Stories from the front lines: Elevate America veterans


Memorial Day in the United States is a time when we honor
and remember the men and women who have bravely served in the U.S. armed forces.  We thought it would be appropriate to share a
few stories about how some U.S. veterans and their families are making the
transition from military to civilian life. (Pictured Right: Kris Luckinbill, a US
Army veteran now studying for a Network Degree at Bellevue College)

Cheryl
Goodwin
– The spouse of a National Guard reservist who left her job
when her husband was called to active duty. She is building her skills to find
new employment after being out of the workforce.

Gidelina
Pineda
 – A six year veteran of
the Army, who after an honorable discharge, found herself homeless with a small
child to care for. Veterans Inc and their specialized program for female
veterans has changed their lives.

Kevin
Price
– An eight year Army veteran, who, as a single father needed to
build his skills utilizing Microsoft technology to stay competitive in a newly
acquired civilian job andbe well positioned for his future. 

Kirk
Wharwood
After 20 years of service, Kirk needed to supplement his
deep knowledge and skill in data communications management with employer and
industry recognized certification.

Kris
Luckinbill
– A U.S. Army veteran who was deployed to Uzbekistan,
Afghanistan, and Iraq. Currently enrolled at Bellevue college, plans to
complete his Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer certificate and bachelor’s
degree to help enhance the skills he developed during his military service, for
a successful civilian career.

All of these veterans have one thing in common.  They are all participating in the Microsoft
Elevate America veterans initiative

The program was created to provide U.S.
veterans with the skills and resources they need to successfully find civilian
employment.  To support these
efforts we are providing $2 million in cash plus
up to $6 million in software and training curriculum to organizations working
directly with veterans in local communities across the country.

We’ve been
fortunate to partner with the six outstanding
organizations listed below, each representing a unique program and service
model, but all very focused on serving veterans and their spouses across the
country. The resources being made available include career counseling, technology
skills training, job training resources, job placement and additional support
services such as childcare, transportation, and housing. Together, we hope that
we can meet the needs of the thousands of veterans and their spouses

In addition to Elevate America, Microsoft is also focusing on
supporting veterans through our own hiring practices. We’ve created a program, called Military2Microsoft, which assists U.S. veterans and those
serving in the National Guard and Reserve to transition and find job
opportunities within Microsoft. The Military2Microsoft program incorporates a
variety of resources online to help make the job search experience easier for
military talent.

We believe that through initiatives like these,
there is a great opportunity for the public and private sector to come together
and ease the transition process for veterans and to provide more skilled
workers for U.S. employers.

If you would
like to help support veterans and their spouses making their transition from
the military to the civilian workforce, please feel free to contact any of our
partners, listed above, or any of our advisory committee, below, to ask how you
can help. And tell them Microsoft sent you.

Elevate America veterans initiative
advisory committee members:

The American Legion, Iraq
and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)
, Paralyzed Veterans of America, United
Service Organizations (USO)
, and the Wounded
Warrior Project