WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor announced Jan. 31 that the application period is open for job creators to apply for the HIRE Vets Medallion Award.

This program recognizes small businesses, nonprofit organizations and large companies for their leadership in recruiting, employing and retaining America’s veterans.

“With their proven leadership, determination and dedication, America’s veterans strengthen our nation’s workforce,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta.

“The HIRE Vets Medallion Program recognizes job creators who understand the value a veteran brings to any job or organization, and demonstrate a true commitment to veteran hiring and professional development.”

The Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans Act of 2017 (HIRE Vets Act) was signed into law by President Donald Trump.

The award is the only federal-level veterans’ employment award that recognizes job creators’ commitment to hiring America’s veterans.

The 2019 HIRE Vets Medallion Program builds on the success of the 2018 demonstration program, where hundreds of job creators were recognized for their dedicated efforts to hire America’s heroes.

Applicants are evaluated based on criteria such as veteran hiring and retention rates, and the availability of veteran-specific resources, leadership programs, and compensation and tuition assistance programs.

Those interested must apply at HireVets.gov by April 30, 2019. A sign-up for updates on the program and more information is also available at the website.

To complete the application process, job creators must verify that their companies meet the award requirements. They must also pay the application fee and ensure compliance with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act.