The Military Times selected Rackspace for its Best for Vets: Employers 2017 list, a first for Rackspace, which was ranked #60 out of 82 companies across the U.S.
The Best for Vets list recognizes companies that provide cultures, recruiting practices and policies that support and consider America’s military veterans, including members of the National Guard and reserves.
The RackVET Racker Resource Group, which spent several weeks gathering and verifying the data requested by the Military Times to be considered for the honor, celebrated the achievement in a brief ceremony in front of the Veterans Wall at Rackspace headquarters in San Antonio, while roughly 200 Rackers — including vets — looked on.
RackVets work to make Rackspace a supportive place to work for military veterans, reservists, guard members, family members and supporters through activities that educate, advocate and celebrate.
The group used the occasion to honor Rackspace’s highest ranking and soon to depart veteran, CEO Taylor Rhodes, a former Marine, presenting him with a framed copy of the the poem “O Captain! My Captain!” by Walt Whitman.
Rhodes, who last day at Rackspace is today, May 16, was visibly moved by the honor, but immediately turned his comments to the company’s ongoing efforts to attract veterans and their families.
“One of the things I’m most proud of is that I’ve been able to be part of building this into a place that welcomes our veterans into the company with open arms,” he said.
Transitioning out of the military and into civilian life can be daunting, Rhodes acknowledged, and he thanked those Rackers who help veterans successfully transition back into civilian life, whether they end up working for Rackspace or somewhere else.
The Military Times includes Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times. The company is part of Sightline Media Group, a Regent company. Rackspace appears on the list alongside companies of all sizes, including Comcast, USAA, Boeing, Hilton and Accenture.
“The companies on the Military Times Best for Vets list earned their rankings through determined efforts to recruit and support service members, veterans and military families,” said George Altman, the Military Times editor in charge of the rankings. “These efforts deserve recognition from the country and should get the attention of veterans looking for a new career.”
To appear on the list, interested companies must first submit an application containing nearly 100 questions to be considered. The Military Times then reviews all submissions, vetting them for accuracy.
Steve Miller, chairman of RackVET and a manager of Infrastructure Change Management at Rackspace, said the group spent weeks collecting and verifying data after the Military Times issued an invitation to submit.
“I think we’ve been earning this for a long time,” Miller said, noting that the team unearthed awards and other accolades that had been lost. They also looked for ways to include information that wasn’t part of the official data request, such as care packages and letters to reservists and those on active duty.
After evaluating survey data, the Military Times selects which companies to include in its published rankings based on that data, and not, like some publications, whether applicants advertise with their publication.
“The Best for Vets designation and logo cannot be bought. Only earned,” said Altman.
Click to see the full list: Best for Vets: Employers 2017 rankings.