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Walmart Foundation Announces Two Additional Grants Totaling $350,000 in Support of Its Welcome Home North Carolina Initiative

May 20, 2015
Source: Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF)

Grants reinforce IVMFs and Walmarts ongoing commitment to coordinate existing veteran supportive services capacity across North Carolina

The Walmart Foundation has awarded Charlotte Bridge Home a $150,000 grant and Charlotte Works a $200,000 grant to amplify each organizations existing efforts to holistically serve veterans through enhanced collaboration with veteran service organizations in and around the Charlotte/Mecklenburg community. The grants are made in conjunction with the Walmart Foundations $1 million grant to the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University for strategy development of the nations first statewide veteran supportive services coordinated network, NCServes, which was announced last February.

Since August 2014, IVMF has been hosting recurring strategy sessions with veteran services leaders in the Charlotte/Mecklenburg region to create an implementation plan tailored to the community, with Unite US as the underpinning technology provider. The NCServes coordinated network is set to begin a 24-month pilot on August 1st, 2015 before expanding into three additional regions across North Carolina. Shortly after the NCServes launches in the Charlotte/Mecklenburg region, strategy development will begin in the next identified market, the Raleigh-Durham area.

"By building upon Charlotte Bridge Homes existing strength in the Charlotte/Mecklenburg community, along with the generous support of the Walmart Foundation, NCServes has the opportunity to demonstrate to the nation the first statewide coordinated veteran supportive services network," said Mike Haynie, IVMFs Executive Director and Vice Chancellor for Veteran and Military Affairs at Syracuse University. "Without a doubt, the findings and best practices identified in North Carolina will inform our work as we expand into other communities around the country."

Charlotte Works is the workforce development board for Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Specifically, the grant provided by the Walmart Foundation will support its launch of the NCWorks Certified Veterans Initiative, aimed at placing as many veterans as possible into employment by focusing on two groups: veterans, to ensure theyre work-ready, and employers, to get them educated about and committed to hiring work-ready veterans. Charlotte Works will assess and certify veterans as work-ready through a process that could include career-coaching, additional education, on-the-job training, receiving a National Career Ready Certificate (NCRC), completing soft-skills training and attending workshops at one of three career centers in Charlotte.

In addition to preparing veterans for employment, the initiative will concentrate on educating and committing local employers to hiring veterans. A dedicated business services representative will engage with businesses to inform hiring managers about the skills and needs of veterans and make strong personal connections to allow direct referrals of NCWorks Certified Veterans to open positions. "Charlotte Works will promise that every NCWorks Certified Veteran will meet or exceed an employers expectations and if not, we [will] provide the resources necessary to ensure that veteran succeeds," said Steve Partridge, president and CEO of Charlotte Works.

Through the research-based Welcome Home North Carolina Initiative, the Walmart Foundation is investing in a platform for recently discharged veterans to more easily connect to jobs, services and educational opportunities across North Carolina. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have a long history of supporting our nations military service members. Walmart has hired over 92,000 new veteran associates since implementation of the Veterans Welcome Home Commitment on Memorial Day 2013, and nearly 8,000 have been promoted to roles of greater responsibility since joining the Walmart team. In North Carolina, over 4,398 veterans have been hired since the Memorial Day 2013 announcement.


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