5 MN Companies Among 100 Most “Military Friendly” In U.S.

5 MN Companies Among 100 Most “Military Friendly” In U.S.

Xcel Energy was the highest-ranked Minnesota company on this year’s list.

G.I. Jobs Magazine named Xcel Energy, U.S. Bank, Hormel, UnitedHealth Group, and General Mills as some of the most military-friendly companies in the country for 2014.

The magazine determined its “Top 100 Military-Friendly Employers” list based on: medical benefits and insurance for guards and reservists, military hiring and recruiting, veteran outreach programs, and military employee retention, among other criteria.

The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) was the top-ranked company in the country. Army officers created the USAA in 1922 as a mutual insurance company for military members. About 12 percent of the USAA’s employees are military members or veterans, 45 percent of the company’s leadership positions are held by veterans, and 16 percent of the company’s newest hires were military members or veterans.

Union Pacific Railroad and Verizon Communications followed USAA for second and third place, respectively.

The highest-ranked Minnesota company on the list was Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy, which came in at 48th. G.I. Jobs Magazine detailed Xcel’s military recruitment training methods, veteran outreach programs, and military employee retention rate as key contributors. About 10 percent of the company’s total employees are or were members of the military.

Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank ranked 57th on the list. U.S. Bank was commended for its military medical benefits and its military employee retention: Its retention rate is 47 percent higher for veterans than non-vets.

U.S. Bank said it has added 1,116 veterans to its work force since the start of 2012. Veterans hold 14 percent of the company’s leadership positions, though just 4 percent of its total employees are or were members of the military.

“We’re honored to be recognized for our efforts to support service members, veterans, and their spouses,” U.S. Bancorp President and CEO Richard Davis said in a statement. “These heroes bring an incredible work ethic and dedication to our customers and communities everyday, and we're proud to call them our fellow bankers and colleagues.”

Austin-based Hormel Foods ranked 63rd, followed by Hopkins-based UnitedHealth Group at 72nd, and Golden Valley-based General Mills at 91st.

Twin Cities Business took an in-depth look at the untapped talent of veterans in Minnesota for its November cover story, also calling attention to the efforts of U.S. Bank, Xcel Energy, General Mills, and others, but additionally pointing out that much more work is needed. TCB also recently questioned a national ranking, asking whether Minneapolis really is a “best city for veterans.”