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SOURCE The Call of Duty Endowment
New veterans' unemployment numbers underscore need to help veterans find jobs
WASHINGTON, March 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Call of Duty™ Endowment today announced $1,110,000 in grants to launch its new 'chapterization' model, a funding strategy whereby grants will be provided to organizations that have the ability to scale their operations by opening new, regional offices-or chapters-that offer employment services to veterans.
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The Call of Duty Endowment's announcement comes on the heels of new veterans' unemployment numbers released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which found that the unemployment rate for the youngest veterans (aged 18-24) remained over 5 percent higher than for their nonveteran counterparts (20.4 percent and 15 percent, respectively). While the annual report demonstrates a positive trend nationally for the overall veteran unemployment rate, there is much work to be done, especially for our nation's youngest veterans.
"Since its inception, The Call of Duty Endowment has been focused on providing grants to organizations that have proven to be the most effective and efficient in finding jobs for veterans," said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard and founder and co-chairman of the Call of Duty Endowment. "Our new chapterization strategy allows us to continue to have an impact on this important national issue by applying sound business principles to the veteran employment effort – and can be a model for the non-profit world. We want to support organizations that have proven business models and that are able to apply those best practices in targeted markets where the most veterans have the most need. By providing the funds to open new chapters in these targeted areas, we believe that goal will be accomplished."
The Call of Duty Endowment will be making five initial grants in support of its chapterization strategy. These grants will be provided to: Atlanta, Georgia-based Hire Heroes USA; Denver, Colorado-based Veterans Green Jobs; Lanham, Maryland-based AMVETS; Huntsville, Alabama-based Still Serving Veterans; and the Washington, D.C.-based National Chamber Foundation.
Hire Heroes USA and Veterans Green Jobs will be opening new regional offices in California (San Diego and Los Angeles, respectively). With more than two million veterans and an unemployment rate that exceeds 37 percent for veterans in the 20-24 year-old age group, both organizations recognized California's critical need for its services, and the Endowment in turn saw an opportunity to facilitate the organizations' entry into the region through chapterization.
Still Serving Veterans plans to expand operations to locations with high veteran populations throughout Alabama, including Mobile, Montgomery, and Birmingham. AMVETS, one of the largest congressionally-chartered veterans' service organizations in the United States, will use their grant to open 20 new career centers around the country. The grant to the National Chamber Foundation will help underwrite hiring fairs through their nationwide Hiring Our Heroes program.
"We are thrilled the Call of Duty Endowment has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to our organization by choosing us as a grant recipient under its new chapterization strategy," stated Brian Stann, President and CEO of Hire Heroes USA. "Our team is comprised of both military and business veterans with a passion for decreasing the unemployment rate of the men and women who served this country, and we look forward to the opportunity to make a difference through the new California chapter of Hire Heroes USA."
Also today, the Call of Duty Endowment appointed Dan Goldenberg as its first full-time Executive Director. Goldenberg, who currently serves as a commander in the Navy Reserve, brings to the job 21 years of active and reserve military service and more than a decade of business experience – most recently serving as Sr. Vice President of Growth Partnership Services at Frost & Sullivan, a global research and management consulting firm. Highlights of his military service include tours as a commanding officer, carrier-based naval flight officer, and special assistant to the Secretary of the Navy. Goldenberg is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and Harvard Business School. His strong personal connection to veterans and understanding first-hand the impact they can have in the civilian workforce will drive CODE's efforts to place veterans into high quality jobs.
The Call of Duty Endowment was conceived by Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard and co-chairman of the Call of Duty Endowment, in November of 2009 in an effort to raise awareness for veterans' unemployment. Since its inception, the Endowment has provided nearly $2 million in grants and scholarships to veterans' organizations and colleges throughout the United States to help servicemen and women transition to civilian careers after active duty service. These gifts have helped place more than 1,000 veterans in jobs, provided job-training services to more than 2,500 veterans, and funded more than 30 veterans' college scholarships. On Veterans Day 2011, Activision Publishing committed an additional $3 million donation to the Call of Duty Endowment for its veterans' employment campaign.
About the Call of Duty Endowment:
The Call of Duty Endowment (CODE) is a non-profit, public benefit corporation conceived by Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. CODE seeks to help organizations that provide job placement and training services for veterans. For more information about the Call of Duty Endowment, please visit www.callofdutyendowment.org.
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