Team NEO Examines the Veteran Talent Pool

Team NEO’s latest economic research report examines how tapping into the veteran talent pool can help lay the groundwork in creating a vibrant economy. Team NEO released the report, Untapped Opportunities, sponsored by Swagelok and Sherwin-Williams, today in partnership with Delta Dental.

Untapped Opportunities is a supplement to Team NEO’s annual Aligning Opportunities report, which provides a clear assessment of in-demand jobs, the availability of trained workers to meet demand, and a picture of what skills and training our workforce needs to fill them. Untapped Opportunities complements Team NEO’s Misaligned Opportunities report, a supplement that takes a deeper look at racial equity as it relates to labor force opportunities, and Lost Opportunities, a supplement released for the first time last year that examines the pandemic’s economic impact on working women.

Untapped Opportunities uses national and regional data to gain insights into veteran demographics, education, and workforce trends in our region. The report specifically examines Gulf-War era veterans who are most integrated into our workforce.

Key highlights of Untapped Opportunities include:

  • Education: Seventy-seven percent of Northeast Ohio’s Gulf-War era veterans have at least some college: an associate degree, a bachelor’s degree, or higher. In 2020 alone, more than 2,600 students received GI Bill Benefits for their Northeast Ohio higher education.
  • Veteran Workforce Trends:  Because veterans come from niche backgrounds in the military, some employers have difficulty transitioning their skillsets to traditional job requirements, often resulting in veteran talent being underutilized, or untapped. However, in today’s employment climate, it is beneficial if human resources and other hiring professionals assist in transitioning military skills into civilian skills.
  • Where Veterans Work and What They Do: On a national level, you’ll find the highest concentration of Gulf War-Era veterans in federal government positions, followed by manufacturing and professional and business services; they also work in professional and related occupations as well as management, business, and financial occupations.

“These insights come at a time when businesses are being creative in their efforts to build a  talented workforce,” said Bill Koehler, Team NEO’s chief executive officer. “We hope this report begins to raise awareness about the many roles our veterans can play as they transition from military service to private sector jobs as well as inform workforce programs focused on the veteran population.”

In addition to data insights, the report highlights case studies of resources and organizations that are working to help transition veterans into the civilian workforce.

About Team NEO

Team NEO is a private, nonprofit economic development organization accelerating business growth and job creation throughout the 18 counties of the Northeast Ohio Region. As the designated JobsOhio Network Partner, we align and amplify local economic development efforts in the region’s 18 counties; we conduct research and data analysis to inform local conversations and influence solutions; we market the Northeast Ohio Region; and we work to increase access to jobs, education and training for the region’s 4.3 million people. We do this to build a more vibrant regional economy –  one that is more talented, equitable, competitive, innovative, resilient and prosperous. For more information, visit