As U.S. Congressman Jeff Miller once said, “The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.” A few patriotic National Pest Management Association members must have had this in mind when they dreamed up PestVets. In late 2014, these NPMA members approached the association’s board about creating a special veteran’s group. They imagined the committee would provide resources for returning vets to educate them about pest management career opportunities.
“NPMA launched PestVets to engage veterans in a successful transition to a productive and rewarding career in the pest management industry,” explains Martin J. Overline, president of Aardvark Pest Management and PestVets chairperson. “We are trying to promote the recruitment of veterans to member companies and support those recruitment efforts through various education and training opportunities.”
An Unbeatable Combination
Galvin J. Murphy, director of business development for Yankee Pest Control and PestVets committee member, explains how the initiative is a win-win for both veterans and pest management companies. “The initial focus of PestVets was to create exposure to the extremely high unemployment rate of today’s veterans and link that with one of our industry’s most difficult gaps to bridge—recruiting new employees,” he points out. “Once we identified that this was a great match, we have educated the industry on resources to find veterans and actively recruit them and their families.”
A former Marine, Murphy attended the first PestVets council meeting during Legislative Day in Washington DC. “The turnout was excellent,” he recalls. This is when he decided to get more involved with the committee.
“Working for a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business and with my experience in the Marine Corps, I had indirectly developed a good network of resources for veterans to tap for employment,” Murphy explains. “I compiled all those resources into an educational program about recruiting veterans for our industry and have had the great pleasure of presenting it at Eastern Conference, Minnesota Pest Management Association and most recently at PestWorld in Seattle.” He hopes he will have many more opportunities to offer the program.
By Amy Bell