DANVERS — Mike Minogue is a decorated veteran and also president, chairman and CEO of Abiomed, a company that makes the world’s smallest heart pump.
Turns out, Minogue has a big heart when it comes to helping returning veterans land a job in the medical technology field.
Last week, he traveled to Washington, D.C., to take part in the second annual camp for veterans interested in entering the field. Minogue is chairman of the program.
In 1991, he was a 23-year-old Army platoon leader with the 24th Infantry Division that moved into the Euphrates River Valley, inflicting heavy damage on Iraqi forces.
When Minogue, a West Point graduate, got out of the Army in 1997, he was able to take part in programs to help him find a career. He even wrote a letter to former General Electric Chairman and CEO Jack Welch (a Salem High graduate), looking for a job.
The note led to a job at GE Healthcare, where Minogue, an engineer, was attracted to working with the MRI division. That launched a successful career in the medical technology industry.
But not every veteran has the same success story. There’s a critical need to find jobs for the 150,000 returning veterans entering the workforce, he said, noting that the unemployment rate among veterans is 15 percent.
Over the years, Minogue has been involved in a number of efforts to help veterans. A few years ago, he wound up at an event in Washington, sitting at a table with some “wounded warriors,” discussing their difficulty getting back into the workforce, he said.
“They were telling me they were having a hard time finding anything,” Minogue said. The veterans would often be competing for jobs with people who’d gained experience in a field while the veterans were in the service. And often, the civilian applicant with experience got the position.