On Veterans Day – and every day – it’s time both to celebrate and honor those who have served in our Armed Forces and to consider how we, as individuals and businesses, can play a role in helping our veterans transition back to civilian life. Through new programs and partnerships with nonprofits and other corporations, IBM is working to help veterans – including those who have served in the National Guard – develop and capitalize on their unique skill sets to address the evolving needs of industry.
Among the fastest-growing needs across all industry sectors is transforming data into useful and actionable information. Data is the next natural resource, and industry experts predict that businesses will need to hire nearly 200,000 data analysts by the year 2018. With qualified candidates in short supply, and many experienced military veterans seeking to align their skills with civilian markets, IBM saw a natural opportunity to help. Through our Veterans Employment Accelerator program, we’re reaching out to qualified veterans with free certification training for IBM’s i2 Analyst’s Notebook software. Then, after these veterans are certified, IBM and our partners will provide them with special assistance in obtaining employment as data analysts.
IBM’s Veterans Employment Accelerator program grew out of a collaboration among IBM Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs, IBMers who are military veterans, and two nonprofit organizations – Corporate America Supports You (CASY) and the Military Spouse Corporate Career Network (MSCCN). Throughout 2015, the Accelerator program will host a series of five-day i2 Analyst’s Notebook software training sessions at locations around the U.S. Eligible veterans will be able to apply for the program online through CASY / MSCCN, which will evaluate applications using their IBM Kenexa enterprise employment skills assessment tools. CASY / MSCCN then will assist program graduates who pass the i2 certification exam with finding data analyst positions with IBM partners Boeing, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and USAA. These partners have agreed to place IBM-certified i2 trainees first in line for employment consideration.
The Military Spouse Corporate Career Network and Corporate America Supports You have benefited greatly from our partnership with IBM. The partnership has allowed our organizations to focus on our primary mission – putting military veterans and spouses into jobs. We’ve done that for nearly 10,000 deserving people over the last two years, but could not have done it without the technology, expertise and ongoing support of IBM and IBMers.
– Rear Admiral Dan Kloeppel (USN, Ret.), CEO, Corporate America
IBM will announce dates for the 2015 Veterans Employment Accelerator program training sessions by the end of this year. Meanwhile, our October 2014 pilot program graduated 90 percent of participants with the highly marketable i2 certification. IBM and our nonprofit partners are looking forward to taking this essential program to scale throughout 2015.
Diane Melley is Vice President for Global Citizenship Initiatives with IBM Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs.
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