IBM To Join Forces With Non-Profit To Help Returning Vets From Iraq & Afghanistan With Mentoring Program
NEW YORK, NY - IBM today announced it has joined forces with American Corporate Partners (ACP), as part of a nationwide career mentoring program for the generation of veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
ACP, a New York-based nonprofit, provides a unique career development opportunity for veterans, from former enlisted members and officers to current Reservists and National Guard members, who have served on active duty after 2001. Also welcome in the program are the spouses of those service members severely wounded or who died while serving. ACP is not a jobs program, but designed to assist veterans in their career development.
“I don’t believe there is another program like this in the country,” says ACP founder Sid Goodfriend. “You don’t have to be an expert or possess a particular skill set to be a mentor. What we are looking for are mentors who care and are willing to put the time in with the veterans. This will be a real boost to our program because IBM employees are innovators and role models in the business world who have community service in their DNA.”
IBM has enlisted its award-winning, community volunteer program, On Demand Community, to serve as the company’s online recruiting hub to initially provide mentors in five U.S. cities –- New York, Washington, D.C., Raleigh/Durham, Denver and San Francisco –-- to help veterans transition from the armed services to private enterprise through career counseling and networking with IBM’s cadre of professionals serving as role models.
On Demand Community delivers to IBM volunteers a portfolio of more than 200 proven technology solutions for schools and nonprofit organizations. The site also enables them to assess their skills, take online training to improve their volunteer efforts, and search for volunteer opportunities based upon their time, areas of interest, and other criteria. Today, On Demand Community includes more than 124,000 employees with close to 6,150,000 volunteer hours logged, and almost 13,000 retirees with close to 2,700,000 volunteers hours logged.
Here’s how the new program works:
* Mentors are chosen by ACP Staff. The ideal mentor is over 35 years old and has significant corporate experience.
* Mentors and Protégés are matched one-on-one by city and according to their mentoring preferences.
* ACP encourages Mentors and Protégés to spend four hours together monthly engaging in the activities of their choice.
* The mentoring commitment is for one year, with both parties encouraged to maintain the relationship for a considerably greater period of time.
* Once matched, ACP staff will be in contact regularly to track the progress of the relationship.
“The addition of American Corporate Partners gives IBM volunteers another opportunity to share their wisdom,” said Gary Ambrose, IBM Vice President for the US Department of Defense and retired US Air Force Brigadier General. “IBM volunteers are not only caring, but they have a lot of constructive and practical advice they can share with veterans based on their own professional experiences. This is the right thing to do for the returning men and women who have given so much to their country.”
As part of the resources IBM is bringing to the program, the company will now make available to all veterans, from enlisted members and officers to current Reservists and National Guard members, access to an online portal used by entrepreneurs called the Small Business Toolkit. It provides marketing and sales advice often only obtainable by Fortune 1000 companies, along with tax forms and guidelines for operating a global business and business calculators to help decipher costs of insurance, HR, etc. The toolkit is available at www.smetoolkit.org.
IBM joins a growing list of corporate partners including Campbell Soup, Energy Future Holdings, General Electric, The Home Depot, MacAndrews and Forbes, Morgan Stanley, News Corporation, PepsiCo, URS Corporation, and Verizon Communications. In addition, two universities have joined the program: The University of Oklahoma and The University of Texas. Employees from each company or university volunteer to mentor veterans in one-on-one partnerships for one year.
By offering mentoring and networking opportunities with corporate mentors, ACP provides veterans and reservists with the tools needed to build a successful civilian career. Participation is open to qualified veterans and reservists who have served on active duty since 2001. ACP also serves the spouses of those who were severely wounded or died while serving. ACP is currently accepting applications from qualified veterans in its sixteen participating cities. Those interested may apply on-line: www.acp-usa.org.
American Corporate Partners is a nationwide mentoring program dedicated to helping veterans transition from the armed services to private enterprise through career counseling and networking with professionals from leading US companies. ACP features a bi-partisan Advisory Council of retired generals and political figures, including Generals Richard Meyers, Peter Pace, and Jack Keane, former U.S. Senators Bob Dole and Bob Kerry, and former Cabinet-level officials Richard Danzig, George Shultz and Paul Wolfowitz. The program operates in Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Norwalk, CT, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Raleigh/Durham, San Antonio, the San Francisco Bay Area, Tulsa, and Washington, DC.
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