Stories from the front lines: Elevate America veterans

Stories from the front lines: Elevate America veterans

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Memorial Day in the United States is a time when we honor and remember the men and women who have bravely served in the U.S. armed forces.  We thought it would be appropriate to share a few stories about how some U.S. veterans and their families are making the transition from military to civilian life. (Pictured Right: Kris Luckinbill, a US Army veteran now studying for a Network Degree at Bellevue College)

Cheryl Goodwin - The spouse of a National Guard reservist who left her job when her husband was called to active duty. She is building her skills to find new employment after being out of the workforce.

Gidelina Pineda  - A six year veteran of the Army, who after an honorable discharge, found herself homeless with a small child to care for. Veterans Inc and their specialized program for female veterans has changed their lives.

Kevin Price – An eight year Army veteran, who, as a single father needed to build his skills utilizing Microsoft technology to stay competitive in a newly acquired civilian job andbe well positioned for his future. 

Kirk Wharwood After 20 years of service, Kirk needed to supplement his deep knowledge and skill in data communications management with employer and industry recognized certification.

Kris Luckinbill – A U.S. Army veteran who was deployed to Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Currently enrolled at Bellevue college, plans to complete his Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer certificate and bachelor’s degree to help enhance the skills he developed during his military service, for a successful civilian career.

All of these veterans have one thing in common.  They are all participating in the Microsoft Elevate America veterans initiative.  The program was created to provide U.S. veterans with the skills and resources they need to successfully find civilian employment.  To support these efforts we are providing $2 million in cash plus up to $6 million in software and training curriculum to organizations working directly with veterans in local communities across the country.

We’ve been fortunate to partner with the six outstanding organizations listed below, each representing a unique program and service model, but all very focused on serving veterans and their spouses across the country. The resources being made available include career counseling, technology skills training, job training resources, job placement and additional support services such as childcare, transportation, and housing. Together, we hope that we can meet the needs of the thousands of veterans and their spouses

In addition to Elevate America, Microsoft is also focusing on supporting veterans through our own hiring practices. We’ve created a program, called Military2Microsoft, which assists U.S. veterans and those serving in the National Guard and Reserve to transition and find job opportunities within Microsoft. The Military2Microsoft program incorporates a variety of resources online to help make the job search experience easier for military talent.

We believe that through initiatives like these, there is a great opportunity for the public and private sector to come together and ease the transition process for veterans and to provide more skilled workers for U.S. employers.

If you would like to help support veterans and their spouses making their transition from the military to the civilian workforce, please feel free to contact any of our partners, listed above, or any of our advisory committee, below, to ask how you can help. And tell them Microsoft sent you.

Elevate America veterans initiative advisory committee members:

The American Legion, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Paralyzed Veterans of America, United Service Organizations (USO), and the Wounded Warrior Project

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