By Sidney E. Goodfriend
Founder and Chairman, American Corporate Partners
Since 2001, two million men and women have completed tours of service in the U.S. military, and returned to civilian life. An additional million will leave the armed forces over the next five years.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has consistently reported an unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans that is several percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate. Yet even these statistics do not capture the extent of the problem.
Upon leaving the service, many veterans confront the complexities of the civilian world with a sense that they may not be able to compete with their civilian counterparts. This, compounded by the weight of immediate financial need and family obligations, may lead them to take the first job offered, even if it does not make the most of their skills and ambitions. As a result, they run a substantial risk of being underemployed, or in dead-end jobs.
ACP ? A Unique Model
Many government agencies are working hard to help veterans get jobs; so too are nonprofit organizations, and numerous corporations have hiring initiatives for veterans. All of these efforts are commendable. Yet private businesses can go further, by providing training and education, career guidance, networking opportunities and mentoring.
One of these organizations is American Corporate Partners, (ACP), a national nonprofit organization that connects post-9/11 veterans to business professionals for career guidance. More information is available at: www.acp-usa.org
ACP was founded in 2008 to address veterans? career transition needs through two free programs. The first is a nationwide veteran mentoring program, and the second, an online network called, ACP AdvisorNet, which offers career, employment and small business advice through a Q&A platform.
ACP?s online mentoring program, ACP AdvisorNet, www.acp-advisornet.org is an online ?quick question community? connecting returning veterans to the private sector workforce. By joining ACP AdvisorNet, Americans can volunteer their time ? from their homes, laptops or mobile devices ? to share career advice with transitioning veterans even for just a few minutes a week.
ACP AdvisorNet offers a way for Americans nationwide to assist transitioning veterans as they enter the private sector by answering their career-related questions, providing advice, reviewing resumes, and providing interview tips and networking ideas.
To reach out to veterans, as well as employers and business leaders who can serve as mentors, ACP teamed up with former President Bill Clinton to create a TV PSA. In his message, he encourages Americans to ?serve those who have served us.? To view the PSA, go to http://www.goodwillcommunications.com/PsaCampaigns.aspx?clid=73.
?ACP AdvisorNet offers veterans connections to thousands of private sector Advisors so that they may learn about career options, get advice on resumes, interview techniques and build networks,? stated General David Petraeus (Ret.), a senior advisor to American Corporate Partners.
ACP has a diverse and distinguished Advisory Council, which includes David Petraeus, David Axelrod, Karl Rove, Jon Stewart, Paul Wolfowitz, and Larry Summers, among others. For more information on ACP?s programs, contact Colleen Deere at [email protected].