ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- USO PathfinderSM, whose mission is to connect service members and their families to best-in-class support networks as they prepare for life after the military, has been awarded a grant from the Schultz Family Foundation (SFF) to expand their overall assistance to the more than 200,000 service members who transition out of the military each year. Additionally, a portion of this grant will be used to enhance the technology of the USO Mobile App to increase the number of service members and their families served and to pilot the co-location of Onward to Opportunity (O2O), a career training and job placement initiative (also supported by SFF) into three USO locations. The Schultz Family Foundation's investment in this USO program will help strengthen local community workforces with the talent, training and experience for active-duty and newly separated U.S. veterans and their families.
"The Schultz Family Foundation's commitment, belief, and generosity to our service members and programs like USO Pathfinder not only helps our military families, but creates stronger, more vibrant communities," said Chad Hartman, USO Vice President of Development. "We are grateful for the foundation's support of this program which seeks to connect transitioning service members to careers and employment and will ultimately contribute to a more financially secure workforce and a stronger American economy."
The USO Pathfinder program will use this grant to accelerate the program's growth and create a greater impact in those regions and cities where transitioning service members and their families are relocating at the conclusion of their military career. Specifically, USO Pathfinder and Onward To Opportunity will be coordinating efforts and expanding resources at Joint Base San Antonio, TX (JBSA), Joint Base Lewis McChord, WA (JBLM), and Naval Station Norfolk, VA (Norfolk).
"The Schultz Family Foundation is proud to support USO Pathfinder on the expansion of this meaningful initiative that will assist service members and their spouses find work as they transition back to their civilian community," said John McCary, senior program officer, Schultz Family Foundation. "For more than 77 years the USO has been supporting and advocating for military families, and they are in the unique position to not only understand the needs and challenges military families face, but to create resources that will help them find success at the conclusion of their service to our nation."
According to a national 2017 survey, transitioning service members felt unprepared for aspects of civilian life, including 44% who did not have a job search plan in place. Service members and their spouses who take advantage of the USO Pathfinder programming during their transition from service can utilize the USO Mobile App to not only create, but to monitor their action plan progress and connect with their personal scout throughout the process. The Schultz Family Foundation's support will help improve the user experience, pilot marketing opportunities to further promote the program, and increase the number of service members and their spouses served.
To learn more about USO Pathfinder, visit USO.org/pathfinder.
About the USO:
The USO strengthens America's military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation. At hundreds of locations worldwide, we are united in our commitment to connect our service members and their families through countless acts of caring, comfort, and support. The USO is a private, nonprofit organization, not a government agency. Our programs, services and entertainment tours are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners, and the dedication of our volunteers and staff. To join us in this important mission, and to learn more about the USO, please visit uso.org.
About 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. By investing in innovative, scalable solutions and partnerships, the Foundation aims to help unlock people's potential and in doing so, strengthen our businesses, our communities, and our nation. The Foundation focuses its efforts on two groups with enormous promise: the 4.6 million youth and young adults aged between 16 and 24 who are out of school and out of work, and the 2.8 million post-9/11 veterans and the approximately 250,000 service members that will transition from active, National Guard, or Reserve duty back to civilian life each year.