Cognizant US Foundation allots $4.5 million to drive digital careers for veterans

11 December 2018 2 min. read

The Cognizant US Foundation – a non-profit which supports STEM education and skills initiatives – will provide a $4.5 million cash grant to fund a new program that helps US military veterans gain skills for careers in IT. The Wounded Warrior Project’s (WWP) ‘Warriors to Work Program’ will likewise be supported by IT industry association CompTIA and its Creating IT Futures charity which helps underserved populations enter the IT industry. CompTIA will donate $1.5 million in cash and $1.7 million in-kind.

Together, the $7.7 million will fund a three-year education program that will reach thousands of injured veterans, providing job training and placement resources to jump-start careers in information technology. The $4.5 million from Cognizant US Foundation – funded by IT consultancy Cognizant – is earmarked for expanding Creating IT Futures’ IT-Ready program, opening new centers in Chicago, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego, and virtually.

Up to 2,000 individuals in the WWP Warriors to Work Programs will receive career counselling, technology training, and/or placement from the joint programs by 2021.

"With these partnerships, IT-Ready will double in size in 2019, allowing us to reach more veterans in need of a new career," said Charles Eaton, Executive Vice President, Social Innovation, CompTIA and CEO, Creating IT Futures.Cognizant US Foundation allots $4.5 million to drive digital careers for veteransStats from WWP report that the unemployment rate of injured veterans was 11% – nearly three times higher than the record low unemployment rate of the US. Meanwhile, 27% of unemployed injured veterans were jobless for 27 weeks or longer, compared to 19% of unemployed civilians.

"We are grateful to the Cognizant U.S. Foundation and CompTIA for providing these resources that will help warriors and their families gain useful skills and find careers," said Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Mike Linnington, CEO of WWP. "With assistance from these organizations, we are transforming the way America's injured veterans are empowered, employed, and engaged in our communities."

With labor demands shifting, companies want and need ever more digital and technology workers. If your skills are non-digital, you may be left behind, the studies say. But also, you need ‘the human touch,’ emotional intelligence, and social finesse in the increasingly robotic workplace of the future. Companies want AI experts who are also ‘people persons,’ apparently.

"The U.S. economy and workforce are in the midst of a massive digital transformation that could have repercussions for generations to come, and it is critical that there are ample resources to help train individuals for jobs of the future, especially those who are underserved or underrepresented, as our veterans often are,” said Meera Krishnamurthy, board member, Cognizant U.S. Foundation. “These returning warriors, many with a foundation in tech skills and eager to put their experiences to work, create an opportunity for a game-changing training and job placement partnership."