The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA) has recognized Ford as a Gold-level Veteran Friendly Employer. Ford’s ERG, the Veteran Network Group (VET NG), has played a critical role in elevating the company’s commitment to the Veteran community to a gold-level standard.
As Veterans Day fast approaches, Scott Rumfield, a product line manager and a Vet who leads Ford’s ERG representing over 4,000 veterans at the company, is open to sharing his experience and insight into what it takes to provide a truly supportive environment for our Veterans as they come back from service and try to re-enter civilian life.
Over the past year, the Vet NG has been laser-focused on helping Ford achieve its gold-level standard recognition. As part of this effort, Vet NG made significant headway in its mission by working around the challenges imposed by the pandemic and other events out of its control that profoundly affected the community it represents.
After living through the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic presented for veterans already struggling with isolation, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other issues stemming from their service experience, Ford’s VET NG leadership took upon themselves to provide holistic support programs that understand the realities and challenges of Veterans and their families and meet them where they are, as they return to civilian life or continue to build their careers post service.
Moreover, as U.S. troops pulled out of Afghanistan, the VET NG stepped up to help Ford veterans deal with an especially emotional and traumatic time. Led by Scott Rumfield, president of VET NG, the organization immediately sprang into action and the very next day hosted the first of many listening sessions they would have for Ford Veterans, current service members, and the larger Ford Family.
These sessions functioned as a safe space for fellow former and current servicemembers to share their experience with the entire Ford community. Veterans at Ford shared heart-wrenching stories about their service, the people they still had behind in Afghanistan, how the abrupt exit made them feel frustrated and angry and that their entire effort had been futile.
The listening sessions offered profound moments of connection and understanding that brought everyone at Ford together to support their Veteran workforce and their families.