Ahead of Veterans Day, Nov. 11, Governor honors veterans, military families
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 10, 2020) – Ahead of Veterans Day, Gov. Andy Beshear joined Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs (KDVA) Commissioner Lt. Col. (Retired) Keith Jackson and Humana executives virtually to announce that over the next four years, the health care company is committed to hiring 600 veterans and 150 military spouses in Kentucky.
The Governor said Humana’s commitment to hire veterans and military spouses by the end of 2024 is a welcome addition to state’s goal of being the most military and veteran friendly state in America.
“Thank you to every veteran for your commitment and sacrifice to our great country and commonwealth,” Gov. Beshear said. “Each of you, as well as your spouse and family members, are invaluable members of Team Kentucky and through commitments like those announced today by Humana we are continuing to build that brighter, better Kentucky for our military personnel and community.”
Humana, headquartered in Louisville, primarily through its critically important TRICARE support to the Department of Defense (DOD) community, is Kentucky’s top defense contractor, and has more than 12,000 employees based in Kentucky, including nearly 800 associates who work directly for Humana Military on TRICARE.
“We’ve built a culture of excellence when it comes to serving our members, which enables us to serve the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country,” said Alan Wheatley, Humana’s Retail Segment president. “Humana is fully invested in providing health care services and experiences our nation’s veterans deserve and we commend Gov. Beshear’s focus on supporting veterans and their families as we commit to expand our company’s veteran-hiring initiative. It’s important to us to hire veterans and/or their spouses, as they bring such an important and valued perspective to our company.”
“As I am proud of my service to this country, I am also proud of working for a company that is dedicated to honoring and supporting our military, veterans and their families,” said Tiffany Robinson, process improvement lead with Humana’s Retail Segment, and a retired USAF Reserve Lieutenant Colonel. “I applaud Gov. Beshear for his focus on the veteran population in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and I’m excited about Humana’s commitment to provide additional employment and development opportunities for veterans and their spouses.”
Commissioner Jackson congratulated Humana virtually from Fort Knox where he was also participating in a ceremony marking the Partnership for Youth Success Program (PaYS), between the United States Army and the Kentucky Department of Veteran Affairs.
Jackson said, through PaYS the Kentucky Department of Veteran Affairs looks to serve as a platform and connector for recruitment of veteran talent to work and live in Kentucky, but also assist any veteran who wishes to live in Kentucky.
“This collaborative effort between Humana, the United States Recruiting Command and the KDVA is a prime example of the Commonwealth of Kentucky moving forward,” said Commissioner Jackson. “We are focusing on keeping talented veterans and their families within the state. We are creating pathways to grow our workforce and economy.”
KDVA offers veterans and their families “wrap-around” services, including: VA benefits claims, burial entitlements, connection resources and support from state programs. KDVA also offers the Kentucky Homeless Veteran Program, the Kentucky Women Veterans Program, veteran employment, recruitment opportunities and oversees grants supporting projects and programs benefiting veterans. For more information visit, https://veterans.ky.gov.
The Governor said veterans and military families are not only our heroes, their commitment to our country and the commonwealth help drive our economy. The below statistics show the vast presence veterans and military families, as well as civilian support for the military have in the commonwealth:
- More than 54,800 DOD personnel based in Kentucky, which ranks 9th out of the 50 states.
- Among the top states in Department of Defense support, with a total of $19.2 billion in overall defense investment.
- Ranks 14th overall in direct defense spending by state, with a DOD investment of $11 billion in Kentucky military installations and related support activities.
- Ranks 9th in DOD direct spending as a percentage of the State Gross Domestic Product percentage.
- At Bluegrass Station (BGS) the facility’s largest employer, Lockheed Martin, supports contracts with the United States Special Operations Command with an economic impact of over $204 million annually; its contractors employ over 2,200 personnel, many retired or prior service veterans.
- Additionally, the Logistics Operations Center (KYLOC) at BGS supports over 1 million soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen across the globe with military clothing items. In FY20, KYLOC issued over 6,386,708 items, for a total value of $94 million.
This year, the Governor has continued to show his commitment to veterans and the veteran community in Kentucky.
In September, the Governor honored another veteran supported employer Lexmark International as one of this year’s recipients of the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.
In September, the Governor helped to unveil the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument on the Capitol grounds, which stands to educate visitors and further honor the lives of these Kentucky heroes and the families who love them. The National Gold Star Registry lists more than 10,000 Kentucky military members who died while serving in a time of conflict since the start of World War II.