Paralyzed Veterans of America has partnered with AmeriCorps and the Points of Light Foundation in an effort to expand the reach of vocational assistance and support to all veterans through Operation PAVE (Paving Access for Veterans Employment).
The new partnership, offered through Points of Light’s Veteran Leader Corps program, includes two volunteers who will serve in Paralyzed Veterans of America’s national office to expand outreach and engagement of Operation PAVE to more veterans, particularly veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom and their families.
The partnership will build on Paralyzed Veterans of America’s recent expansion of the Operation PAVE program from seven regional offices to 17 additional PAVE satellite locations at national service offices across the country. This expansion has provided additional bandwidth to answer the growing demand for vocational services among the veteran population.
The new AmeriCorps volunteers will serve as touch points for the Operation PAVE program, helping veterans obtain information and referring them to the Department of Veterans Affairs for benefits assistance, career counseling and vocational rehabilitation support, said Sherman Gillums, associate director for veterans benefits at Paralyzed Veterans of America.
“These AmeriCorps members, many of which are veterans themselves, will benefit from the experience of serving other veterans,” Gillums said. “This is one of the hallmarks of military service – leaving no comrade behind – and this partnership embodies that principle.”
The Veteran Leader Corps, which is now in its second year, supports a community roadmap for local communities across America to address the most common challenges facing veterans, returning service members and their families. Volunteers selected for the program will serve a full-time, 11-month term starting November 4. To apply for one of these positions, visit this link. The partnership with Points of Light and AmeriCorps includes grant money that provides these volunteers a modest living allowance as well as health coverage and other benefits.
“We believe that it takes unified effort to confront major issues like veteran unemployment,” Gillums said. “By integrating efforts with like-minded programs like AmeriCorps, Paralyzed Veterans of America provides a collaborative model of advocacy from which other organizations and government agencies can learn.”
Learn more about Operation PAVE
Brittany Ballenstedt is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in several publications, including Government Executive, National Journal, Technology Daily and NextGov.com