On this Veterans Day, as we wind up our 8th full year of helping returning veterans realize futures many could scarcely have imagined, we’re struck with how much we have to be grateful for, and how much we still have to look forward to.
Our commitment “to help returning veterans launch fulfilling careers in the growth economy” is as solid today as it was when I founded Veterans2Work in 2008, and our prospects for making a difference in the lives of thousands more veterans look all the brighter.
2016 has been a pivotal year for V2W, marking our transition from intensive career launch proofs-of-concept to national rollout. Our focus during 2016 has thus centered on building out our technology, forging key partnerships, enlisting “enlightened employers,” and, as always, getting the word out.
During this validation phase, we fine tuned our Accelerated Career Launch model, achieving a job placement rate of 72%--with a 6-month retention rate of 92%--just 12 weeks, on average, from a cold start. We helped more than 100 veterans launch brand new careers, mostly in cloud computing. And the success of our Vetforce initiative inspired “the most innovative company on the planet,” Salesforce.com, to bring our program in-house to provide career opportunities to 10,000 more veterans.
2017 will be about building on our success, expanding Career Launch offerings and broadening engagement with veterans and employers. To existing Cloud Computing, Java Programming and Technology Selling programs, we’re adding half a dozen others, including Cyber Security and Campaign Management. V2W will be where veterans can re-tool and qualify for a widening variety of growth economy career opportunities, and where employers can confidently “hire for aptitude and train for skills.” See our 2-page plan for more on this.
None of our corporate accomplishments, though, can ever compare to just one “thank you” from a veteran whose life we have helped to change. Our graduates all know, as I hope you do, that the doors that opened to them were generously pulled open by supporters like you. You might want to see what some of our graduates have to say or view this short video, produced by our valued supporter, Workday Foundation, underscoring that ours will always be a team effort.
I hope you know how much your support means to me, to V2W and to our veterans. I also hope that you take a moment on this Veterans Day to reflect on what we owe those who served us, but also to know that you deserve their thanks as well.
Most gratefully yours,
Founder & Executive Director