Kessler Foundation Grants $350,000 to Cornell University’s Yang-Tan Institute
Two-year Signature Employment Grant to assist post 9/11 veterans with disabilities
attending college find employment through apprenticeships with an emphases on female veterans
East Hanover, NJ – April 4, 2019 – Kessler Foundation has awarded a two-year, $350,000 Signature Employment Grant to Cornell University’s Yang-Tan Institute (YTI) to support Combat to Careers (C2C), which will assist 100 veteran students with disabilities at the State University of New York Oswego and East Central College in obtaining full- or part-time employment through apprenticeships with emphasis on meeting the needs of female veterans.
The grant is part of $2.5 million in grants awarded by Kessler Foundation in 2018 to organizations across the U.S. to support initiatives that create and expand job training and employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
“Apprenticeship programs are being expanded to grow the economy, retool and expand the workforce, and help businesses reach a larger, more diverse pool of workers including veterans,” said Kathleen Lee, Business Outreach Consultant at YTI. “Through C2C, we can demonstrate how the proper support and training can improve employment outcomes for veterans with disabilities in general and female veterans by testing and validating new employment methods with that population.”
Over 2.6 million post-9/11 veterans ages 18-32 have returned to civilian life. They often face significant military to civilian transition challenges including physical and mental disabilities, military sexual trauma, and translation of their military skills for success in college and civilian employment. They are entering college in record numbers, using their GI Bill as nontraditional students. They are generally older, with more life experience, and often need to work to support their families while attaining additional credentials and education.
Approximately 15% of these veterans are female. C2C includes services for female veterans with disabilities who often resist male-oriented veteran services. Female veterans face unique challenges and generally have unemployment rates higher than their male peers. C2C will study how targeted outreach and female veteran-specific employment and supportive services help veterans identify and achieve their job and career preferences while overcoming their disability-related employment barriers.
“Younger veterans have higher unemployment rates than the national average,” explained Elaine E. Katz, MS, CCC-SLP, senior vice president for grants and communications at Kessler Foundation. “Females have higher unemployment rates than non-veteran women, making housing and getting enough food potentially a daily challenge. One of the outcomes of this grant will be detailed method for attracting, engaging, and supporting female veterans in job and career preparation programs including methods to create college and business partnerships to better facilitate their combat to career transition.”
By the end of the two-year grant period, YTI anticipates that East Central College in Missouri and SUNY-Oswego in New York will have sufficient data and resources to commence making improvements in their own veterans career development services and that YTI will have enough information to help other institutions implement successful employment programs for post 9/11 veterans.
About Cornell University’s Yang-Tan Institute
For 50 years, Cornell University’s Yang-Tan Institute (YTI) has advanced policies and practices to enhance equal opportunities for all people with disabilities. Our focus maximizes full inclusion in society with research and knowledge translation/diffusion activities in employment, workforce development, youth, income, and engaged learning. Our multi-disciplinary team augments opportunities through coursework, materials and resources, consultation and demonstration. Recognized as a leading resource in employment and disability, YTI promotes inclusive workplaces. Utilizing projects, training, technical assistance, and education, YTI has assisted employers, labor, government agencies, schools and communities in disability and veteran inclusion by disseminating leading-edge knowledge to solve human problems, manage and resolve conflict while establishing best workplace practices. For more information, visit .
About Kessler Foundation
Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, is a global leader in rehabilitation research that seeks to improve cognition, mobility and long-term outcomes, including employment, for people with neurological disabilities caused by diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. Kessler Foundation leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand opportunities for employment for people with disabilities. For more information, visit .
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For more information, contact:
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