New York, NY (PRWEB) November 14, 2013
With a significant increase in the number of organizations and amount of fundraising focused on supporting U.S. veterans and their return home from service, JWT partnered with the Travis Manion Foundation and Hire Heroes USA to host a new Veterans Advocacy Symposium at the agency’s flagship headquarters in New York last week.
The event brought together a select group of Veteran Service Organizations and related not-for-profit groups including the Bob Woodruff Foundation, Services for the UnderServed, and the National Alliance for Mental Illness, as well as LinkedIn, which JWT is partnering with to hire more veterans in the upcoming months. The group of more than 30 veterans representing all services participated in the day-long symposium.
While a relatively small percentage of Americans serve in the armed forces today as compared to years past, the past 10 years of sustained operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have produced a large number of veterans returning to American communities. Public and media attention often migrates to the most acute issues facing returning vets, including post-traumatic stress disorder, serious injury, unemployment and homelessness. In turn, hundreds of new organizations have emerged to assist with veteran transition and life after active duty service, including support for veterans with a range of service-related challenges. Concerns persist, however, that the significant fundraising efforts around the challenges of veteran transition are widening the gap between veterans and their communities. Several recent articles, including two in The Atlantic, highlight this issue, which was central to the discussion at last week’s symposium.
“The symposium was the first step in collective action to rethink how we approach supporting veterans and their families,” said James Brobyn, Executive Director of the Travis Manion Foundation. “Spending the day with thought leaders from the top organizations working to support veterans crystallized the idea that we, as a country, have an opportunity to capitalize on the amazing talent and experience of our veteran population to transform our communities.”
“The organizations invited to the Veterans Advocacy Symposium were all selected because they provide the best partnership for veterans at various points along the service life cycle,” said Nathan Smith, Chief Operating Officer at Hire Heroes USA. “Collaboration brings light to best practices and reduces duplication efforts amongst organizations, essentially making the veteran’s transition process that much easier."
With the objective of increasing attention on the many positive aspects of service and challenging conventional wisdom on today’s veterans, the organizations came together to discuss building strategic partnerships to tackle the most pressing issues facing veteran empowerment and advocacy in their communities and beyond. Marketing communications agency JWT and its social practice JWT Ethos offered additional perspective on the right message to bolster these efforts and marketing tools to reach a larger audience through collective efforts.
“Veterans represent a tremendous resource base for their communities — most veterans, even those with significant service-related challenges, are ready to make an impact at work, at home, and among their peers,” said JWT Atlanta’s Chief Operating Officer, Marshall Lauck. “Our goal in hosting the Symposium was to create a forum for like-minded veterans service organizations focused on veteran empowerment — to do more than discuss the current situation — to cultivate interest and support for partnership and a positive, progressive message on service.”
The event ended with a review of the key learnings and a plan to meet again in early 2014 to discuss planning and strategy for helping veterans navigate the journey from service to the workforce.
JWT is the world’s best-known marketing communications brand that has been inventing pioneering ideas for the past 150 years. Headquartered in New York, JWT is a true global network with more than 200 offices in over 90 countries, employing nearly 10,000 marketing professionals. JWT consistently ranks among the top agency networks in the world and continues a dominant presence in the industry by staying on the leading edge—from producing the first-ever TV commercial in 1939 to developing award-winning branded content today. For more information, please visit http://www.jwt.com and follow us @JWT_Worldwide.
About Travis Manion Foundation
Headquartered in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, the Travis Manion Foundation is a qualified 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was created in 2007 by the Manion family after 1st Lt Travis Manion was killed in Fallujah, Iraq. The foundation’s mission is to assist the nation’s veterans and the families of Fallen Heroes. The Travis Manion Foundation is committed to honoring the fallen by challenging the living. Its goal is to ensure the love of country and spirit of service that is exemplified by this generation of Fallen Heroes.
About Hire Heroes USA
Headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia, Hire Heroes USA has built a national reputation of excellence for its success at helping unemployed veterans find jobs — currently at the rate of nine veterans confirmed hired every week. The team is comprised of military veterans — many with combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan — and business veterans. That mix of military and civilian experience has proven essential to effectively training veterans in the skills of self-marketing and then networking into good jobs with great companies. The hallmark of the program is a personal approach where each veteran receives dedicated assistance from a highly trained staff member in order to help them overcome barriers to employment.