CEO Column

Jennifer Safavian | International Automakers Support Our Military

Jennifer Safavian
May 27, 2022

International automakers appreciate and honor the dedication and commitment our military makes to our great nation, and we are proud supporters of the brave men and women who have served and are currently serving in the U.S. armed forces.

Just like they are dedicated to investing in American communities, Autos Drive America members are fully committed to U.S. veterans and military personnel. International automakers work daily to support our military members, veterans, and their families—offering a variety of training and recruitment programs, good-paying, fulfilling career opportunities, and generous donations and partnerships.

For example, BMW of North America, Mercedes-Benz USA, and Volvo Car USA provide workforce development programs aimed at assisting veterans’ transition to the civilian workforce. BMW offers the Military Student Technician Education Program (MSTEP) to veterans pursuing a career as an automotive technician. MSTEP is a 16-week technical training program that provides students with a head start in a rewarding career at BMW.

Mercedes-Benz and Volvo have similar programs aimed at assisting veterans seeking a career as an automotive technician. The Mercedes-Benz program, MB Drive, is the first program by an auto manufacturer approved for the GI Bill benefits in the U.S. The Volvo Car Veteran Careers Program is also a U.S. Department of Labor and GI Bill approved apprenticeship.

Many of our members also partner with organizations to ensure job postings are reaching military and veteran communities nationwide. For example, American Honda Motor Co. has longstanding relationships with Recruit Military and PathFinder to recruit active military and veterans into technical and professional positions. Our members recognize that the leadership experience, mission-driven mentality, and technical skills gained during military service translate well into the automotive workforce.

International automakers’ commitment does not stop at hiring and recruitment. We are dedicated to retaining these brave men and women and ensuring they feel supported. Toyota Motor North America, American Honda Motor Co., Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, Subaru of America, Volkswagen Group of America, and Nissan Group of the Americas all offer dedicated employee-driven networks to advocate for and connect military, veterans, active reserve, retired service members, and military family and friends within their respective companies. Many of these networks also coordinate and play a role in each company’s efforts to support outside military and veteran organizations—of which Autos Drive America member companies are heavily involved.

Importantly, Mitsubishi Motors North America proudly partners with Record the Journey, a nonprofit that helps service members transition to civilian life. Through this partnership, Mitsubishi and Record the Journey sponsor a team of women veterans participating in the Rebelle Rally. This Memorial Day, Hyundai Motor America also sponsored the National Salute to America’s Heroes Memorial Day Weekend Event in Miami for the sixth consecutive year. During the event, Hyundai announced a $50,000 donation to Folds of Honor, an organization that provides scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service members.

This Military Appreciation Month and beyond, international automakers remain committed to serving the men and women of our armed forces and their families. Whether it is supporting a military organization or helping a veteran develop the skills to pursue a rewarding career in the automotive workforce, our members stand ready to serve.