JBSA to Celebrate Latest Cohort of O2O Graduates

This morning, Joint Base San Antonio to recognize 27 service members and military spouses who have completed the Onward to Opportunity career skills training program

JBSA Fort Sam Houston, Texas (7/28/16)Later this morning at Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA), the Schultz Family Foundation (SFF) and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University will recognize 27 service members and military spouses who have completed the Onward to Opportunity (O2O) career skills training program.

WHEN:   Thursday, July 28, 2016

TIME:   9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.   (CST)                   

WHERE:   Fort Sam Houston Family Readiness Center, 3060 Stanley Rd, JBSA Fort Sam Houston, TX

As graduates of the O2O program, 20 transitioning service members and 7 military spouses from JBSA have completed a combination of classroom and online training in the areas of customer service excellence and information technology and, as a result, have earned industry-recognized credentials and certifications associated with their field of study.

“I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to take this course. I know that everything I’ve learned will help me along my future career path,” says Sheryl Ksenich, U.S. Army.

Launched at JBSA earlier this year in April, O2O is a multi-phased process designed to help participants select the best training pathway, provide tailored training, and prepare our nation’s service members and their families for the process of successfully securing employment with one of our nation’s top military-friendly employers.

“Today we are happy to be here to honor the first two graduating classes from our partnership with Onward to Opportunity and JBSA,” says Serafina De Los Santos, Executive Director 502nd Force Support Group at JBSA. “To date, a combined total of 56 transitioning service members and/or family members have taken advantage of this great program to transition with excellence.”

“I am quite proud that JBSA was selected as a site for this initiative as it enhances the Transition Assistance Program and helps provide a warm handoff for transitioning service members and their families,” says COL David L. Raugh, Commander, 502d Force Support Group.

According to Anthony Cosby, O2O Program Manager at JBSA, there is a passion on Joint Base San Antonio to help transitioning service members and their families to identify the ideal career path, assist in their career transition and achieve their career goals.

“The Onward to Opportunity program has the potential to fundamentally shift how the private sector engages and supports our servicemembers and their families as they navigate the transition to civilian employment,” says Dr. J. Michael Haynie, Executive Director and Founder of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), and Vice Chancellor at Syracuse University. “O2O’s ‘pipeline’ approach to workforce skills training, offered at Joint Base San Antonio, allows transitioning service members to receive training aligned with present and future demand in the labor market, supporting a ‘job-ready’ transition from military service to the civilian world of work.”

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

Wayne Westervelt, Director of Communications, IVMF
Phone: (315) 443-5690 or Mobile: (315) 558-9483, Email: wwesterv@syr.edu

Anthony Cosby
, Onward to Opportunity/ JBSA Program Manager
(210) 844-8154, Email: atcosby@syr.edu

About the Schultz Family Foundation
Announced in 2015 in conjunction with U.S. Secretary of Defense, the Honorable Ashton Carter, Onward to Opportunity is the latest initiative of the foundation co-founded by Starbucks chairman and chief executive officer Howard Schultz and his wife Sheri Schultz. The Schultz Family Foundation, established in 1996 by Howard and Sheri Schultz, creates pathways of opportunity for populations facing barriers to success. The Foundation invests in innovative solutions and partnerships that unlock people’s potential, and strengthen our businesses, our communities, and our nation. In March 2014, the Schultz Family Foundation launched Onward Veterans, a national initiative that empowers post-9/11 and their families to successfully transition to civilian life. For more information about the Foundation and its work: schultzfamilyfoundation.org

About Onward to Opportunity (O2O)
Onward to Opportunity (O2O) is a no-cost career skills program (no use of GI Bill Benefits) offering in-demand, industry-validated training and credentials to transitioning servicemembers and all active-duty spouses. Offered on U.S. military installations across the country, O2O provides in-person and online training to the next generation of leaders of America’s economy. O2O partners with leading veteran service organizations and private sector companies to identify employers committed to training and hiring veterans and military spouses. These employer partners are engaged throughout each phase of O2O delivery by assisting in curriculum design, interacting with participants as they progress through the program and identifying specific career paths and interview opportunities within their company that align with the skillsets of our graduates. O2O brings together the longstanding curriculum development and program delivery expertise of the IVMF; the breadth of knowledge, reach, and specialty in business and state engagement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative; the honed personal touch of service member coaching and mentoring of Hire Heroes USA; and the philanthropic resources of the Schultz Family Foundation.

About the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF)
The IVMF is the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher education focused on the social, economic, education and policy issues impacting veterans and their families post-service. Supported by a world-class advisory board and public and private partners committed to advancing the post-service lives of America’s service members, veterans and their families, the IVMF delivers class-leading programs in career, vocations, and entrepreneurship education and training. The IVMF also provides actionable and national impacting research, policy analysis and program evaluation; coordinates comprehensive collective impact strategies; and works with communities and non-profits to enhance service delivery for veterans and their families. Read more at http://vets.syr.edu/.

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