Medtronic Honored for Supporting Military Veterans

Minnesota designates Medtronic as a Beyond the Yellow Ribbon company.
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December 3, 2019 -- Medtronic has a long history of supporting military veterans, and people are noticing.

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The State of Minnesota recognized Medtronic as a Beyond the Yellow Ribbon company during a formal ceremony this week at the company’s operational headquarters. That designation recognizes the company’s commitment to recruiting, training, hiring and supporting military veterans at Medtronic.

Minnesota proclaims Medtronic a Beyond the Yellow Ribbon company.

Minnesota proclaims Medtronic a Beyond the Yellow Ribbon company.

“The work that Medtronic does to support veterans is exemplary,” said Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, who presented Medtronic chairman and CEO Omar Ishrak and president Geoff Martha with a plaque proclaiming the recognition. “This award is really an extension of the attention and care that the company gives its employees, but it’s also a great service to the state of Minnesota,” she said.

Companies must meet strict criteria in six different areas of veteran support to receive Beyond the Yellow Ribbon status:

  • HR recruitment
  • HR policies and procedures
  • Training and development
  • Community outreach and support
  • Company leadership
  • Employee outreach and support

“Medtronic made a commitment to do this more than three years ago,” said Brig. Gen. Stefanie Horvath of the Minnesota National Guard. “They assembled a comprehensive action plan spelling out how the company was going to support veterans, and then executed it. It’s a very significant achievement.”

“This is an important day for us,” Ishrak said. “I can tell you with a great deal of conviction that the skills veterans bring to Medtronic are invaluable.”

Navy veteran Jason Krueger is such an example.

The work that Medtronic does to support veterans is exemplary.

Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan

Attracted by the Mission

When he left the Navy after 21 years as a helicopter pilot, Krueger wasn’t sure where he was going to land in the private sector, but he knew he wanted to work in the medical device industry. 

Jason Krueger

Jason Krueger

“My dad has a pacemaker, and my mom has deep brain stimulation,” he said. When he heard about the Medtronic Mission, it seemed a perfect fit. “Medtronic stood out to me because of the Mission. I need to understand why I’m doing something and what it’s going to do for the greater good. I get to contribute to alleviating pain, restoring health and extending life. That’s very important to me,” he said.

Jason is among 1,200 military veterans who work for Medtronic in the U.S. Like many veterans, he had no previous industry experience. In his job search, though, he met several veterans who already work at Medtronic. They helped him translate his Navy experiences into criteria for job openings, and he eventually landed a regulatory affairs position at the company. “In the military, you’re taught to do everything for the team. But when you’re job-hunting, it’s about selling yourself. That can be hard for veterans.”

Heather Folkestad

Heather Folkestad

Talent Acquisition Specialist at Medtronic

Heather Folkestad, a talent acquisition specialist at Medtronic, whose husband is also in the military, specializes in matching veterans with open positions at Medtronic. “It’s a matter of matching the skills that a person acquired in the military with our open positions,” she said. “I do that full-time. It’s pretty rare in the private sector to find that kind of commitment to veterans."

Soon after arriving at Medtronic, Krueger got involved in the company’s effort to become a Beyond the Yellow Ribbon company. “I feel a lot of pride in what we do as a company to support our veterans, our reserves and our National Guard members. Our Mission is absolutely wonderful. I would not want to work anywhere else.”