Engaging Veterans: This week the Gateway Center for Giving Corporate Roundtable featured “Engaging Veterans: Philanthropy and Employment Practices,” an online program offered by the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship (BCCCC).
The BCCCC webinar focused on the ways that companies are using the valuable skills and experience of military veterans, both through their philanthropy initiatives and employment efforts.
Participants heard from Robin Boggs, US Corporate Citizenship lead at Accenture and Maggie Pollard, Manager at Accenture, who discussed Operation: Employment, their overall effort to support veterans through external efforts (e.g. build capacity of NPO partners, engage Accenture’s employees in veterans’ initiatives in their local communities) and internal efforts (e.g. recruit, retain, and engage military and veterans as employees). The Accenture representatives provided highlights on their own targeted tools that help them to employ veterans, from military career coaching to online digital and technology skills training. Accenture partners with local, national and flagship organizations, which they say is the key to their success in building out their veterans’ employment practice. By 2020, Accenture has committed to hire 5000 veterans.
Next, Paul Weigel, Directory of Community Affairs at Outerwall (which is the parent company for Coinstar, Redbox and ecoATM; with 66,500 kiosks worldwide), discussed the company’s efforts in this space. Outerwall uses internal business resource groups, such as “Armed Forces & Allies,” to support organizational initiatives that engage veterans and to drive the corporate behavior which attracts new employees. The corporation also utilizes tools like a micro-site for veterans to conduct job searches that match civilian job codes with military job codes. Additionally, Outerwall participates in job fairs targeting transitioning veterans and partners with veterans groups that assist in skill set development and foster community involvement, giving leaders within the company the opportunity to coach and mentor veterans..
Both companies recommend looking for opportunities that align with your own business operations, and encourage organizations to think broadly about intersections that exist in the space in order to have holistic impact in the internal and external communities. Many good national partners are out there; employees can tell you what is important to them, so encourage that feedback.
Local funders: A number of Gateway Center for Giving members are currently funding a range of initiatives focused on engaging veterans, including Enterprise Holdings, Boeing, Express Scripts, Maritz, Ameren, and the Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation.