The Joint Military Affairs Committee (JMAC) of the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce and New Castle County Chamber of Commerce are pleased to announce the 2022 recipients of the Delaware Warrior Friendly Business Award are Zip Code Wilmington and M. Davis & Sons, Inc. This honor recognizes businesses’ efforts to support service members, veterans, and their family members through workplace initiatives. Zip Code Wilmington (Under 50 Employees): Hiring service members and veterans is always top of mind for Zip Code Wilmington, and that starts at the top with the organization’s executive director, Desa Burton. She is a U.S. Navy veteran who spent ten years as a Surface Warfare Officer in the U.S. Navy and Naval Reserve. In addition, Zip Code Wilmington is aligned with the Department of Veteran Affairs’ Veterans Employment Through Technology Education (VET TEC) program—the only technical training program in the region—and as a result, can extend the reach and accessibility of its coding school to students of all backgrounds. The program provides the resources for individuals to learn and grow their technical, interpersonal, and leadership skills so that they attain a competitive developer job and increase their earning potential post military-life. During this process, Zip Code Wilmington has also provided tuition reimbursement under the VET TEC program since 2019. VET TEC is designed to help veterans find employment options in the high-demand technology industry to successfully transition into their future careers. “Zip Code Wilmington has a long-standing commitment to providing high-caliber training opportunities for active-duty service members and their spouses, veterans, and those serving in the region’s National Guard units as they transition into civilian careers,” said Burton. “Underemployment is a big challenge for the military community. Zip Code Wilmington is proud to be one of the first software bootcamps in the country to offer VET TEC funding, and we are honored to support our military community with upskilling or reskilling opportunities that lead to high-demand, good-paying software developer jobs.” M. Davis & Sons, Inc. (Over 50 Employees): For a long while now, M. Davis & Sons has looked to grow their field force and engineers by recruiting from the military with a high level of interest. Currently, 23 veterans are full-time employees of the company. M. Davis & Sons is involved with the U.S. Department of Defense SkillBridge Program, which recruits from all branches of the military worldwide and allows participants to enter a program from a participating company and work for six months for that company while maintaining their military status and pay. M. Davis & Sons also created an internal “Pre-Apprenticeship Program” which allows these military people to work for three-to-six months in one or more trades to gain more exposure. Upon completing the program, trainees could be offered a full-time position with enrollment in a paid apprenticeship program. Additionally, M. Davis & Sons offers in-house craft training classes for welding, electrical, and project management. “We have a lot of people who are very invested in working with our military veterans and they see the value of their experience and training,” stated John Gooden, president & COO of M. Davis & Sons, Inc. “We are honored to receive an award for working to bring more veterans into our workforce.” The honorees will be recognized at the JMAC’s virtual State of the Guard Address on Friday, February 25, which includes the annual State of the Guard briefing to the community on current missions, operations, and people of the Delaware National Guard. Event Details: State of the Guard presented by the Joint Military Affairs Committee Friday, February 25, 2022 8:00 am – 9:30 am Virtual Event Registration can be found here. The Delaware State Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to promoting an economic climate that strengthens the competitiveness of Delaware businesses and benefits citizens of the state. Founded in 1837 as the Wilmington Board of Trade, the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce has a long history as the largest, most influential business organization in the state. The State Chamber is uniquely positioned to bring parties together to solve problems, create jobs, promote business, and improve the quality of life for all Delawareans. The New Castle County Chamber of Commerce helps you grow your business through networking, business growth training, referral groups, marketing opportunities, and more. The Chamber advocates for members in the local and state government and works closely with elected officials to create economic prosperity and enhance the quality of life in the community. Since 1922, Delaware's businesses have leveraged the Chamber to build awareness, grow revenue, and develop new business relationships.