November 9, 2012

Alcoa Foundation Focuses on Job Readiness for Veterans

On Veterans Day, Alcoa Foundation continues its strong commitment to veterans, supporting their transition into the civilian workforce, as well as working with partners to provide assistance for their families.  The main focus this year is on workforce readiness.  Alcoa provided $300,000 to organizations across the U.S. for programs focusing on career coaching and mentoring. 
In 2012, the reported jobless rate for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans hit 12.1 percent, leaving about 234,000 combat veterans struggling to find gainful employment.  Addressing the issue of workforce development through job readiness programs and initiatives will provide an educated, trained and committed employment field.  Veterans already offer the technical, leadership and critical thinking skills that Advanced Manufacturing demands.  They not only need jobs, they need the tools to be successful and actual opportunities for employment.  
Alcoa joined a list of blue-chip companies to train U.S. veterans for advanced manufacturing jobs.  The 'Get Skills to Work' coalition is managed by The Manufacturing Institute and supported through financial and in-kind commitments from GE, Alcoa, Boeing and Lockheed Martin.  The coalition will train 100,000 veterans in advanced manufacturing by 2015.  
In addition, Alcoa Foundation continued its partnership with American Corporate Partners (ACP), a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping veterans transition from the armed services to the civilian workforce.  Alcoa employees mentor 100 ACP veterans in 17 different states.
A number of organizations that provide veterans and their families with a variety of services such as room and board for hospital stays, meals and shelter, and counseling for surviving family members have received support from the Foundation and Alcoa volunteers.  
Cuyahoga Community College Foundation, Cleveland, OH
250 veterans will access services from the Veterans' Coordinator including benefit guidance (VA, GI Bill, Tri-C Scholarships, and other benefits), and be connected with resources from community partners. In addition, 85 veterans will develop Individual Education/Career Plans in manufacturing fields based on intake assessments, academic and career goals, objectives and activities required to meet those goals with the Veterans' Coordinator.  With Alcoa Foundation funding, veterans at Cuyahoga Community College will receive intensive job readiness support and counseling.

Fisher House Foundation, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA
The Fisher House at VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System provides lodging for families of service members and veterans receiving treatment at the VA Medical Center.  VA Pittsburgh also specializes in care for female veterans, a traditionally under-served population.  Alcoa volunteers will help renovate a home to provide lodging for 10 families.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Inc, New York, NY
Alcoa Foundation supports IAVA online jobs tool, through which IAVA expects its members to achieve critical employment skills.  The tool helps veterans overcome a key barrier for transitioning into the civilian workforce - understanding how the veteran's military skills translate into civilian terms.  Additionally, the career mapping resource helps veterans understand different career paths and how to attain certain jobs.  In the program's first year, IAVA plans to deliver employment results by reaching at least 12,000 veterans nationwide. 
NAC Chamber Educational Foundation, Pittsburgh, PA
Alcoa Foundation supports the Women in Business University, the Veterans Seminar, "Transition Forward" and the internship program that are strategically developed to transition candidates and prospective employers to the organization’s Job Fair, where employment will be addressed and employers will source talent. 
Paralyzed Veterans of America, Washington, D.C.
Paralyzed Veterans' "Operation PAVE" addresses this issue and works with all unemployed veterans, including disabled veterans, through a unique intervention model that includes intensive vocational rehabilitation services that are integrated with benefits counseling, healthcare advocacy, and physical rehabilitation.  With Alcoa Foundation support, 450 veterans will be placed into meaningful vocational pursuits with a plan to achieve economic self-sufficiency and an improved quality of life. 
The Regional Opportunity Center d.b.a Vibrant Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Vibrant Pittsburgh was formed at the behest of corporate, civic and political leaders to coordinate efforts to address major challenges in the region that are affecting our economic growth. With the participation and support of the region's employers, including Alcoa, Vibrant Pittsburgh will provide key solutions, discounts and tactical approaches that are designed to address the needs of employers and the economic aspirations of the region.
Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA
The organization’s Operation Back Home program will address the community's responsibility to assist recently transitioning, financially struggling, and "at-risk" veterans and their families obtain stabilized, affordable housing, employment opportunities, and essential supportive services.  With Alcoa Foundation support, Operation Back Home Program will expand its services to more veterans and connect veterans to programs.
About Alcoa Foundation
Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately US$446 million. Founded more than 50 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than US$550 million since 1952. In 2011, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than US$20 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, building innovative partnerships, engaging its people to improve the environment and educating tomorrow’s leaders. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa’s thousands of employee volunteers who share their energy, passion and purpose to make a difference in the communities where Alcoa operates. Through the company’s signature Month of Service program, in 2011, a record 56 percent of Alcoa employees took part in more than 1,200 events across 24 countries, reaching 81,000 children, serving 9,000 meals, planting 34,000 trees and supporting 1,800 nonprofit organizations. More information can be found at