New Statewide Grant Targets California Veterans in Underserved Communities
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 8, 2012 – The Walmart Foundation recently awarded Swords to Plowshares, a San Francisco-based veteran service agency, a statewide grant to improve and increase job training programs for California veterans. The grant will provide assistance to 700 veterans in underserved areas of California.
“Veterans, especially those who recently served in Iraq and Afghanistan, need support in finding meaningful job opportunities,” said Michael Blecker, Executive Director of Swords to Plowshares. “This grant will have a significant impact on our ability to provide job training and place more veterans in jobs throughout California.
The grant from Walmart Foundation will also allow Swords to Plowshares to re-grant job training dollars to veteran service providers throughout California, particularly in communities with the highest number of unemployed veterans. Veterans will receive assistance with job training programs in high-growth industries, pre-employment assistance and placement with local employers. The Walmart grant will greatly complement each organization’s existing array of services for job seeking veterans.
“As one of the nation’s largest private employers of veterans and those on active duty, we share Sword to Plowshare’s vision of a country where every veteran has a chance to succeed economically and support his or her family,” said retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Gary Profit, senior director of military programs at Walmart. “Walmart has committed $20 million to making that vision a reality by supporting organizations and programs that provide job and skills training to our veterans. These young men and women stood up for us, and now it’s our turn to stand up for them.”
“We know firsthand that far too many veterans have a difficult time transitioning the skills they learned in the military to the civilian workforce,” said Blecker. “This grant is key to providing the support veterans need amidst a challenged economy and competitive workforce.”
About Swords to Plowshares
Founded in 1974, Swords to Plowshares is a community-based not-for-profit organization that provides counseling and case management, employment and training, housing and legal assistance to homeless and low-income veterans in the San Francisco Bay Area. Swords to Plowshares promotes and protects the rights of veterans through advocacy, public education, and partnerships with local, state and national entities.
War causes wounds and suffering that last beyond the battlefield. Our mission is to heal the wounds, to restore dignity, hope, and self-sufficiency to all veterans in need, and to reduce homelessness and poverty among veterans. Learn more about the work of Swords to Plowshares, and ways in which you can help, by visiting our website at www.stp-sf.org.
About Philanthropy at Walmart
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support initiatives that are helping people live better around the globe. In May 2010, Walmart and its Foundation made a historic pledge of $2 billion through 2015 to fight hunger in the U.S. The Walmart Foundation also supports education, workforce development, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness initiatives. To learn more, visit www.walmartfoundation.org.
# # #
Swords to Plowshares
Colleen Corliss, Communications Director
Tara Raddohl, Director of National Media Relations