Disabled Veterans National Foundation Praises New Initiative to Teach Civilian Skills to Service Members Before Transition

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The Department of Defense and other sponsors will launch a pilot program this spring to teach civilian skills to troops prior to exiting the military.

"One of the toughest challenges for troops in their transition being able to recognize that skills learned in the military can parallel a skill in the private sector,” said DVNF CEO, Joseph VanFonda (USMC SgtMaj Ret.)

The Disabled Veterans National Foundation (http://www.dvnf.org), a nonprofit veterans service organization that provides critically needed support to disabled and at-risk veterans who leave the military wounded—physically or psychologically—after defending our safety and our freedom, is praising a new pilot initiative to teach civilian skills to service members prior to their transition from the military.

The program, called Onward to Opportunity, aims to teach commercial skills that will better prepare service members for a civilian career. It will complement skills learned in the military with industry-specific training, and also provide certifications and job placement services.

The program is a collaborative effort of the Pentagon, Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families, and the Schultz Foundation. It will begin this spring, at five military installations and one city with high military population. It hopes to support 10,000 service members and their families in the first year.

DVNF supports this initiative, and feels that a program like this is long overdue.
“One of the toughest challenges for troops in their transition being able to recognize that skills learned in the military can parallel a skill in the private sector,” said DVNF CEO, Joseph VanFonda (USMC SgtMaj Ret.).

“A program that will help these individuals learn new, marketable skills while still recognizing the value of their military experience has the potential to be life-changing for many.”

The program will target troops who are months or years away from exiting the military, which will help them to clearly understand their path to a civilian job.

About DVNF:
The Disabled Veterans National Foundation exists to provide critically needed support to disabled and at-risk veterans who leave the military wounded—physically or psychologically—after defending our safety and our freedom.
We achieve this mission by:

  •     Providing an online resource database that allows veterans to navigate the complex process of seeking benefits that they are entitled to as a result of their military service, as well as additional resources they need.
  •     Offering direct financial support to veteran organizations that address the unique needs of veterans, and whose missions align with that of DVNF.
  •     Providing supplemental assistance to homeless and low-income veterans through the Health & Comfort program and various empowerment resources.
  •     Serving as a thought leader on critical policy issues within the veteran community, and educating the public accordingly.

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