Education benefits and civilian jobs are now the center of attention for veterans. Given that veteran unemployment has hit 25%, thousands of more service members are leaving the military, and the federal government is starting to pay $1 billion a year on veteran unemployment this should come as no big surprise. In fact, it is long overdue and more encouraging that services in these areas are increasingly available to help vets and their families.
I just returned from traveling this past week where I met with different types of organizations and was exposed to new programs that are assisting veterans. I cover some of the most promising trends and best opportunities below.
The MBA Veterans club held their 5th annual career conference in Chicago last Friday. Military MBA was part of the inaugural conference that has now turned into a “go-to” event. I spoke with one of our scholarship recipients from USC Marshall who planned to attend this year. She rearranged her class schedule to make time available and was very optimistic about the conference prior to the event. She promised to share her experiences and provide insights into the conference following the event. I will post her comments on MBA Mashup when they are available.
Andy Sison, in Admissions at Chapman University, is covering military students in multiple ways using the right platforms and relationships. Mr. Sison has formed a working coalition between military students and veteran services and associations in and among colleges. I look for him and his partners (which includes Military MBA) to produce solutions veterans need that no one else, to date, has been able to develop or deliver.
I spoke with Brandon Tuck from The Drucker School at Claremont Graduate University. I found out that several private colleges on the MBA side of campuses are starting to share career services. This is a very positive trend for military students. I look for these clusters of private schools to give veterans more of an opportunity to find good-paying jobs.
Finally, I met with Tom Stein who talked extensively about the plight of young veterans leaving the service today. His is working on a comprehensive, multi-tiered solution to problems of veteran unemployment. His focus is on providing solutions through various military channels and he is involved with an employer who is beta testing, and will eventually deliver his service, to veterans in Orange County, CA.