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Empirix Pays it Back, Hires and Trains Veterans

August 16, 2012
MassHighTech
by Patricia Resende

Mary Klavin, 27, was raised in D.C. as a patriotic teen, so it was no surprise to family and friends when she joined the military after Sept. 11, 2011 in order to give back in a meaningful way.

Years later, after serving two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, Klavin was looking for the predictability and stability that she had not had in 10 years. She tapped into the services offered by Alliance International, a company that helps veterans make the transition from the military to career, and landed a job with Bedford-based Empirix Inc.

Little did Klavin realize that Ross Maybee, 31, a classmate in the U.S. Military Academy West Point class of 2007, and an officer she met while serving with the 1st Calvary Division at Fort Hood, Texas and again in Bagdad, had also joined the same Bay State technology business through Alliance.

Klavin, a product manager, and Maybee, a sales engineer, are just two of 11 Junior Military Officers employed by Empirix through its collaboration with Alliance.

“I like going after JMOs because I look for people who are bright, disciplined, flexible and who can be taught,” CEO John D’Anna told Mass High Tech. “Their most important skill is adaptability.”

For both JMOs, there’s been plenty of adapting. Maybee, who was in an infantry role in the U.S. Army, received a lot of training during a sixth-month program with Alliance, which he described as a “mini-MBA program.” 

“I didn’t know what a GM was before alliance taught me,” Maybee said. Like in the Army, training is part of the culture at Empirix, and Maybee, now two months into training, said he still has a lot to learn. He expects to be fully capable to complete all his responsibilities in about a year.

There has been a push by other organizations and businesses as well to recruit and train qualified veterans looking for full-time jobs. This week, the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) previewed its MedTech Veterans Program (MVP) Boot Camp for Returning Heroes in Boston. The program recruits veterans who are on the hunt for internships or full-time jobs in the medical technology industry.

Each veteran will receive job-search help and networking advice and will be paired up with an industry mentor. The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center provided a $25,000 to support the MVP program.

“The MVP Boot Camp recognizes the strong correlation behind the mission of the medical technology industry and that of veterans who have transitioned from service in the military to an interest in serving patients and caregivers,” AdvaMed’s Chief Administrative Officer, Kenny Mendez said. “Boston’s dynamic MedTech industry and large veteran population make this an ideal location for our first MVP Boot Camp.”

Bu according to Klavin, moving from a military to a corporate environment can be overwhelming - especially learning Empirix’s complex systems. But what she and Maybee lack in corporate experience, they make up for by being able to perceive the environment and adapt, according to Klavin.

“I’ve been here three months, and every day I come here and learn something new,” she said. “It motivates me to continue my education and training not just here but throughout my career path.”

Maybee expects to make mistakes. The only difference now, he said, is “no one dies if you get it wrong.”

Empirix Pays it Back, Hires and Trains Veterans

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