The Orange County Transportation Authority this week recognized the service of employees who are military veterans during OCTA’s fourth annual Veterans Day Appreciation event.
OCTA employs 120 veterans from the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard, representing nearly 10 percent of the workforce. OCTA has been recognized by military organizations as a military-friendly employer for its efforts to actively recruit veterans.
The veterans are employed in a range of positions, including coach operators, maintenance workers and administrative employees.
OCTA Chairman Greg Winterbottom and CEO Darrell Johnson presented the veterans with a special pin, adorned with the United States flag, the OCTA logo and the employee’s branch of military service, along with the word “Veteran.” A Color Guard from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit based at Camp Pendleton highlighted the ceremony.
“I’m incredibly proud of the work that our veterans provide to the people of Orange County,” said Winterbottom, himself a U.S. Army veteran. “It’s a privilege to honor their service to the country and to recognize their ongoing commitment to our community.”
Johnson, who became CEO earlier this year, said honoring veterans is a tradition he’s proud to continue. “Our veterans do an incredible job and I’m so proud that they are a part of the OCTA family,” he said. “The transit industry benefits greatly from the experience, dedication and values of all those who have served our country.”
OCTA employees with relatives serving in the military also received recognition.
Last fall, the Southern California Army Advisory Council recognized the OCTA as a military friendly employer for its efforts in actively recruiting veterans. Those efforts include participating in recruiting events at the Marine Corps base at Camp Pendleton, remaining engaged with local junior colleges and universities to recruit veterans, and coordinating events with military organizations to help veterans transition from active duty service to careers in the transportation industry.
“I love that they respect veterans here at OCTA and recognize our efforts,” said Anthony McCollough, a coach operator for the past 16 years and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. “It’s great to be honored for our time in the military.”