APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
The Pat Tillman Foundation seeks to be a part of the solution to these and other interconnected issues including unemployment, homelessness, and suicide. To help veterans overcome the obstacles they face while transitioning out of the military, the Tillman Foundation seeks to serve as an amplifying agent to 60 veterans a year by selecting them as Tillman Military Scholars. The Foundation recognizes the specific obstacles associated with pursuing education as one step towards employment, and seeks to eliminate any financial barriers to obtaining an education, thus enabling veterans to experience debt-free success in a degree program of their choice en route to a new career.
Beyond financial support, the Foundation provides a community of resources focused on empowering Scholars as leaders in their educational and career fields, and in their communities through service. These resources are accessed through quarterly regional gatherings and a virtual community. Over the next year, the Foundation will focus a large percentage of these resources on job placement.
Specifically for Scholars nearing graduation, the Foundation will provide individual attention on articulating experience and career vision (both in résumés and for interviews) and skill development. In addition, the Foundation will work to build a job network amongst current and alumni Scholars and the corporations and organizations it partners with to specifically connect Scholars with appropriate job opportunities and interviews.
IMPLEMENTATION, TIMELINE, AND DELIVERABLES
Broadly, the Foundation will incorporate career-focused workshops (i.e. résumé translation, networking, interviewing, etc.) at every in-person gathering of Tillman Military Scholars, including the Pat Tillman Legacy Summit and regional Tillman Community gatherings, and will follow those workshops up with virtual resources through its online Tillman Community. In addition, the Foundation will continue to serve as an informal conduit for Tillman Military Scholars to job opportunities and will explicitly require Scholars to post job opportunities on the online Tillman Community to expand those efforts.
The Pat Tillman Foundation will also professionalize its network and more formally connect Scholars with internships and job interviews by committing to the following in 2012:
- Developing 10 opportunities with corporate partners to provide internships to Scholars.
- Listing 250 job openings specifically for veterans on the online Tillman Community.
- Work with Falling Up Media and Wisdom InfoTech to explore the creation of a funnel of job openings from corporations searching to hire veterans to match directly with the skills and interest of its Scholars.
- Guarantee employment within the first three months after graduation for all Scholars.<br /><br />
Transitioning out of the military into civilian life is difficult for a large percentage of veterans (44% according to veterans polled in the 10/5/11 Pew Research Center report). Finding a job can be even more difficult.
The pursuit of education is one of the most transformational steps in finding employment, allowing for the transition into an entirely different career field or the bolstering of one's knowledge and skills in his or her current career field. However, several barriers are at play: 1. Costs associated with a degree/certificate program (especially paying for an education above and beyond government support); 2. Translating military experience into civilian work terms after completion of a degree; 3. Building a network through which to search for jobs.