PVA Receives 2015 Seal of Distinction Award
Call of Duty Endowment announced the selection of three veteran serving organizations to receive its prestigious 2015 Seal of Distinction award, the preeminent standard of excellence in the veterans’ employment sector. Winners each receive a $30,000 unrestricted grant and the opportunity to apply for additional funding. In the last year alone, organizations supported by the Endowment placed 7,773 veterans in jobs at an average cost-per-placement of $901—less than one third the cost of federal placement programs. Since 2013, the Endowment and its grantees have placed more than 17,000 veterans into high quality jobs.
“Veterans have tremendous skills and experiences that can help businesses thrive. It’s so important that our vets secure quality jobs, because meaningful employment is the single most important way to transition the vast majority of service members back to civilian life,” said Dan Goldenberg, executive director of the Endowment. “The Seal of Distinction means these three organizations are extraordinarily good at getting veterans into quality jobs—and it’s an accolade that should make other funders take notice.”
Goldenberg added, “We’re very grateful for Deloitte’s efforts in the Seal of Distinction awards. Their work is instrumental to evaluating Seal of Distinction candidates and ensuring winners are top performers.”
The 2015 Seal of Distinction recipients are:
- Operation: Job Ready Veterans provides employment transition programs and services in the Indianapolis, IN area to ensure that veterans have the opportunity to realize their educational, employment and career goals. The team coaches clients through creating a transition plan, preparing for interviews, working with recruiters, networking and onboarding strategies. It also provides up to six months of follow-on employment and supportive services for clients. Operation: Job Ready Veterans reported placing 166 veterans in 2014 at an average cost-per-placement of $476.
- Mt. Carmel Center of Excellence provides “one-stop” transitional services in and around Colorado Springs, CO with a special emphasis on veterans, military personnel, and their families. Through its Peer Navigators Veteran Integration Program, the Mt. Carmel Center of Excellence provides individualized support to transitioning service members in their quest to find civilian employment. This assistance includes helping to define goals and objectives, providing resume and search assistance, honing interview skills and coordinating networking events. It also delivers space, expertise and other resources to veterans and the military community in collaboration with community partners. Mt. Carmel Center of Excellence reported placing 151 veterans in 2014 at an average cost per placement of $1,721.
- Paralyzed Veterans of America is a Washington, DC based organization that aims to create an America where all veterans and people with disabilities, and their families, have everything they need to live full and rewarding lives, including employment. Through Operation PAVE, a vocational rehabilitation program, Paralyzed Veterans of America provides one-on-one career counseling and assistance to veterans and their families. All services, from resume assistance, interview preparation, vocational counseling to employer networking are provided at no charge—and are available to dependents as well. Paralyzed Veterans of America’s Operation PAVE reported placing 312 veterans in 2014 at an average cost per placement of $1,398.
Applicants for the Seal of Distinction had to meet rigorous criteria to be considered, including opening their books to provide extensive documentation about their job placement results. The metrics assessed included number of placements made, average cost per placement, average starting salary, six-month retention rate, key employee background checks and a variety of organizational financial health indicators. All qualified applications were initially reviewed and evaluated by the Endowment’s outside Board of Advisors. Semi-finalists were then independently assessed on a pro bono basis by Deloitte and ultimately approved by the Endowment’s Board of Directors.
“Deloitte is honored to partner for a third year with the Call of Duty Endowment to help identify top of the line organizations in the veterans non-profit sector worthy of the Seal of Distinction,” said Mark Goulart, principal, Deloitte & Touche LLP, and lead client service partner for Veterans Affairs. “Once again, our rigorous vetting process—with an emphasis on metrics, transparency and high standards—has identified best-in-class organizations that are fully deserving of the Endowment’s support.”
Operation: Job Ready Veterans, the Mt. Carmel Center of Excellence and Paralyzed Veterans of America join an elite list of non-profit organizations that are winners of the Seal of Distinction and making a major difference in the lives of our nation’s veterans:
- Able-Disabled Advocacy
- American Red Cross
- Career Source Palm Beach County
- Easter Seals of DC, MD and VA’s Veteran Staffing Network
- Hire Heroes USA
- Hiring Our Heroes
- National Able Network
- Project Renewal
- Salvation Army Haven
- Still Serving Veterans
- USC School of Social Work’s Center for Innovation and Research for Veterans and Military Families
- US Vets
- Veterans Inc.
- Veterans Leadership Program
- Weingart Center for the Homeless
The Call of Duty Endowment launched the Seal of Distinction in August 2013 and awarded $5.1 million in grants this year, including additional funding to eight previous Seal of Distinction winners.
About the Call of Duty Endowment:
The Call of Duty Endowment is a non-profit, public benefit corporation co-founded by Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. The Endowment helps veterans find high quality careers by supporting groups that prepare them for the job market and by raising awareness of the value vets bring to the workplace. For more information about the Call of Duty Endowment, please visit www.callofdutyendowment.org.