Onward to Opportunity, a career training and professional certification program, allows transitioning service members, veterans and spouses to maintain progress toward post-service, in-demand careers during the COVID-19 shutdown.
The O2O program, which is normally available on 19 military installations in addition to its online option for distance learners, trains participants in both technical and soft skills, serving as the gateway to employment with over 40 different training pathways. Established in 2015 in partnership with the Schultz Family Foundation, O2O aimed to reduce a then-16% unemployment rate among veterans, says Mike Bianchi, senior director of education and career training at IVMF.
“Program participants can earn free certifications for in-demand career fields, including information technology, project management and human resource management in classes that run on a quarterly basis at the installations and monthly online. The program also connects participants to career services provided by its operational partner, Hire Heroes USA.” To meet the needs of military-connected students, courses are offered both online and on or near military installations. “Last year we enrolled over 12,000 people in the program,” says Bianchi.