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To be a well-known and preferred conduit between transitioning veterans, their families, and the Catawba County business community, and a transition assistance/employer resource organization of choice, with presence across major military installations in the Carolinas.


To partner with Catawba County businesses to meet their talent requirements by leveraging the veteran community, and to provide opportunities for these veterans, their families and military transition organizations that are aligned to the Catawba County community.


Since its inception in 2016, HKY4VETS (Hickory4Vets), a public-private partnership of companies, government agencies, nonprofits and veterans, has worked to build a sustainable model for our community and establish a plan of work based on three overarching priorities: Awareness, Advocacy, and Access.  We desire to become one of the most "veteran-ready" communities in the entire country.


One of our early initiatives to put these principles into action have been our “Welcome Home, Hickory Metro” (WHHM) weekends, an event we have been hosting twice annually at no expense to participating veterans and their families that travel to the community.  At each of our "Welcome Home" Weekends, we have offered the following for the first 50 veteran & family registrants:

  • Pre-matched job interviews for vets & spouses with a wide variety of Hickory Metro companies

  • Local hotel accommodations, a $50 gas card, all local transport and all meals

  • Local excursions and other fun to introduce them to what it’s like to live and raise a family here

  • Opportunity to meet and learn about great nonprofits, schools, and other local resources they might want to engage with to ease their transition and help establish new phase of life


Over the last year, we have hosted 79 veterans and military families through our WHHM weekends. From over 200 initial interviews with Catawba County employers, there have been more than 60 follow-up interviews, 10 job offers and 7 veterans/families that have since relocated and started employment with a local company.  Consensus feedback from participants to date (September 2017; April 2018; October 2018)) has been overwhelmingly positive.


We are in the process of evolving our efforts and have recently approved our 2019 Strategic Objectives, but we believe these same principles that helped bring the Welcome Home Weekends to life will continue to serve as a strong foundation moving forward:

  • Awareness: Creating opportunities to educate local employers on the value of this talented population, as well as the cultural differences between the military and civilian sector to aid their recruitment and retention efforts.

  • Advocacy:  Build a community that is inclusive and “ready” to assist this under-resourced population.

  • Access: Serve as the bridge to connect local employers with transitioning military talent, as well as, transition support/veteran support organizations, to fill their vacant positions.


We appreciate your interest in these efforts and invite you to contact us anytime.


These fine individuals are at the core of HKY4Vets, our mission and our efforts to achieve our vision.  They volunteer their time, offer tremendous insight and guide us to where we hope to be one day.


  •  Archie Barrow - Veteran Employment

Service at Division of Workforce Solutions

NC Department of Commerce (Army)

  •  Cary Bowman - Lt. Colonel, Army (Ret.)

  •  Danny Castillo - Peoples Bank (Navy)

  •  Joe Lutz - Sutter Street/Williams-Sonoma (Navy


  •  John Helton - Catawba County Sheriff's

       Department (Marines)

  •  Lindsay Keisler - Catawba County Chamber

       of Commerce (Army Daughter)

  • Michael Isenhour - NC National Guard (Guard)

  • Rebecca Sotirkys - NC for Military Employment,

      NC4ME (Marines)

  • Nathan Huret - Catawba County EDC

  • Dr. Ric Vandett - Foothills Veterans Helping

      Veterans (Army)

  • Frank Ballentine - Catawba County Sheriff's

      Department (Marines)

  • Tiffany Chapman - Catawba Valley Health Systems

      (Army Mom)

  • Tim Adams - Catawba County Schools (Army)

  • Tim Herndon - Retired Consultant (Marines)

  • Russ Vickers - Regional Employment Veterans

      Representative, NCWorks (Army)

  • Wendy Johnson - Western Piedmont Workforce

      Development Board

  • Lynn Marilla - Eagle Rock Camp (Military Daughter)

  • Kimberly Williams - NC for Military Employment,


Catawba County

Chamber of Commerce


Catawba County Economic Dev. Corporation

USO of North Carolina

NC Works

NC 4 Military Employment

Veterans Bridge Home
Unifour Veterans Helping Veterans

Catawba Valley SHRM

Patriots Path

marine corp league.jpg

Catawba Valley Marine Corps League Det 1163

North Carolina Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve (NCESGR)

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