Proceeds Go to Paralyzed Veterans of America’s ‘PAVE’ Program
Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) hosted its tenth annual Golf Open today at The Golf Club at Lansdowne to raise funds for the Paving Access for Veterans Employment (PAVE) program, dedicated to finding the best jobs for veterans and the best veterans for jobs. Last night, Paralyzed Veterans raised an unprecedented $469,186. All funds raised support PAVE’s employment placement goals.
Pointing out that the current unemployment rate for all veterans is 4.3%, and for post Sept 2011 veterans it’s 5.1%, Paralyzed Veterans’ President Al Kovach, Jr. explained, “Veterans generally, but especially veterans with disabilities, face unique barriers to employment. Our military service trained us to tackle challenges head on, but it can become really difficult for paralyzed veterans to handle care and take on forward-looking, long-term efforts like job searches without help. So when employers tell me they want to support veterans by hiring them, it means a lot. One of those employers, Agility, has sponsored our annual golf outing for the past decade. With their continued dedication and support, we’ve raised more than $3.5 million to date, for PAVE. Partners like Agility make our work possible.”
PAVE provides vocational counseling and job placement assistance to any veteran, active duty service member, spouse or caregiver across the country. Paralyzed Veteran’s unique, no-cost program offers assistance with a variety of customized job search strategies, including identifying employment and educational opportunities and resources, resume development and interview skills.
For the past decade, PAVE has served 5,000 clients and has 1,200 partners supporting the program. Tailored to each individual’s specific needs, PAVE counselors strive to place at least one client every day. Incorporating both traditional and nontraditional vocational strategies and best practices, PAVE creates the framework for a veteran-centric program that addresses their many challenges to employment. One unique element of the PAVE program is the “Partner for Life” guarantee, ensuring that support is always just a phone call away.
“PAVE offers a partner-for-life guarantee. After our counselors match a client with a job and place him or her, they continue to follow up and work with the client on career advancement or educational opportunities,” said PAVE Program Director Shelly Stewart. “As our PAVE counselor Samantha said, we never close a case.”
One such case, Marine Corps veteran Daniel Stansel, credits PAVE as the program that “changed his life.” Stansel ran a non-profit dedicated to assisting at-risk youth pursue their educational goals. A mentor and motivational speaker, he also taught business and organizational management, HR development and organizational leadership at Ashley University. Yet despite his accomplishments, he found it difficult to change careers, and felt he wasn’t receiving the focus or expertise he needed during 18 years with the California Department of Rehabilitation. In less than 11 months with PAVE and Senior Rehabilitation Counselor Joan Haskins, Stansell landed a Level 1 Engineer job with XceedGroup. In less than a year, his leadership skills have been recognized and rewarded. He now manages the nightshift, and is on a career path to be cross-trained in human resources and assigned a coach for project management.
That’s all part of the service PAVE staff provide. Says counselor Andrew Hrvol, “What I say to every veteran, veteran caregiver and active or transitioning military client I’m working with is this—If you are passionate about getting back to work, I can help you do that!”
If you or a member of your family could benefit from partnering with PAVE for your own career growth, click here to get started. PAVE counselors provide free one-on-one career assistance, benefits counseling and support to any veteran, family member or caregiver; and also offer assistance to employers committed to hiring veterans.