resume, filling out the Hilton Honors Military Program Referral Form and submitting documentation for your job search activity. The following activities outside of commuting distance from your registered address qualify for receiving the 100,000 points:
- Job interview
- Training/testing for a new position (not regular mandatory training for a position currently held)
- Housing search for a new position you’ve accepted that requires relocation
I initially submitted documentation for a national military hiring conference and was denied because, even though the conference is in Atlanta and required travel, I did not have a confirmed interview specific to me. I followed up a few weeks later with submitting documentation for a position I’d accepted which requires relocation and was approved for the 100,000 points. From what I can tell, the points act as any others in your account and are not location- or date-restricted.
Virginia has set its own state policy that veterans, spouses of veterans and transitioning service members are eligible for the program. My wife was a dedicated yoga teacher before having our second child and us moving to Virginia two years ago. She wants to begin teaching again at our new home and must attend refresher training before applying for a new position. This training should qualify for her own 100,000 points to cover the hotel during her three-day refresher certification.
This is a fantastic program which, for some reason, has not received a lot of publicity. When I found out about it I came into the office and polled service members, especially those transitioning, and no one had heard of it. We were, however, all equally excited at potential of a whopping 100,000 points. This is an incredibly gracious move on Hilton’s behalf and hopefully helps many transitioning service members supplement job hunting and relocation costs.
Featured image by Brian Utesch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images.
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