SAFE CU helps fund launch of Valor Career Pathway Program at Sierra College

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The program will provide intensive career training for student veterans at Sierra College in Rocklin, California.

“It’s important to acknowledge veterans when they come back to civilian life. One way of accomplishing that is through education." -- Amanda Merz, SAFE Credit Union Advocacy and Community Engagement Manager

SAFE Credit Union has provided a $20,000 grant to help launch a new job training program at the Sierra College Veterans Success Center at the college’s Rocklin campus.

The Valor Career Pathway program will help student veterans assimilate to civilian life while discovering how to adapt their military training to new career paths. The grant will cover costs associated with starting the program.

“Veterans are an integral part of our community at Sierra College and, thanks to support from SAFE Credit Union, this vital program will be up and running in Fall 2020,” said Sierra Superintendent/President Willy Duncan.

The Veterans Success Center serves more than 800 student veterans and their families as the largest resource center for veterans in Placer County. It was recently recognized by the Military Times as one of the “Best for Vets, Colleges 2020.” The Veterans Success Center provides a place for veteran students to connect with military benefits, receive educational and personal counseling services, and mingle with other student veterans, said Jarrett "J" Blake, SST/Veteran Services Counseling.

“The Valor Career Pathway Program will provide student veterans with the opportunity to participate in an intensive four-month career preparation seminar,” said Daniel Avegalio, director of student services at Sierra College.

The program will provide a cohort of first-semester student veterans:

  • Employment preparation and job shadowing experience
  • Public speaking opportunities to development communication and soft skills
  • Peer-mentoring to ensure the participants stay on track, remain engaged, and successfully complete the seminar.

Those who successfully complete the program will receive a new suit to use when they go out to start their careers.

“SAFE Credit Union started 80 years ago supporting the Army Air Corps and later the Air Force at McClellan Air Base, so supporting veterans is in our DNA,” said SAFE Credit Union Advocacy and Community Engagement Manager Amanda Merz. “It’s important to acknowledge veterans when they come back to civilian life. One way of accomplishing that is through education. We’re very excited to partner with Sierra College’s Veterans Success Center and the new Valor Career Pathway Program to find ways to continue supporting our veterans.”

SAFE Credit Union will provide $400,000 in philanthropic giving in 2020, focusing on health, education, current and former military personnel, and the arts.

About SAFE
SAFE Credit Union has made members an integral part of its vision since 1940. Over the years the credit union has kept the focus on what really matters, putting members first, a formula that has seen SAFE grow into a leading financial institution in Northern California with nearly $3 billion in assets and about 235,000 members. SAFE crafts every cutting-edge product and sterling service with members’ needs foremost in mind. In addition to banking services conveniently available through online, chat, mobile, or phone options, SAFE offers in-person care for members and small businesses at service centers across the Greater Sacramento region and a mortgage lending office serving Contra Costa and Alameda counties. SAFE is a not-for-profit, state-chartered credit union with membership open to businesses and individuals living or working in Sacramento, Placer, Yolo, El Dorado, Sutter, Butte, Nevada, Solano, San Joaquin, Contra Costa, Yuba, Amador, and Alameda counties. Insured by NCUA.

About Sierra College
The Sierra College District is rising to the needs of our community. Sierra College serves 3200 square miles of Northern CA with campuses in Roseville, Rocklin, Grass Valley, and Truckee. With approximately 125 degree and certificate programs, Sierra College is ranked first in Northern California (Sacramento north) for transfers to four-year universities, offers career/technical training, and classes for upgrading job skills. Sierra graduates can be found in businesses and industries throughout the region. More information at

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Carole Ferguson
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