Reviewing our newly released 2013 Grant Report, I am reminded of the tremendous success our grant recipients achieved this previous year and how optimistic I am for even greater 2014 impact. The Endowment awarded $1.2 million in grants in 2013 to 12 veterans employment nonprofits—and these recipients didn’t disappoint.  At an average cost-per-placement of $1,286, these organizations helped 840 veterans find careers (as a benchmark, the Federal Government spends roughly $3,000 to place vets in jobs, according to the GAO).  This year we will award over $4 million in grants and are targeting four times the impact achieved in 2013.

I think of Hire Heroes USA, which uses its “recruitment to placement” approach to help nearly eight veterans per week find jobs (including Sgt Shannon Potts, USMC, on the report cover), or Still Serving Veterans great progress placing 173 vets in Alabama jobs, or AMVETS, which reached its goal of establishing 20 career centers across 14 states.  I’m equally encouraged by the individual success stories highlighted in the report, the veterans who showed amazing resilience, obtaining employment in the face of obstacles ranging from combat stress to homelessness.  These individuals’ stories bring our grant recipients’ efforts to life and remind all of us of why this work matters.

I’m also pleased with our initial steps in 2013 to reframe the national conversation on veterans employment, emphasizing their value in the workplace through unique data such as that provided by CEB’s Corporate Leadership Council. Understanding both the supply and the demand side of the veterans employment equation gives us all a fuller understanding of the challenges in landing vets good jobs and better equips us to solve them. 

Finally, I’m incredibly grateful for the people and organizations that made 2013 such a successful year—a distinguished list that you’ll find on page 40.

Please take a few minutes to read about our collective progress, get to know our grant recipients, and explore the stories of individual veterans--let me know what you think! 

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