Panther Hiring Our Heroes

Scott David officially started work with AREVA the day after returning from the IZOD IndyCar Series’ mid-September season finale in Fontana, Calif.

A 23-year infantry veteran of the U.S. Army, he served in the first Gulf War (1990-1991), Bosnia (1996), two tours in Afghanistan (2006 and 2010-2011), and was stationed in Germany on three separate occasions.

“(At the race), somebody called me a hero,” said David, who will mark this Veterans Day with a moment of silence. “I’m not a hero. I’m just a guy who did my job. It’s never been about me; it was my job and I loved it.”

Panther Hiring Our HeroesHe’s enjoying his new job in the Reactors and Services group, too. David met Amy St. John a recruiter for AREVA at a Hiring Our Heroes job fair in Lynchburg, Va.

AREVA – which will continue as a sponsor of Simona de Silvestro’s Nuclear Clean Air Energy’s car in 2013 -- has hired more than 20 veterans this year through the Hiring Our Heroes initiative, which is combating veteran unemployment around the country.

Panther Racing, whose primary sponsor of the No. 4 car driven by JR Hildebrand is the National Guard, hosts local employers at each domestic IZOD IndyCar Series race. In the off-season, the team is hosting Boss Lifts ­– in which employers fly in to non-race markets on military aircraft to learn about Hiring Our Heroes.

Click it: Say thanks to the troops | More about Hiring Our Heroes

Recently, a group of 50 employers and leaders from New York flew into Indianapolis to participate in the program.

“Why is this important? It’s about jobs,” said Brigadier Gen. Kevin Bradley, Assistant Adjutant General for the New York National Guard. “Flat out, we know we have great soldiers. And as they come back from deployment, many times they find that they are under-employed or because of the economy they’ve experienced a job loss. We’ve got to find the connective tissue between great civilian partnerships and the veterans.”

To date, Hiring Our Heroes has helped secure more than 10,400 jobs for veterans and their spouses. Clear among employers who have hired veterans after participating in the Panther Racing program is the commitment and teamwork of the individuals.

“This is the lowest-risk investment you can make in your workforce,” Aeon Nexus executive partner Omar Usmani said. “Imagine the investment our government puts into each of these individuals to make them into the best fighting force the world has ever seen. These (soldiers) are trained to make the best out of the best. That’s not an investment I take lightly; it’s something I take advantage of. We’re not just helping them; we’re helping ourselves.”

At the exciting race at Auto Club Speedway, David immediately picked up on how racing mirrors his military experience and now his civilian career.

“You can’t accomplish anything by yourself,” he said. “It takes a team to accomplish any mission. Everybody has their area that they’re the expert in or that they have the most knowledge in and that’s what they contribute, but it’s everybody working together to accomplish the mission, whatever that may be. Seeing the guys working in the pits and listening to them on the radio, everybody’s got something they add to it to make everything work.”