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Walmart Foundation Announces Two Additional Grants Totaling $350,000 in Support of Its Welcome Home North Carolina Initiative

May 20, 2015

Walmart Foundation Announces Two Additional Grants Totaling $350,000 in Support of Its Welcome Home North Carolina Initiative

Grants reinforce IVMF’s and Walmart’s ongoing commitment to coordinate existing veteran supportive services capacity across North Carolina

NCServesThe Walmart Foundation has awarded Charlotte Bridge Home a $150,000 grant and Charlotte Works a $200,000 grant to amplify each organization’s existing efforts to holistically serve veterans through enhanced collaboration with veteran service organizations in and around the Charlotte/Mecklenburg community. The grants are made in conjunction with the Walmart Foundation’s $1 million grant to the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University for strategy development of the nation’s first statewide veteran supportive services coordinated network, NCServes, which was announced last February.

Since August 2014, IVMF has been hosting recurring strategy sessions with veteran services leaders in the Charlotte/Mecklenburg region to create an implementation plan tailored to the community, with Unite US as the underpinning technology provider. The NCServes coordinated network is set to begin a 24-month pilot on August 1st, 2015 before expanding into three additional regions across North Carolina. Shortly after the NCServes launches in the Charlotte/Mecklenburg region, strategy development will begin in the next identified market, the Raleigh-Durham area.

“By building upon Charlotte Bridge Home’s existing strength in the Charlotte/Mecklenburg community, along with the generous support of the Walmart Foundation, NCServes has the opportunity to demonstrate to the nation the first statewide coordinated veteran supportive services network,” said Mike Haynie, IVMF’s Executive Director and Vice Chancellor for Veteran and Military Affairs at Syracuse University.  “Without a doubt, the findings and best practices identified in North Carolina will inform our work as we expand into other communities around the country.”

Charlotte Works is the workforce development board for Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Specifically, the grant provided by the Walmart Foundation will support its launch of the NCWorks Certified Veterans Initiative, aimed at placing as many veterans as possible into employment by focusing on two groups: veterans, to ensure they’re work-ready, and employers, to get them educated about and committed to hiring work-ready veterans. Charlotte Works will assess and certify veterans as work-ready through a process that could include career-coaching, additional education, on-the-job training, receiving a National Career Ready Certificate (NCRC), completing soft-skills training and attending workshops at one of three career centers in Charlotte.

In addition to preparing veterans for employment, the initiative will concentrate on educating and committing local employers to hiring veterans. A dedicated business services representative will engage with businesses to inform hiring managers about the skills and needs of veterans and make strong personal connections to allow direct referrals of NCWorks Certified Veterans to open positions. “Charlotte Works will promise that every NCWorks Certified Veteran will meet or exceed an employer’s expectations and if not, we’ll provide the resources necessary to ensure that veteran succeeds,” said Steve Partridge, president and CEO of Charlotte Works.

Through the research-based Welcome Home North Carolina Initiative, the Walmart Foundation is investing in a platform for recently discharged veterans to more easily connect to jobs, services and educational opportunities across North Carolina. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have a long history of supporting our nation’s military service members.  Walmart has hired over 92,000 new veteran associates since implementation of the Veterans Welcome Home Commitment on Memorial Day 2013, and nearly 8,000 have been promoted to roles of greater responsibility since joining the Walmart team. In North Carolina, over 4,398 veterans have been hired since the Memorial Day 2013 announcement.

About Charlotte Bridge Home
Charlotte Bridge Home helps Charlotte veterans successfully transition home after military service by identifying their education, employment and healthcare needs and then connecting them to available community, state and federal resources. For more information, please visit www.charlottebridgehome.org.

About Charlotte Works
Charlotte Works is a private/public partnership that brings together Charlotte-area resources to educate, empower and engage Charlotte’s workforce to meet current business climate needs. Charlotte Works provides customized resources including coaching, training and networking opportunities that will help to develop, align and connect job seekers with the changing employment needs of Charlotte-area employers. Learn more at charlotteworks.com.

About the Institute for Veterans and Military Families
The IVMF is the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher education focused on the social, economic, education and policy issues impacting veterans and their families post-service. Through our focus on veteran-facing programming, research and policy, employment and employer support, and community engagement, the institute provides in-depth analysis of the challenges facing the veteran community, captures best practices and serves as a forum to facilitate new partnerships and strong relationships between the individuals and organizations committed to making a difference for veterans and military families. Read more at vets.syr.edu.

About Philanthropy at Walmart

By using our strengths to help others, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation create opportunities for people to live better every day. We have stores in 27 countries, employing more than 2.2 million associates and doing business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. We are helping people live better by accelerating upward job mobility and economic development for the retail workforce; addressing hunger and making healthier, more sustainably-grown food a reality; and building strong communities where we operate and inspiring our associates to give back. Whether it is helping to lead the fight against hunger in the United States with $2 billion in cash and in-kind donations or supporting Women’s Economic Empowerment through a series of grants totaling $10 million to the Women in Factories training program in Bangladesh, China, India and Central America, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are not only working to tackle key social issues, we are also collaborating with others to inspire solutions for long-lasting systemic change. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit www.foundation.walmart.com.

Media Contacts:

Tricia Moriarty, Director, Global Responsibility Communications, Walmart, (800) 331-0085, news.walmart.com/reporter

Wayne Westervelt, Director of Communications, Institute for Veterans and Military Families, (315) 443-5690, wwesterv@syr.edu

Blake Bourne, Director, Community Initiatives, Charlotte Bridge Home, (704) 332-8802, bbourne@charlottebridgehome.org

Sara Collins, Director of Communications, Charlotte Works, (704) 206-1375, scollins@charlotteworks.com

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