Capital One Bank and Capital One Foundation today announced a $425,000 partnership with Easter Seals Serving DC | MD | VA—an organization providing support services for individuals with disabilities and special needs—to help veterans, wounded warriors and their spouses to transition to civilian life and navigate meaningful career paths. The partnership is part of a national workforce development initiative by Capital One, focused on helping to match job seekers—including returning veterans—with higher quality jobs and to train and retrain workers to compete for jobs based on local community demand. This announcement was made in tandem with the recent Capital One Bank, Easter Seals and Corporate Immersion-sponsored “How Hiring Our Nation’s Veterans Can Impact Your Bottom Line” Flag Day workshop on Friday, June 14, where approximately 35-40 small businesses from the Washington metropolitan area gathered to address best practices in veterans’ employment and gain essential insight to help reduce staff costs, recruit a highly effective workforce and retain talent. “The future economic competitiveness and long-term success of a community is directly tied to the quality and skills of its workforce,” said Tony Pica, senior vice president and Mid-Atlantic Business Banking Group executive market president, Northern Virginia at Capital One Bank. “As we think about developing our workforce, we must support our veterans who are returning home and looking to transition their unique skills into gainful civilian employment. We’re proud to support our veterans during their transition by helping them not only prepare for new job opportunities but also secure those jobs and keep them.” Capital One’s commitment to Easter Seals will specifically support the organization’s new Veteran Staffing Network (VSN), a nonprofit staffing agency exclusively for veterans and their families. The VSN will provide comprehensive, wrap-around support services to both the veterans transitioning to civilian life and the businesses seeking to hire military servicemen and women. These wrap-around services provide access to programs designed to meet additional needs that may impact access and retention of employment, including:
- Operation Employ Vets employer training program, an internet-based interactive program designed to outline the benefits veterans bring to an organization. Easter Seals has worked with leading employers and community stakeholders to develop this program, as well as local departments of commerce, labor and veterans affairs.
- Little Warriors Early Education and Child Care program, which is designed to meet the unique needs of the wounded warrior, their children and spouses, while taking into consideration whether a family has recently had to relocate and addressing urgent needs for family stability.
- Veteran Caregiver Training, a comprehensive, multi-modal (classroom, web-based, and DVD/workbook) training for caregivers of veterans addressing a wide range of critical caregiving topics, such as self-care, obtaining benefits and support, behavior management, pain management, nutrition and wellness, and more.
- In addition, VSN hosts quarterly workshops, such as the “How Hiring Our Nation’s Veterans Can Impact Your Bottom Line,” for employers designed to educate business owners and HR professionals that may have concerns regarding hiring veterans and to dispel common misconceptions.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time since September 2001 was approximately 9.9 percent in 2012, nearly two percentage points higher than the national average for the general population. For select groups, such as veterans of ages 18 to 24 years old (20.4%), the average unemployment rate was markedly higher. A recent Career Builder survey showed that 65 percent of companies said that they would be willing to hire a veteran over another equally qualified candidate, and 29 percent of companies said that they are actively recruiting veterans. The Veteran Staffing Network aims to close the gap between job-ready veterans and businesses looking to hire veterans. The VSN also stays connected with veterans and their families to ensure job success and retention by pairing them with mentors and staying engaged with their employers.The Veteran Staffing Network builds on Capital One’s three-year, $4.5 million commitment to support the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative, a program that provides job fairs and workforce training initiatives across the United States for veterans and military spouses. In March 2012, Capital One, the U.S. Chamber and National Chamber Foundation announced “Hiring 500,000 Heroes,” a national campaign to engage the business community in committing to hire 500,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2014. In addition, Capital One last year announced a three-year $800,000 investment in Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence to help women veteran small business owners grow their businesses. About Veteran Staffing Network The Veteran Staffing Network (VSN) of Easter Seals Serving DC | MD | VA is a self-sustaining social enterprise model that serves the entire military community. VSN provides clients top-tier talent while simultaneously reducing veteran unemployment and is redefining veterans employment and temp-to-perm placement services. For additional information visit www.vsnusa.org. About Easter Seals Serving DC | MD | VA Easter Seals is the region’s leading provider of intensive inter-generational human services that address the holistic and evolving needs of individuals and families to maximize their independence, inclusion and contributions to society. For nearly 100 years, Easter Seals has been answering the call of our nation’s most vulnerable populations, enabling them to achieve their potential. Through therapy, training, education and support services, Easter Seals creates life-changing solutions so that people with disabilities and military families have equal opportunities to live, learn, work and play in their communities. For additional information visit www.eseal.org. About Capital One Foundation Capital One Foundation provides funding to support programs for safe and affordable housing, financial literacy, workforce and economic development, school improvement, and early childhood education. With a focus on programming and non-profit development that drives education-centered community revitalization, and using a test-and-learn approach, the Foundation identifies best practices and proven successful metrics and models that can be translated across geographic scope and then shared with the broader community. The Foundation’s grant-making serves national and local organizations that inform or implement best practices in the Foundation’s focus areas or operate programs in the designated geographic focus areas which include various parts of Virginia, Louisiana, Texas, New York and New Jersey.
About Capital OneCapital One Financial Corporation, headquartered in McLean, Virginia, is a Fortune 500 company with more than 900 branch locations primarily in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Its subsidiaries, Capital One, N.A. and Capital One Bank (USA), N.A. offer a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients. We apply the same principles of innovation, collaboration and empowerment in our commitment to our communities across the country that we do in our business. We recognize that helping to build strong and healthy communities - good places to work, good places to do business and good places to raise families - benefits us all and we are proud to support this and other community initiatives.