NewDay USA in Fulton, Maryland, is a veteran’s mortgage lender that has committed itself to retired servicemen and women beyond just the services it sells them.
NewDay has provided refinancing options and government-backed homes loans for veteran homeowners since 2002. It is also one of many companies that has programs aimed at helping veterans. But to those that work there, what they do is personal with the big role veterans play in their workplace culture. Several veterans serve in leadership positions, the company hires many veterans, and its customer base is veterans.
The NewDay USA Foundation alongside the company has programs that help veterans in a few ways. Employees volunteer in places with struggling veterans, they make donations to veteran causes, and help recently retired servicemen transition to the civilian workforce by providing job opportunities and training.
“Giving back is one of the integral parts of our core values,” NewDay senior project manager Sylvia Diatta told InsideSources. “Everything we do, we just try to take the veteran into consideration. We just try to have everyone participate in most of the events we have. Everyone within the different departments tries to participate in at least four or five a year as we do them. It’s part of our culture.”
NewDay says that its team members volunteer hundreds of hours each year with a focus on veterans. The company, for example, has volunteers working with a Maryland homeless shelter that is roughly 80 percent veterans. Employees also lay wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery and clean veteran monuments on the National Mall.
“It’s definitely a very humbling experience for people who work at NewDay USA,” Caitlin Furtado, the employee engagement specialist at NewDay, told InsideSources. “I think that by going to and attending these types of volunteering events you gain a little bit more of a perspective for the people we are trying to service.”
NewDay, most recently, held an event April 21 honoring U.S. Army veteran Jan Craig Scruggs who led the effort to build the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Scruggs spoke at the memorial to company employees about its history and significance. NewDay also hosted U.S. Navy Capt. J. Charles Plumb during an event Jan. 8. His fighter jet was shot down over Vietnam after his 75th combat mission.
NewDay is also very much interested in hiring more veterans as well. The recently retired servicemen can then get a job and skills that help them transition back into civilian life- while the company gets an experienced person who can also relate and connect with their veteran customers.
The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) is a government program that provides information, tools, and training to ensure soldiers and their spouses are prepared for civilian life after their service. The program covers additional education, employment, and starting a business. NewDay works with those services as part of its mentoring program.
“We have young veterans that are leaving the military at about 250,000 of them a year,” Al McMichael, who served as the 14th Sergeant Major of the Marines, told InsideSources. “We tapped into that based on what the military calls Transition Assistance Programs that allow young men and women to leave the military, rejoin their community, and gain meaningful employment.”
McMichael served almost four decades in the military before retiring in 2006. He now works as the senior vice president of leadership development at NewDay. His leadership development team works to help veterans find job opportunities at the company and mentoring as part of its NewDay 5 program.
“So it’s not just what we do outside,” McMichael said. “It’s what we do every day both inside and outside and all around. It’s a real family that is committed to the very needs of our brothers.”
McMichael adds that the recently retired servicemen the company hires are usually young and very talented. He notes that the company really just provides them an opportunity to demonstrate those “extraordinary abilities.” The mentoring program is aimed at helping them gain leadership skills as they transition to civilian life.
McMichael notes that the volunteer work and services help to show that the company is about more than just selling them something. That it is about serving veterans and addressing their needs. He adds that the service work, going into communities, and employing veterans help the company better understand and connect with its customers.
NewDay USA is also a platinum sponsor of the Global War on Terror Memorial Foundation and an active supporter of the Medal of Honor Foundation, and the United Service Organizations. The foundation made a $1 million commitment to Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund to help build an education center near the wall in April 2013.