STORM THE HILL: THE FIGHT AGAINST VETERAN UNEMPLOYMENT
Storm the Hill is IAVA’s premiere advocacy and leadership development program. We bring dozens of diverse Iraq and Afghanistan veterans from across the country to Washington to meet with lawmakers, tell their stories and urge them to pass targeted legislation. In prior years, we’ve focused on passing the New GI Bill, securing Advanced Funding for VA healthcare and improving the disability reform process. This year, like in 2011, we’re focusing on fighting veteran unemployment.
America’s best veteran career-training program, the New GI Bill, is at risk. And we’re fighting to protect it from predatory for-profit schools so our vets get the career-ready education they’ve earned. At Storm the Hill 2012, we’re calling for Congress to protect the New GI Bill that makes career-ready education possible for thousands of new vets across the country.
Storm the Hill is also a training resource designed to empower Member Veterans to become leaders, organizers and spokespeople for the New Greatest Generation.
IAVA is fighting veteran joblessness through our innovative year-long Combat to Career campaign to help the over 2.2 million veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan successfully transition into the civilian workforce. Veteran unemployment was nearly 30% in some states in 2010 - click here to see where your state stacks up in our infographic. Then click the icons below to learn more about our efforts working with the public and private sectors to lower the new veteran unemployment rate by Veterans Day 2011.
On November 21, 2011, IAVA Member Veterans Maria Canales, Eric Smith, Brian Sullivan and IAVA Founder and Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff will join President Obama on stage at the White House as he signs The VOW to Hire Heroes Act into law. For nearly two years, IAVA has pushed Congress for legislation to stem the rising tide of veteran unemployment. Thanks to the bipartisan leadership of Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) and Chairman Jeff Miller (R FL-1), and the tireless efforts of IAVA staff, members and supporters from around the country, veterans will soon be better prepared for the civilian workforce.
Included in the VOW to Hire Heroes Act are provisions that will:
IAVA is coordinating with state and local governments to connect Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with employment resources and opportunities in their communities like San Fransisco's innovative 311 Veterans Portal. IAVA has also testified before the New York City Council on what is needed to build a better support system for new veterans, including providing liaisons within city departments to address the unique needs of veterans, particularly those of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
IAVA is also working with corporate and nonprofit partners to develop programs like CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) who is working with IAVA to launch a new mentorship program for veterans who are interested in the commercial real estate industry. IAVA and the US Chamber of Commerce recently partnered for the first of five annual smart job fairs nationwide, directly fighting veteran unemployment by providing opportunities for veteran members to meet with vet-friendly businesses. To learn more about IAVA's work with other non-profits and employers, check out our Employers page.
To solve this national crisis IAVA calls on corporate leaders to:
Together, we can show the 2.2 million veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and their families that we’ve got their back – and make this new generation of veterans the Next Greatest Generation.
IAVA encourages every American to open new doors for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans by donating, pledging their support online at Stormthehill.org and sharing Combat to Career campaign information in their local communities. To celebrate July 4th, one patriotic community in Maryland decided to donate the proceeds from their lemonade stand to IAVA as their way of showing support to the men and women who keep our country free. Thank you Indian Springs for having vets backs!