From mentoring to recruiting, Alcoa and Alcoa Foundation are helping members of the U.S. military overcome the challenges of transitioning into the civilian workforce and securing a job that utilizes the skills and knowledge gained while serving their country.
Veteran Mentoring Programs
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Through a partnership with American Corporate Partners, retired and current Alcoa employees serve as mentors to veterans to provide advice related to career development, employment, and small business. More than 250 veterans in 17 states have been paired with an Alcoa mentor.
Grant was partnered with Bill O’Rourke, a retired Alcoa vice president and veteran. The two met at least once a month, with O’Rourke helping Grant polish and de-militarize his resume, identify specific military achievements that would translate into the civilian world, and tap into O’Rourke’s extensive professional network.
“Bill’s mentorship gave me confidence that the skills and experience I have are valuable, and he helped me articulate that on my resume and in interviews,” said Grant, who is now a vice president in bank operations at PNC Financial Services Group.
Through financial and in-kind support, Alcoa and Alcoa Foundation are partnering with a number of organizations that help veterans obtain skills and find jobs.
Get Skills to Work Coalition
The coalition, which is managed by the Manufacturing Institute, will train 100,000 veterans in advanced manufacturing by 2015. The institute is also developing a Hire a Veteran initiative that will both connect manufacturers with veterans looking for employment and develop recruitment strategies. Alcoa Foundation funded two videos last year that highlighted manufacturing careers and how veterans are equipped for roles in this sector.
In addition, Alcoa Foundation works with the coalition on the #BuiltByVets social media campaign to showcase manufacturing jobs through the veterans who have long term careers in the industry. Funded by the Foundation, a military playbook will be launched in 2015.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s National Chamber Foundation
Hiring Our Heroes is a nationwide initiative of state and local chambers of commerce to help veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment. The initiative hosts hiring fairs in all 50 states, of which five are sponsored by Alcoa Foundation. Alcoa Foundation also partners with the National Chamber Foundation to develop online tools to complement the fairs.
Founded in late 2011, Hirepurpose is developed by veterans for veterans and they are committed to addressing some of the gaps that exist in the transition from military service to civilian career success. Alcoa has a custom Hirepurpose Interactive Career Guide promoting programs and commitment to military careers. In addition, Alcoa’s Veteran Career Advocates actively identify and recruit qualified veteran candidates for key Alcoa roles at career fairs on military bases for transitioning military talent.
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Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania
Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, this organization’s Operation Back Home Program assists recently transitioning, financially struggling, and at-risk veterans and their families to obtain affordable housing, employment opportunities, and essential support services. Alcoa and its employees provide additional support to veterans and their families through fundraising events benefiting organizations that include Disabled American Veterans and the Wounded Warrior Project.