As a Marine combat engineer with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, John Gibson’s job was to identify improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and mines, place and clear obstacles, lay out concertina wire and build bunkers. This essential, physical and tactile combat…
IVMF’s Maureen Casey Testifies before U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Veteran Affairs
On July 10, Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) Chief Operating Officer Maureen Casey testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Veteran Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity in Washington, D.C. The testimony marks the second time in less than a month that IVMF was tapped to speak on veterans affairs in the nation’s capital.
Casey spoke to the specific needs and challenges of female veterans as they transition out of military service during a hearing on “Economic Well-being of Women Veterans.” Her remarks included perspective on the financial stability of female veterans, their opportunities and challenges around employment and entrepreneurship, the rapid growth of the veteran subpopulation and the various social and economic services that influence female veterans’ transition and well-being to include economic stability.
Casey also emphasized, based on IVMF experience and research, the importance of public and private sector collaboration in key areas of innovative employment programming and care coordination as it relates to the economic well-being of women veterans.
“‘Getting their transition right’ is core to ensuring long-term employability and financial independence,” said Casey. “A negative transition experience is likely to position a woman veteran—and by extension, her family—on a trajectory of compromised financial stability, from which our experience suggests, it is often exceedingly difficult to recover. While, as a community, we have made significant progress to better understand and address the needs of women veterans, more remains to be done.”
Today, IVMF offers programming to support all veterans, service members and their families whether they pursue entrepreneurship, secure in-demand career certifications or navigate support in their communities following service. Despite women accounting for just 17 percent of the post-9/11 veteran population, they seek assistance from IVMF’s AmericaServes network of care coordination at rates higher than their representation indicates. To date nearly 10,000 women veterans and female military spouses have enrolled in IVMF’s Onward to Opportunity career preparation and employment training and IVMF also offers two no-cost entrepreneurship programs exclusively for women: Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) and Ignite. To date, V-WISE has graduated over 3,000 women, over 65 percent of whom have started their own business with more than 90 percent of said business owners still in operation today.
Wednesday’s hearing also included testimony from Lauren Augustine, vice president of government affairs for Student Veterans of America; Jas Boothe, founder of Final Salute Inc.; Christine Schwartz, chief executive officer of Service to School and Jodie Grenier, chief executive officer of Foundation for Women Warriors.