IBM Aids Returning Veterans - InformationWeek

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Commentary
7/22/2009
12:04 PM
Paul McDougall
Paul McDougall
Commentary
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IBM Aids Returning Veterans

IBM has teamed up with American Corporate Partners to provide career development and mentoring services for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's a laudable effort in its own right, and makes a lot of sense given the hi-tech nature of today's military.

IBM has teamed up with American Corporate Partners to provide career development and mentoring services for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's a laudable effort in its own right, and makes a lot of sense given the hi-tech nature of today's military.Under the plan, IBM will provide mentoring services in five cities-New York, Washington, Raleigh/Durham, Denver, and San Francisco. IBM has engaged On Demand Community to provide additional, online resources. ODC operates Web sites that offer training, skills assessment, and other educational content.

The program matches up mentors with their protégés on a one-to-one basis in particular cities. The pairs are encouraged to spend about 4 hours per month together for a year discussing the practical aspects of business and career development.

Spouses of vets who were killed or severely wounded in action are also eligible to participate.

"This will be a real boost to our program because IBM employees are innovators and role models in the business world who have community service in their DNA," says ACP founder Sid Goodfriend.

IBM should benefit too. Many veterans have received superior training in hi-tech fields such as communications, computer programming, logistics, and electronics. And, of course, these men and women know a thing or two about performing under stress. Put it altogether and you have some excellent job candidates.

"The addition of American Corporate Partners gives IBM volunteers another opportunity to share their wisdom," says Gary Ambrose, IBM's VP for the U.S. Department of Defense. Ambrose is a retired U.S. Air Force Brigadier General.

ACP is run by retired generals and political figures, including George Shultz, Paul Wolfowitz, and Bob Dole. Vets can apply to participate in the program at the organization's Web site.

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