The Jobenomics Veterans Center (JVC) Initiative is designed to help wounded and combat veterans transition to the civilian workforce by providing training and financing to start their own Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) or Veterans Owned Small Business (VOSB) oriented to the skills that the vet learned during his/her tenure in the US Armed Services.
While publicly venerated for patriotism and service, veterans have a much harder time finding work than most citizens. Veteran unemployment rates have been consistently higher than average citizens. While the job market is slowly improving for most Americans, it’s moving in the opposite direction for Iraq/Afghan vets. Veterans, aged 18 to 24, have a 30% jobless rate, up from 18% a year earlier. For for black veterans, aged 18 to 24, the unemployment rate is approching 50%. Returning combat veterans need a “hand-up” more than they need a “hand-out”. More specifically, they need jobs, which are in short supply in today’s economy. Combat veterans face even a more difficult challenge after being in austere conditions, many of whom face degrees of post dramatic stress syndrome and other combat related disabilities. Of the 2.2 million Iraq/Afghan vets, 624,000 (28%) have filed for some sort of disability with the Veterans Administration.
JVC will focus primary on combat veterans (soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines) returning from Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq). The goal of this training is to help veterans transition into civilian life via a 6-month business training and creation program. JVC is designed to provide an environment that will address the challenges of a successful transition from combat to civilian life as well as helping the vet start a SDVOSB or VOB. Successful creation of a SDVOSB or VOB will provide veterans their own company as well as making them more competitive in getting a job at an established company, whether on a full-time (W2) or a part-time (1099) basis. Having their own company will also build confidence in their ability to function in the civilian workforce and greatly shorten the transition time from combat to workfare. While accolades from the American public are extremely gratifying, providing meaningful employment opportunities are the highest form of appreciation for their service and sacrifices.
Via the Jobenomics movement, JVC has agreements with leading entrepreneurial, business development, academic, financial and veteran experts and networks. JVC will use proven professionals, human resources personnel and college and vocational placement specialists to aid in the transition from military to civilian life. JVC features wellness programs, social events, excursions and motivational speakers. By the end of the 6-month program the vets will have:
- A thorough knowledge of business practices on how to set up and run a successful small business taught by successful entrepreneurs and leading instructors with expertise in small business creation and implementation.
- An established SDVOSB or VOB with:
- An Employer Identification Number (EIN), incorporation (S-Corp, C-Corp or Limited Liability Corporation), and the essentials to run a fully operating company (accounting systems, business plans, legal/regulatory, branding/marketing/sales, financing, etc.).
- All vets will be supplied a computer with accounting, business planning and website/social networking systems. Training will be also provided including how to obtain appropriate accounting (e.g., book keeping and CPA), information technology, and sales/marketing/ advertizing/branding support after graduation.
- All registration/licensing completed in the state and municipality of their choosing.
- Supplementary business systems (e.g., website, social networking, bank accounts, etc.) that will facilitate the promotion of SDVOSB or VOB growth.
- Supplementary education while at the JVC, including.
- Enrollment in an on-line learning course on other on-line universities to pursue continuing education and certification, which will be initiated and taught by qualified instructors while at the Center.
- Access to micro-business coaching and micro-business financing from private sector sources during and after training at the Center.
- A JVC certificate of completion from and any supplementary certifications from the academic organizations affiliated with the Center.
- Potential classes with local accredited academic institutions.
- Understanding on how to access US government grants, veterans set-aside funding and investment capital (debt and equity financing) from private sources (commercial banks, investment banks, and high net worth individuals/angel investors). Jobenomics is in the process of setting up micro-business loans for the JVC similar to the $20 million micro-business loan program (loans ranging to $50,000 for qualified new businesses) that was initiated for the Jobenomics-Harlem program. The Center will also work with municipal, state and the federal government to underwrite the new SDVOSB/VOBs.
- Low cost business incubation facilities and/or offices at local industrial/business parks.
- A network of entrepreneurial organizations and an on-going business support network.
The JVC, via the national Jobenomics team of entrepreneurs and faculty, has world-class instructors, small business entrepreneurs and big business leaders. These instructors, entrepreneurs, business leaders are from prestigious academic, entrepreneurial networks (like the 20 year old CEO Space entrepreneurial network with a world-class faculty and a network of hundreds of thousands of small business leaders across the US) and Fortune 500 executives who are willing to volunteer to help returning combat veterans. The leading aerospace and defense corporations have expressed an interest in working with the JVC to outsource work to these newly created SDVOSB or VOB.
JVC pilot projects are currently being targeted for locations in Massachusetts, Texas and Nevada.