IAVA firmly believes that no veteran should come home to an unemployment check. But the new generation of veterans has faced an uphill battle in securing civilian employment. In 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans was 12%, three points above the national average; and in a recent IAVA survey, our members reported a staggering 17% level of unemployment.
These numbers are unacceptable, and IAVA has employed numerous products and programs to tackle the issue. With more than 200,000 member veterans and supporters nationwide, IAVA is the country’s largest nonprofit organization for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan -- uniquely positioned to combat the shockingly high joblessness rates among new veterans. No other Veterans Service Organization can boast a confirmed member base as large, making IAVA a best-in-class partner for employers seeking to offer employment programs exclusively to new veterans.
IAVA implements innovative and scalable employment support programs across the country, including smart job fairs, industry immersion events, interview skills training, resume review workshops, and -- most importantly -- job opportunities. In 2011 and 2012, IAVA connected more than 2,000 veterans with a variety of employment support programs, designed to give vets the edge they need in a competitive civilian job market.
Going forward, IAVA will significantly expand our employment support programs. Funded by Cisco and powered by Futures, Inc., we are launching a state-of-the-art, online career website called The Career Pathfinder. This online tool will function with IAVA’s other employment programs, leveraging the power and reach of IAVA’s brand and trusted community. Six months after the tool’s launch in Q1 2013, IAVA expects approximately 12,000 visits to the website. During the same time period, we expect between 200 and 300 veterans to report having achieved an interview with potential employers with the help of the tool and related resources.
The monetary prize from the JobRaising Challenge would enable IAVA to expand the program by building additional infrastructure, raising awareness about the tool, and connecting new veterans with the IAVA community and with resources across our core Mental Health, Education, Employment, and Community (HEEC) programs. With support, we can serve over 50,000 job-seekers within 24 months of launch and over 100,000 over the next four years – and show America’s New Greatest Generation that We’ve Got Their Backs.