Since 9/11, the average unemployment rate among young vets has been 2.6x higher than the national average. These numbers point to a major problem that vets face in trying to find jobs upon returning home from serving our country overseas. It’s great to see the tech sector stepping up its recent efforts to help these honorable veterans find job placement through the White House initiative Joining Forces.
Working with both the private and public sectors, Joining Forces help align veterans and their families with the support they need to succeed after service. Beyond being the patriotic thing to do, hiring vets is good for business. Studies have found that hiring vets leads to higher productivity and lower job turnover.
Since it’s inception in 2011, the Joining Forces initiative has been responsible for the hiring of 1.2 million vets and their spouses. This year more than 40 companies signed on to the initiative and pledged to hire more than 110,000 additional vets and spouses in the next five years, which is a great goal. Notable among these companies is several tech companies, representing a growing sector that stands to benefit from hiring vets.
Among those companies is Activision Blizzard, one of the world’s largest video gaming makers. In addition to being a part of the Joining Forces initiative, Activision has doubled their efforts to help vets by also leading their own philanthropy, the Call of Duty endowment. To date they have helped more than 22,000 vets find employment by giving grants to nonprofit organizations that have proven success in placing vets in jobs.
In addition to providing grants to nonprofits, the Activision endowment also raises money and awareness for veteran employment through an annual video game marathon featuring the latest Call of Duty video game. They also partner with other video game companies like Sony and XBox to help place veterans.
Activision Blizzard’s multifaceted philanthropic approach is a great model for helping get vets back into the workplace, and one I hope to see implemented by more tech companies in the future. It’s not only our patriotic duty, but also in our economic best interest to equip the brave men and women who have served our country with the resources they need to thrive in tech jobs.