Eric Watson ’91 wasn’t envisioning himself as a U.S. Marine Corps aviator when he first came to Syracuse University. The Washington D.C., native originally intended on studying computer science, but as is the case with many college students, Watson realized…
Paralyzed Veterans of America Awards IVMF with Distinguished MISSION: ABLE Award
The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) was recognized among fellow veteran service organizations, service members, veterans, friends and supporters of Paralyzed Veterans of America for its work supporting veteran employment at an event in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 19.
With four award categories, including Employment, Achievement, Sustainability, and Humanitarianism, the MISSION:ABLE awards celebrate those who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and fought for expanded rights for the 22 million veterans, 56.7 million people with disabilities and 800,000 Americans living with spinal cord injury or disease. The IVMF was awarded the ABLE award for Employment for outstanding efforts to train and employ veterans as they transition out of military life and for its groundbreaking programs focused on small business and entrepreneurship.
This national award is given annually to champions dedicated to creating an America where the nation’s disabled heroes are able to fully live the lives they deserve and access what they need most: health care, benefits and jobs. Past honorees include Microsoft, GE, Deloitte, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and the Commonwealth of Virginia, and Penske Corp.
Accepting the award for the IVMF was Dan D’Aniello, a Syracuse University alumnus, life Trustee, and co-chairman of the IVMF Advisory Board. D’Aniello is chairman and co-founder of the Carlyle Group.
Also attending was Mike Haynie, Syracuse University Vice Chancellor and IVMF executive director, who commented, “The IVMF is proud to accept this distinguished award on behalf of the over 73,000 veterans and family members we have served through our training and programming. I cannot underscore enough the value and impact veterans and military-connected families bring to our American employment landscape. We all benefit when veterans are trained, mentored and provided opportunities to approach their next mission into civilian life creating meaningful employment for themselves and their families.”
For nearly a decade, Syracuse University has provided no-cost training in career preparation, entrepreneurship and industry certification with a direct connection to over 450 national veteran-friendly employers. Impacting over 73,000 veterans and military families to date, the IVMF’s end-to-end suite of programs empowers those who have worn the uniform to embark on a new journey as they transition from military to civilian life.
Lee Moreland, a U.S. Army veteran, is a successful graduate of one of those signature programs, Onward to Opportunity-Veterans Career Transition Program (O2O-VCTP). As he began looking toward his next mission after serving, Moreland began training in O2O-VCTP’s IT track, earning a Cisco certification, taking advantage of the skills he’d mastered while serving. “Before I even left the service, Onward to Opportunity provided me the employment training to obtain a certificate quicker than the college admittance process with an immediate improvement to my resume, and then direct connections to employers who were hiring. And in the IT world, where you must have expertise in specific domains, those technical certifications matter.” Moreland is now managing the Starbucks technology program in China.