Syracuse University’s veteran resources highlighted by White House

New funding from Humana and Walmart announced for campus veteran entrepreneurship programs

Following a public appearance at the Washington Navy Yard this morning, President Barack Obama and the White House acknowledged in a press release the importance of the support and resources that Syracuse University’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV), Women Veterans Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) and newly established Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) are providing our nation’s veterans and military families as part of national efforts to help veterans enter or re-enter the workforce. SU’s Mike Haynie, founder and national executive director of the EBV and V-WISE, executive director of the IVMF and Barnes Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Whitman School of Management, was an invited guest at this morning’s event.

In tandem with today’s events, leading health care company Humana announced a new, national veterans initiative that includes a corporate sponsorship of $1 million over the next two years to the EBV. With Humana’s sponsorship and hands-on support, the national program will be able to provide its no-cost, cutting-edge training in entrepreneurship and small business management to even more post-9/11 servicemen and women. Founded in 2007 at the Whitman School, the EBV is now offered through a network of world-class business schools, which includes SU, the University of Connecticut, Florida State University, Louisiana State University, Purdue University, Texas A&M University and UCLA.

In addition, the White House highlighted EBV corporate sponsor Walmart and its continued support of innovative programs to create jobs and help vets make the transition from military life to the private sector. Building on its previous commitment of $1 million to the EBV, Walmart will provide a $180,000 grant to V-WISE. A partnership between SU and the U.S. Small Business Administration, V-WISE supports women veterans who aspire to run their own businesses with training and mentorship in business development and operations. The program also addresses challenges facing women transitioning from military to the private sector.

SU’s newly established IVMF, designed to fully leverage the national resources of higher education in service to our country’s veteran community, also received recognition at the Navy Yard announcement. In partnership with community stakeholders, and the support of JPMorgan Chase, the IVMF seeks to develop research and educational and employment-focused programs positioned to address the primary social and economic concerns of our nation’s veterans and their families.

“We’re honored that President Obama has recognized Syracuse University for its leadership in meeting the needs of the nation’s servicemen and women,” says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. “Universities can play a critical role in forging cross-sector partnerships to support those who have served our country, and SU has a proud legacy of national leadership in doing so, reaching back to the wake of World War II.  In today’s global knowledge economy, it’s critical for higher education to help empower returning veterans to leverage their talents and not only prosper, but spur economic opportunity with their entrepreneurial spirit.  SU, in collaboration with our cross-sector partners, is once again is leading the way with innovative programs from the EBV and V-WISE to the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, the first of its kind in American higher education.”

“With the generous financial and resource support of companies like Humana and Walmart, and a partnership with JPMorgan Chase, Syracuse University and its newly established Institute for Veterans and Military Families can more fully leverage the resources available in higher education and those of our slate of national veterans programs—like the EBV and V-WISE—to fulfill the moral obligation our nation owes to those who have put on the uniform and pledged to defend it,” says Haynie, an Air Force veteran. “Today, leaders in government and industry acknowledged that education, vocational training and support are all the more crucial in helping veterans and their families facilitate a successful and meaningful transition to civilian life.”

“The Whitman School’ s portfolio of programs in entrepreneurship assist our vets in making the transition from military to civilian life in the most American way possible—business ownership,” says Whitman Dean Melvin T. Stith, a Vietnam-era veteran. “Our veterans deserve nothing less than the full support of the nation they so honorably defended. Syracuse University and the Whitman School continue to lead higher education in providing the skills and tools necessary to help our military and their families make a meaningful transition and create their own opportunities in the marketplace. The Whitman School is proud to be a leader in this important endeavor.”


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