Community | January 03 2017

Veteran recruiting program may be one of a kind

“The program has changed lives and families in ways we will never fully understand.”

Programs like that are invaluable and, as part of our continuing commitment to military veterans, FCA US is honored to join with Prestige Group Co. to help veterans get a helpful workplace experience.

Since 2011, the Prestige Group, Clinton Township, Mich., has helped returning war veterans and active-duty military personnel obtain internship positions at FCA US while they pursue college degrees under the GI Bill.

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Mike Peplinski, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve , which is a U.S. Department of Defense agency that develops and promotes the efforts of all American employers that support the military service of their current enlisted and veteran employees. “There is no other program like this anywhere,” said Pepinski.

As interns for the company, the veterans are required to work a minimum of 35 hours per week while taking college courses. They are given valuable experience by working side by side with FCA US employees to learn the ins and outs of different jobs.

To date, more than 100 veterans have taken advantage of this program. Despite the requirements of both hands-on work experience and taking college courses, eight veterans have already completed their degrees and several have secured full-time engineering positions with the company.

“This program was created to give veterans an opportunity they normally wouldn’t have,” said Prestige Group Executive Vice President Tom Nichols.

“The program has changed lives and families in ways we will never fully understand. We are very grateful to FCA US for the opportunity, partnership and vision to see the value of helping one life at a time,” he said.

“There is no other program like this anywhere,” added Mike Peplinski, from Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), which is a U.S. Department of Defense agency that develops and promotes the efforts of all American employers that support the military service of their current enlisted and veteran employees.

FCA US is a past recipient of the ESGR’s prestigious Freedom Award.

Participants in this unique program and representatives of local government officials had an opportunity to celebrate the program’s accomplishment during the recent event honoring the FCA US leader who launched and managed the program since its inception, Rich Bieszki, a senior manager in Product Development at FCA US, who is retiring.

FCA US currently has 16 employees on active military leave, with 375 currently serving as active or inactive reservists and guardsmen, and 5,172 employees are military veterans.

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The strength of any program is gauged by the lives it touches. Here, many of the current and former FCA US-Prestige interns show their support and passion for the program.

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Mike Driehorst

Thanks for stopping by. I lead the corporate social media efforts for FCA US, which means I oversee things like content, community management, outreach, monitoring and most anything else that comes with social media management. Being a lifelong metro Toledo, Ohio, resident, the passion for Jeep® has always been evident.
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Thanks for stopping by. I lead the corporate social media efforts for FCA US, which means I oversee things like content, community management, outreach, monitoring and most anything else that comes with social media management. Being a lifelong metro Toledo, Ohio, resident, the passion for Jeep® has always been evident. Since joining FCA in late 2010, it’s been inspiring to get a first-hand view of that same level of passion for our all of the company’s vehicles, past and present. It’s that kind of true Mopar-or-no-car spirit that reminds me every day that FCA doesn’t simply make cars and trucks, we make vehicles that develop community among its owners. And that’s what I try to portray in the corporate social voice.