Every year, an estimated 200,000 service men and women leave the armed forces and re-enter civilian life, according to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, many of whom now get to decide for themselves where they want to live for the first time in many years, rather than be stationed somewhere.
This presents a golden opportunity for communities and companies who want to lure veterans and their families to live and work with them.
Veterans as a category make ideal employees. According to Military Friendly, a workplace certification body that helps companies create veteran-supportive work environments, new hire retention among vets is 50 percent higher while overall turnover is 20 percent lower than the civilian population. Military employees’ job performance also gets them promoted faster than non-military personnel. So, it’s clear that any company that makes a few adjustments to accommodate vets will benefit in the long run.
As more companies have made arrangements for work-from home employees generally, high productivity from remote workers showed how people can live almost anywhere and still perform their job functions. This means a veteran can live where he or she is most comfortable, often near their extended families for support, lessening transition stress.
More and more people are following this path, moving out of bigger cities into smaller towns. Take Oklahoma, for instance, where in 2010, 87 percent of incorporated towns had a population of 5,000 or less, per Oklahoma State University’s Extension office. But unlike other states, where rural areas are bleeding population, many parts of the Sooner State have worked just in reverse. Coweta, a town located on the outskirts of Tulsa near Broken Arrow, for instance, has doubled its population between 1980 and 2018.
Sugar Land, Texas is another good example. A suburban community outside of Houston, Sugar Land has grown by 50 percent since 2010, according to the Fort Bend (Texas) Independent newspaper. It is today one of the fastest-growing cities in the entire country.
This migration seeking a slower pace and overall better quality of life is also boosted by cutting-edge internet service technology. Kinetic’s gigabit fiber deployment in many small communities offers the fastest speeds and highest bandwidth in the industry, making work-from-home feasible for many people, veterans and non-veterans alike.