Ryan Tocker, 26
Body design engineer, Honda Development and Manufacturing
Military branch: Army National Guard
Ryan Tocker supports veterans within Honda and the greater Ohio community through activities that range from beekeeping to speaking engagements designed to bridge the gap between veterans and civilian employers that may need help evaluating a military resume.
The Army National Guard sergeant and body design engineer at Honda’s Automobile Development Center co-founded the Honda Military Veterans & Supporters business resource group in 2019, and he is chair of the communications and culture events committees.
“Military life can be very different from the world of civilian employment and the transition can be challenging,” Tocker said. “Many veterans have experiences from their service that don’t translate to the civilian world and this can lead to feelings of isolation and/or a lack of connection.”
Tocker joined Honda colleagues in learning beekeeping to teach veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder about the hobby. And in 2020, Tocker volunteered for a mission with the Ohio Army National Guard to support food banks during the pandemic, including a Honda-sponsored food drive.
Tocker is now using his experience as a veteran and his communication skills by participating in a remote speaker series in partnership with the Ohio Department of Veterans Services.
According to Honda, the series will focus on educating managers, group leaders and hiring staff on ways to work with veterans seeking employment. The series will cover topics such as where employers can find veteran employees and how to read and interpret a military resume.
Inside the Honda development center, Tocker is responsible for the design and development of vehicle underbody components such as floor panels, tire pans and underbody shields. He also collaborates with suppliers on design and parts feasibility and manufacturability.
His work with the veterans and support group connects Honda associates within the complex who otherwise may not have met.
“Employees who share common experiences will generally be more productive, work more closely together and produce higher-quality work,” Honda said in a statement. “This is especially important when considering the variety of skills veteran employees may possess.”
— Laurence Iliff