“Thanks to IVMF’s program, I came from being unemployed and not in school to being in a much better financial position. I now have a good job, am enrolled in school, and have a firm plan to complete all my goals. It is a complete 180 degree change.”
Name: Julia Lopez
Skills to Succeed Partner: Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF)
Life before Skills to Succeed: Julia joined the military in 2009 and served in Operation Iraqi Freedom as a flight medic in the U.S. Air Force. After she completed her training, she remained in the Active Reserves. It was difficult to juggle her many responsibilities, including raising her daughter, military service, work and school. Julia sometimes had to put off school to find balance with her family. During a period of time when she was both unemployed and out of school, she learned about IVMF’s Veterans Accelerated Career Transformation Services (ACTS) program in an email from Wake Technical Community College and was immediately interested. In fact, she was among the first to inquire about and be interviewed for this program.
Skills Built/Support Received: In the Air Force, Julia received specialized training to work in flight medicine. However, since there are different procedures for patients in the air and on the ground, she required additional training to make her experiences as a flight medic applicable to the civilian workforce. IVMF’s funding enabled Julia to complete the basic Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification bridge course through the ACTS Program for Veterans at Wake Technical Community College. This funding covered everything—tuition, books, travel costs and even childcare vouchers. Not having to worry about costs associated with school and childcare for her four-year old daughter made it possible for Julia to go back to school and complete her EMT certification.
Life after Skills to Succeed: Julia is now employed at a local hospital and in a much better financial position. While her EMT certification is not required for the job, this expertise helped distinguish her from other candidates—and she believes helped her receive the opportunity. Julia remains in the military, serving one weekend a month, and recently began classes in Wake Technical Community College’s paramedics program.
Long term, Julia would love to stay in medicine. Once done with the paramedics program, she is considering completing her nursing degree or even becoming a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant.
More about Accenture & IVMF: We are committed to hiring 5,000 U.S. veterans and military spouses by 2020. In addition, we will support the IVMF at Syracuse University through 2017 to train approximately 3,000 veterans, with more than 1,000 expected to find a job. In fiscal 2015, more than 4,000 veterans and military family members were provided with the skills to get a job or build a business, and more than 1,100 obtained employment as a result of Accenture’s program management and cash grant support.
Our funding and pro bono consulting support of more than $1.4 million since 2011 is also enabling IVMF to build capabilities by piloting a coordinated network of private, public and nonprofit resources to offer holistic services that include employment training, housing, health care and the expansion of existing career services initiatives. This deeper collaboration is expected to support durable systemic change and benefit approximately 27,000 veterans and transitioning service members.