Grant Supports Expansion of Veteran Employment Efforts in California, Colorado
DENVER, March 20, 2013 – Veterans Green Jobs, a nonprofit organization that puts veterans to work in the green economic sector, announced that it has received a $250,000 award from the Call of Duty Endowment, a nonprofit that helps veterans transition to civilian careers. The grant money will be used to support Veterans Green Jobs’ expansion efforts in California and Colorado, with specific plans to open a Los Angeles office and hire personnel to operate its veteran employment program.
“This is a significant step forward for Veterans Green Jobs as we expand our organizational reach and increase our access to the approximately one hundred thousand unemployed veterans in California and the thousands of active duty service members stationed in that state,” said Dr. Bill Doe, chief executive officer for Veterans Green Jobs. “The grant also provides much needed support in Colorado, enabling us to strengthen current employment program services in our headquarters location.”
With the funding from the Call of Duty Endowment, Veterans Green Jobs will hire a career counselor and an industry liaison in Los Angeles, as well as another career counselor and a regional outdoor conservation coordinator in Denver.
The counselors will work with veterans individually and guide them through the job search process, leveraging personal connections with human resource managers and breaking down barriers to hiring. Additionally, these counselors will serve as recruiters for Veterans Green Jobs’ employment and outdoor conservation programs at local job fairs and veteran events.
The industry liaison will focus on partnering with green industry companies to ensure a significant base of jobs to offer to veterans. S/he will collaborate with partner companies to increase their understanding of veterans, provide educational services to human resource departments and assist in the hiring process.
The regional outdoor conservation coordinator will provide individual career counseling and job placement services to active duty service members and veterans to enhance job placement in conservation, environmental and land management agencies. Additionally, this coordinator serves as liaison to the regional conservation corps.
“The Call of Duty Endowment is focused on providing grants to organizations that have proven to be the most effective and efficient in finding jobs for veterans and Veterans Green Jobs is a stand-out organization by any measure,” said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard and founder and co-chairman of the Call of Duty Endowment. “This new ‘chapterization’ strategy allows us to take the next step in applying hard-nosed business principles to the veteran employment effort – and can be a model for the non-profit industry as a whole. We want to support organizations, like Veterans Green Jobs, that have proven business models and that are able to apply those best practices in targeted markets where the most veterans have the most need. By providing the funds to open new chapters in these targeted areas, we believe that goal will be accomplished.”
Veterans Green Jobs will co-locate its southern California operations with GRID Alternatives, a nonprofit partner organization with offices in Los Angeles.
“The post-9/11 veterans’ unemployment problem is related both to the current economic conditions of our country and the larger dilemma of reintegration of this new generation of veterans back into our society,” said Doe. “With the more than two million who have served in uniform since 9/11, and the increase anticipated in these numbers from the end of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and the resultant downsizing of the military, this challenge will continue to be a critical one for our society. Support from partners such as the Call of Duty Endowment is essential to helping those veterans find meaningful employment as they re-enter civil society,” he added.
In January 2013, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the youngest post-9/11 veterans, those ages 20-24, are unemployed at a rate of 31.4 percent, the highest rates of all age groups. The post-9/11 veterans ages 25-29 and 35-39 are unemployed at rates of 14.8 percent and 13.1 percent, respectively. The overall unemployment rate for all Americans (population 16 and over) was at 7.9 percent. More than one million veterans are projected to leave the military between 2011 and 2016, placing increased demands on the workforce.
In 2011, the Call of Duty Endowment awarded Veterans Green Jobs with a $100,000 grant to assist the nonprofit in the initial development of its employment program.
About Call of Duty Endowment
The Call of Duty Endowment is a non-profit, public benefit corporation conceived by Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. The organization seeks to help organizations that provide job placement and training services for veterans. For more information about the Call of Duty Endowment, please visit www.callofdutyendowment.org.
About Veterans Green Jobs
Veterans Green Jobs is a national nonprofit whose mission is to engage, transition and connect military veterans with meaningful employment opportunities that serve our communities and environment. With programs in eight states, Veterans Green Jobs offers training and hands-on experience, directly employs veterans, offers entrepreneurial opportunities and offers a national job placement model. Veterans Green Jobs publishes a weekly e-newsletter, The Jobs Page, which provides announcements about job opportunities, training and education opportunities, and upcoming events. Veterans may sign up at www.veteransgreenjobs.org/interest-form. See www.veteransgreenjobs.org for more information. Join Veterans Green Jobs on Facebook. View the corporate video on YouTube.