As part of the Welcome Home, Hickory Metro Weekends we hosted in 2017 and 2018, we always wanted to provide hotel accommodations for visiting military families. It was something we were always proud to provide, but hotels remained our most expensive line item each and every time.
Soon after that first weekend (and a whopping hotel bill!), we heard about an opportunity exclusively available for veterans conducting job-hunt related travel: veterans are eligible to receive 100,000 FREE Hilton Honors points to cover their lodging when traveling for interviews, trainings and certification courses. Hilton partners with the National Association of State Workforce Agencies to donate points throughout the year—and more than 1,100 veterans have benefited from Hilton’s 1.2 million points donated to date.
The only issue - our home state of NC had no agreement in place with Hilton and thus veterans were unable to utilize these points when considering jobs in North Carolina. So locally and at the state, we started pushing for a change. Many meetings/calls/emails/attorneys later - and over the course of more than a year - folks like Russ Vickers and Archie Barrow (both with @NCWorks) pushed the state over the finish line - ensuring that Veterans looking for employment in NC can utilize and receive free stays on their career search path.
We anticipate this opportunity will be rolled out statewide any day now, allowing veterans the ability to use their free 100,000 points when searching for a career in North Carolina. When we receive complete details of the process, we will be sure to post them but it will likely follow the same process as described in this FAQ document about the Hilton Honors Military Program.
Hilton has a long legacy of supporting the military, dating back to its founder, Conrad Hilton, a U.S. Army veteran who served in World War I. In August 2013, Hilton launched Operation: Opportunity, with a commitment to hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses by 2018. The company accomplished that goal two years ahead of schedule and is now committing to hire an additional 20,000 military hires by the end of 2020.
Just as a quick plug for the Hilton family of hotels (since they offer free stays in this program):
Discounted stays: Active and retired military and their families receive a 10 percent discount at all of Hilton’s 14 hotel brands
Military spouse career program: Hilton has developed dedicated career paths that accommodate the unique challenges military spouses and their families face. Military spouses often have trouble finding jobs when the family relocates. Hilton’s work-from-home program offers virtual training, remote working options that can relocate with employees, and flexible schedules for better work-life balance.