Veterans Task Force Greater Springfield Chamber


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Initiative by the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, Springfield, VA, to support veterans and military spouses starting/growing businesses and finding employment in Greater Springfield.

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Veterans Task Force Greater Springfield Chamber

  1. 1. Department of Labor America’s Heroes at Work April 9, 2010
  2. 2. Ronald Drach U.S. Department of Labor Veterans’ Employment & Training Service Natache Muschette U.S. Department of Labor Gretchen Martens Founder and CEO, Homeward Deployed, Inc. Chair, Veterans Task Force at the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce
  3. 3. 1. Introduce the Veterans Task Force at the programs designed to put America’s veterans and military spouses on the road to economic self-sustainability. 2. Explore ways to partner with the Department of Labor to put America’s veterans to work.
  4. 4. Suicide Violent Depression Crimes Unemployment Substance Child Abuse Maltreatment Homelessness Divorce
  5. 5. To welcome and support veterans and their families, connecting them to the Greater Springfield Business Community.
  6. 6. To produce a Blueprint for Success that can be nationally replicated in any of the 3500+ community Chambers in the U.S. in 2011
  7. 7. 1. Supporting veterans and military spouses in starting, relocating, and/or expanding businesses in Greater Springfield 2. Educating and supporting Chamber businesses about hiring veterans, especially wounded veterans, and military spouses
  8. 8. Supporting Veteran Business Owners
  9. 9. 1. Educating and connecting veterans with critical resources ◦ The community Chamber is often where entrepreneurs first seek information on how to start businesses, especially in rural areas ◦ It can be daunting and time consuming to wade through the myriad websites and books to figure out the steps to starting a business
  10. 10. 2. Mentoring veteran entrepreneurs starting businesses or business owners growing their businesses. ◦ Community chambers are a safe place to get your feet wet in the business world ◦ Chamber members are well-connected and can make personal introductions to key constituencies ◦ Established business owners have a tremendous wealth of common sense knowledge to share
  11. 11. ◦ May: Recruitment of mentors ◦ June: Outreach to veteran business owners ◦ September: Brown Bag Seminar on becoming certified as a veteran-owned or service-disabled veteran owned small business (VOSB or SDVOSB) ◦ October: Follow up workshop intensive that walks veterans through the paperwork and process.
  12. 12. Educating Community Businesses About Hiring Veterans
  13. 13. “Cool, you jumped out of helicopters! But how will you help my printing business? Overlooking ◦ Leadership ◦ Work Ethic ◦ Integrity ◦ Self-Responsibility
  14. 14. When you can’t see past the wheelchair… …you miss resilience, problem-solving, determination, and flexibility. If you think you know what PTSD is because you’ve been to the movies… …you miss courage, risk-taking, loyalty, and perseverance.
  15. 15.  Providing resources for community business owners who hire a service-disabled veteran.  Coaching veterans returning to the civilian workforce, and the caregiver networks of service-disabled veterans who make that transition possible.
  16. 16. ◦ April: Outreach to Wounded Warrior Units ◦ May: Outreach to Other Chambers ◦ October: Brown Bag Seminar ◦ November: Networking Breakfast ◦ November: Luncheon Symposium
  17. 17. A $30,000 One-time Seed Money Grant Covering ◦ 25-30% FTE Contract Consultant to administer the rollout for eight months and prepare the Blueprint for Success ◦ Extra administrative time and costs incurred by the Greater Springfield Chamber ◦ Sponsorship of our November Luncheon on Hiring America’s Heroes in the Community
  18. 18.  May: Social Media Campaign sharing our progress  July: A series of webinars or tele-conferences for other Chambers interested in starting their own Veterans Task Force  September: A series of group coaching calls for Chambers gearing up to launch a Veterans Task Force  Early 2011: Initial Open Source Blueprint for Success documenting a step-by-step plan for launching a Veterans Task Force, including all outreach strategies, marketing materials, programs, best practices,
  19. 19.  Seed money to create a Blueprint For Success that can be distributed to every community Chamber by early 2011  Endorsement of the Veterans Task Force  A Point of Contact to serve as a resource
  20. 20. Gretchen Martens, M.A. Founder and CEO, Homeward Deployed Chair, Veterans Task Force, Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce Phone: (703) 622-0919 Email: