From Dan Goldenberg, Executive Director of the Call of Duty Endowment
Goodwill and rhetoric won’t solve the veterans unemployment crisis. That’s the message Air Force veteran Steven Maieli lays out in his hard-hitting opinion piece for the Air Force Times, published last week. Maieli advocates for a detailed, pragmatic discussion on jobs for veterans, one that considers the level, salary and related benefits of jobs, as well as the types of veterans – young, older, injured, homeless – that are eligible.
He has a point. Too often, the case for veterans employment skimps on details. But details matter, particularly when funding veterans employment initiatives is involved.
For that very reason, our philanthropy model at the Call of Duty Endowment demands accountability and quantifies results. We provide grants expecting measurable outcomes, and we get just that. For example, using the data collected from our grant recipients, we have calculated that their average cost in 2012 to place a veteran is $1,510 (which is roughly half the cost of the government’s programs, according to Government Accounting Office studies).
The Call of Duty Endowment uses metrics like these to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of our grant recipients. We then consider additional funding or expanded operations for those who prove most successful. In particular, we advocate “chapterization” for the organizations that deliver the best results in matching veterans with jobs. Chapterization entails an organization using its funds to expand their presence to additional geographic areas where veterans unemployment is high and services are lacking.
Approaches like these put veterans into high quality careers for a reasonable cost. And that’s precisely what we want for our veterans and the businesses that need them.
True, the broader community could be better educated on the veterans unemployment crisis. But veterans need more than public awareness. They need proven and accountable programs for improving their job prospects.