As Americans across the country are celebrating the birthday of the nation’s freedom, one company continues to honor and serve those who continue to defend that freedom.
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Valet Living started programs to employ veterans and to sponsor outside veteran programs, including the Wounded Warrior Project nearly four years ago. Although the company has increased its veteran employment from around 11 veterans to 300, Valet Living CEO Shawn Handrahan told FOX Business's Dagen McDowell he wanted to do more.
“We need to give more to our veterans, besides just saying, 'Thank you for your service.’ We want to be able to give more in return back,” he said Wednesday.
Valet Living is a Tampa, Florida-based company that provides home service amenities, including cleaning, pet visits, package deliveries and more. The company serves 1.3 million apartment homes across 40 states.
“So we started this process to where communities and family members and friends could nominate veterans that live in apartments,” Handrahan said. “And then we would go through a selection process and we’d choose one and provide a full suite of amenities.”
Eight candidates are nominated and selected each year. After the company’s selection process is complete, those retired or active military members receive free services for one year.
The transition back to civilian life can be very difficult for veterans, and often times it may even be difficult to ask for help, he said.
“There was a gentleman, I won’t give his last name, his name is Andy, that’s a disabled vet that actually we selected, and he said it’s kind of transformed his life,” he said. “He and his family are dealing with so much. He’s wheelchair bound, so we were very pleased to be able to offer that.”
Roughly 5 percent of the company’s workforce is currently made up of veterans. Handrahan said in the next five years he hopes to expand that number to nearly 8 to 10 percent.
“We’re a servant leadership type company, and what better pool of candidates to pull from than veterans that have come back,” he said. “They exhibit that relentless effort, flawless execution and servant leadership that we try to embody.”