Podcast | Evolving Workforces

Heroes: Why CRE benefits from more military veterans

August 29, 2023 36 Minute Listen

TWT Module S4E33-3

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On this episode, three retired military officers—Hiring Our Heroes’ Adam Rocke, Cleveland Clinic’s Pat Rios and CBRE’s Michelle Butters—discuss how veterans can help companies overcome skilled labor shortages and share advice on transitioning from military to civilian life.

Heroes: Why CRE benefits from more military veterans

August 29, 2023 36 Minute Listen

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Key Takeaways:

  1. Employers seeking to hire military talent can partner with the Department of Defense’s SkillBridge program or Hiring Our Heroes to reach young men and women who participate in apprenticeships during the last 180 days of their military service.
  2. Over 85% of the U.S. military is enlisted personnel and they will all be looking for a civilian career at some point.
  3. Besides well-developed tangible skills, military personnel have plenty of intangible skills like flexibility, adaptability, trainability and leadership.


Photo of Pat Rios

Pat Rios

Executive Director, Cleveland Clinic

As the Executive Director of Buildings and Design for Cleveland Clinic, Pat is responsible for all engineering and capital programs for the hospital. As part of his long history in construction and engineering, he served in the Navy for 25 years.

Photo of Adam Rocke

Adam Rocke

Senior Director, Hiring Our Heroes, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Adam is the Senior Director for Engagements for Hiring Our Heroes, an organization run by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to facilitate the transition of members of the military into successful career roles. He is responsible for planning, resourcing and executing nearly 100 hiring and recruiting events each year throughout the U.S. and on military installations home and abroad focused on veteran and military spouse employment. In addition, he is a retired Army Colonel and career Infantryman who was a Special Assistant to the Army Chief of Staff.

Photo of Michelle Butters

Michelle Butters

GWS Industrial & Logistics Sector Director, CBRE

Michelle is the Sector Director where she is responsible for expanding CBRE GWS’s business with the Industrial & Logistics companies. With over 20 years of experience in real estate leadership, operations and account management, Michelle drives global strategic initiatives, best practices, innovative improvement strategies and customer satisfaction. Michelle served in the United States Marine Corps on active duty for six years and in the Marine Corps Reserves for 28 years as a Supply, Maintenance and Logistics Officer.


Photo of Spencer Levy

Spencer Levy

Global Client Strategist & Senior Economic Advisor, CBRE

Spencer Levy is Global Client Strategist and Senior Economic Advisor for CBRE, the largest commercial real estate services firm in the world. In this role, he focuses on client engagement and public-facing activities, including thought leadership work performed in conjunction with CBRE Research. He also serves as Co-Chair of the Real Estate Roundtable’s Research Committee.


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