New Commitments to Help Put our Veterans Back to Work

In August, President Obama issued a challenge to the private sector to hire or train 100,000 unemployed veterans and their spouses by the end of 2013. In just over a month, the business community has already responded with commitments to provide great opportunities for veterans and their families and help reach the President's goal. Here are some of the latest commitments from the private sector:  

Microsoft will offer 10,000 technology training and certification packages to U.S. military veterans over a two year period, through a partnership with the Department of Labor. The technology training and certification will be available at intermediate and advanced levels and will be delivered through e-learning, with additional in person support. This partnership is an extension of the overall Microsoft Elevate America veteran's initiative, which demonstrates a total investment of $12 million cash, product and related support for U.S. veterans.

Siemens pledged to fill 10 percent of their 3,000 open positions with veterans earlier this year. Having exceeded that goal, Siemens has increased their commitment by an additional 50 percent. More than 450 veterans will have a new job at Siemens by the end of the year.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce will create a private sector National Veterans Employment Advisory Council (VEAC), which will be comprised of 25 of America’s biggest employers, representing every major industry and sector, to promote veteran hiring, reporting measures, and mentorship. They will also call on their federation of 2,500 state and local chambers and industry associations and more than 3 million businesses to significantly expand the scale and scope of their nationwide hiring campaign to several hundred additional cities in 2012 and beyond.

Honeywell is expanding its ongoing recruitment efforts to include a target job placement goal of at least 500 veterans in 2011 across the company’s four businesses.

Humana will provide $1 million to support the continued expansion of the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) program. The EBV is a novel and ‘one-of-a-kind’ initiative designed to train veterans to create and sustain a new business. The EBV training is provided across eight universities without any cost to the veteran, and more than 500 veterans with disabilities will have completed the program from since 2007. Humana’s support will allow for the continued expansion of the program to additional universities across the U.S. while expanding opportunities for military family members to receive the EBV training. Humana also is announcing today a new “Veterans Initiative” whereby the company will expand its efforts to recruit and hire military veterans and their spouses in a variety of roles at the health care company.4

JP Morgan Chase has developed and is executing a holistic veteran's strategy. Two key elements include a commitment of $7.5 million to provide seed funding for the creation and launch of a “first-of-its-kind” Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University as well as the 100,000 Jobs Mission. The 100,000 Jobs Mission was launched in March with the goal of hiring 100,000 transitioning service members and military veterans by 2020. 11 corporations have joined this mission and collectively hired more than 1,300 transitioning service members and veterans through June 30th.

Futures, Inc. has committed to launch a pilot web-based platform, US Veterans Pipeline, to help veterans connect with career exploration resources, mentors, education, and direct employment opportunities. This collaboration represents a cross section of Fortune 500 companies, education leaders, entrepreneurs, and veteran service organizations.

AT&T is launching two new online resources: a custom military skills translator, which will enable servicemen and women to use their current Military Occupation Code or Military Occupation Specialty to find corresponding civilian career opportunities at AT&T, and the Careers4Vets program which connects interested veterans with mentors within AT&T. These new platforms will support AT&T’s ongoing veteran initiatives, including supplier diversity initiatives like Operation Hand Salute, a mentoring program that is designed to help disabled veteran businesses develop the tools and expertise to win large corporate contracts.

Accenture’s Skills to Succeed program will equip 250,000 people, including veterans, around the world by 2015 with the skills to get a job or build a business. As part of their efforts, Accenture is one of several companies underwriting NPower’s Technology Services Corp and will work with the non-profit to expand IT training, professional skills and mentoring, internships, and job placement for service members and veterans.

Code for America is creating the Veterans Employment Platform, which will offer an online military skills translator for employers across the country. Working with private sector partners such as Direct Employers and Futures Inc, and Federal agencies including Defense, Labor, Veterans Affairs, the Office of Personnel Management, the platform will become an essential resource for both veterans and employers.

SCORE will provide an array of free and discounted offers to help veterans and their family members with their business needs. These offers span from discounted incorporation services to free software and free assistance by certified accountants. They also will offer scholarships for their “Simple Steps for Starting Your Business” workshop series or an equivalent workshop available through any of their 350 chapters nationwide.

Walmart has previously committed $1 million to support the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans program developed at Syracuse University and involving business schools across the United States. Building on this commitment, Walmart is now providing a $180,000 grant to V-WISE, which offers training and mentoring in business de Walmart will also contribute $100,000 to support the US Chamber’s work in hosting more than 100 job fairs for veterans in cities and towns and Walmart has also agreed to be the founding member of the US Chamber National Veterans Advisory Council, which will pull together 25 corporate members committed to hiring veterans and creating best practices for veterans employment.

Lockheed Martin is expanding its targeted series of Wounded Warrior-focused hiring events, where veterans with disabilities are invited for face-to-face interviews with hiring managers. Additionally, veterans can connect with Lockheed Martin recruiters through new, monthly Wounded Warrior employment virtual chat room sessions.5

Hewlett Packard is expanding on its original $50,000 commitment to the American Corporate Partners (ACP), a nationwide mentoring program dedicated to helping veterans transition from the armed services to the civilian workforce through mentoring, career counseling, and networking during a yearlong mentorship. As a participating institution, HP has helped recruit executives, employees and retirees to be mentors in this program and is now expanding its mentoring program to California.

Brad Cooper is Executive Director of Joining Forces in the Office of the First Lady.

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