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Schultz Family Foundation, IVMF, U.S. Department of Defense, Together with Private Sector Partners, Launch Nationwide Program to Connect U.S. Service Members with Careers

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The Schultz Family Foundation, founded by Starbucks chairman and ceo Howard Schultz and his wife Sheri Schultz, in partnership with Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) and U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, today announced a new program called Onward to Opportunity that brings civilian-sector skills training to service members before transition directly on U.S. military installations across the country. Beginning in spring of 2015, Onward to Opportunity will launch nationwide on up to six bases, and expects to serve as many as 10,000 service members and spouses, in its first year.

Onward to Opportunity represents a paradigm shift in how, where, and when the private sector engages the military job-seeker. The program starts by acknowledging the value of military-learned skills and experiences, and is designed to complement them with industry-specific trainings, certifications, and job placement services. Service members who complete the program will be prepared for a job interview with the program’s Fortune 500 corporate partners.

“Our service members are dedicated and resilient leaders who have answered their country’s call to serve,” said Howard Schultz. “Every business in America should recognize the value that these men and women bring to our companies and communities: integrity, discipline, service, leadership, and a strong sense of mission. In most cases, all they need is the boost of job-specific training to excel in the workplace. With more than one million service men and women expected to move into civilian life over the next five years, we are thrilled to bring Starbucks and other corporate leaders to the table to tap into this impressive reservoir of military talent.” Starbucks is committed to hiring at least 10,000 veterans and their spouses by the end of 2018.

Onward to Opportunity will initially focus on customer service and technology careers, leveraging best-in-class trainings developed by the nation’s leading companies including Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) , Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) , and others that are committed to hiring veterans. Under the program, these companies will be directly involved in designing and implementing targeted trainings for active duty military, enabling companies to hire talent during their transition to civilian life. JPMorgan Chase & Co. has been working closely with the Schultz Family Foundation and IVMF to align this opportunity with the purpose of the 100,000 Jobs Mission, which is comprised of more than 185 companies spanning nearly every industry in the U.S. economy. These companies commit to hiring veterans and military spouses, and sharing their results and leading practices in hiring and retaining military talent.

“We are excited to partner with the Schultz Family Foundation, IVMF, and some of our nation’s most successful businesses to prepare our heroes as they transition back to communities across the United States,” said U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. “These brave men and women have done so much for our country and are ready to bring their experience, talent, and leadership abilities to the private sector. I applaud our partners in the business and nonprofit communities for all they are doing to honor one of our most important national commitments, ensuring the successful transition of those who have defended our country and their families.”

Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), the national leader in the design and delivery of educational and vocational training programs for service members, veterans, and their families, will partner with the Foundation on development and implementation of Onward to Opportunity. “This is a historic opportunity, and we’re excited to collaborate with the Schultz Family Foundation and our country’s leading companies to drive innovation and positive change, and empower this and future generations of service members, veterans, and their families,” said Executive Director of the IVMF and Vice Chancellor of Syracuse University Dr. Mike Haynie.

Onward to Opportunity was conceived as a complement and partner to the Government’s existing transition efforts, and leverages the lessons learned and design models of private sector on-base training programs like the Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA) that launched in the fall of 2013. In addition to service members, Onward to Opportunity is available to military spouses who often struggle with significant challenges sustaining a professional career in the face of the frequent moves and deployments that are characteristic of the military lifestyle.

For more information on Onward to Opportunity, go to

About the Schultz Family Foundation

The Schultz Family Foundation, established in 1996 by Howard and Sheri Schultz, creates pathways of opportunity for populations facing barriers to success. The Foundation invests in innovative solutions and partnerships that unlock people’s potential, and strengthen our businesses, our communities, and our nation. In March 2014, the Schultz Family Foundation launched Onward Veterans, a national initiative that empowers Post-9/11 veterans and their families to successfully transition to civilian life. For more information about the Foundation and its work:

About the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF)

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

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