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IAVA: From the military to the workforce

IAVA supports veterans in the transition from the military into the workforce-- with job training, job fairs, and political action to increase employment opportunities.

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IAVA is a veterans organization for US veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. They provide a host of services to young vets, including employment programs. From the IAVA website:

No veteran should come home from Iraq or Afghanistan to an unemployment check. And to fight shockingly high joblessness rates, IAVA has stepped up in a variety of ways through our Combat to Career initiative.

  • This offers groundbreaking resources to our members, like providing 6,000 free business suits to veterans, helping hundreds of them navigate the job market atSmart Job Fairs and providing critical training to vets through Google Resume Workshops.
  • IAVA is also a force to be reckoned with on Capitol Hill. In 2011, when Washington was in a stalemate, we led the way to pass the Vow to Hire Heroes Act, our top legislative priority. This bill helped over 200,000 unemployed veterans during one of the worst economic situations in decades.

Combat-to-Career initiative:

Tips for readjusting to the workplace:


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A topic I am incredibly passionate about! With one million Gulf War era2 veterans transitioning back to civilian life over the next five years this is a an issue thats needs to be adressed. This demographic represents one of the greatest untapped assets of our country. The young veterans that have served over seas possess unique leadership and communication skills that have been tried and tested under the most austere and hostile conditions. They are mission focused, disciplined and accustomed to life or death team work..... Are these skills not applicable in the private sector?

The issue: For every solider we loose in Iraq or Afghanistan we loose twenty-five to suicide at a rate of 17 per day. The unemployment rate for male veterans 18 to 24 is 29.1% vs. 17.6% to their civillian cohorts.

Orgs. like IAVA are tremendous and are doing incredible things on the advocacy front but what has not been adressed well and in a holistic manner yet are platforms that adress the issue physically. Overnight veterans loose their structure, community, and mission clarity, and are thrust into an unstructured world they have had very little experience with. Helping them transition to the private sector will not only help them but it will save lives, and ad exponential value to the private sector. It is about bridging a cultural gap and cross training veterans to teach them how their skills are applicable in the private sector and educating private side organizations about the true skills acquired in the military.

An org I work with / love that is providing a physical / tangible transition model:

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