Disney & USAA Offer ‘Veterans Institute’ Workshop to boost hiring

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The Walt Disney Company and USAA will bring Disney’s Veterans Institute to San Antonio on Aug. 19, with a daylong seminar designed to inspire companies in the region to build their own veteran hiring programs.

“We’re always eager to share what we’ve learned from our successful Heroes Work Here program with other companies looking to hire highly qualified veterans.”

Presented by USAA, a leading financial services provider for the military community, the San Antonio event builds on the success of Disney’s inaugural Veterans Institute last November at Walt Disney World Resort, which attracted more than 500 participants and dignitaries, including First Lady Michelle Obama and Disney Chairman and CEO Robert A. Iger. Attendees will hear from experts from Disney’s Heroes Work Here initiative which hires, trains and supports former service members—along with government officials, veterans and nonprofit veterans service organizations who will share their experiences, best practices and tips for making a successful transition from the military to the civilian workforce. This is the first of several anticipated regional Veterans Institutes that Disney hopes to bring to select cities around the nation.

“Disney is extremely proud of the dedicated veterans who work here and we’re pleased to expand the reach of our Veterans Institute with USAA to help create career opportunities for even more of America’s servicemen and women,” Mr. Iger said. “We’re always eager to share what we’ve learned from our successful Heroes Work Here program with other companies looking to hire highly qualified veterans.”

In addition to serving the military community’s financial needs, USAA is also a leader in veteran and military spouse hiring. Named the Victory Media No. 1 Military Friendly Employer® for 2013 and 2014, and the No. 1 Military Times Best for Vets: Employer 2012-2014, USAA hired 1,414 veterans and military spouses in 2013, nearly 31 percent of all of the organization’s new hires.

“We have hired more than 8,700 veterans and military spouses from 2006 through June 2014. They have brought valuable skills and experience, mission focus and a deep dedication to serve,”

said retired Army Maj. Gen. Joe Robles Jr., USAA’s CEO.

“The Department of Veterans Affairs lists Texas as one of three states that are the most densely populated with veterans. With the potential to help so many companies hire veterans, we’re proud to join the Veterans Institute in sharing our experience in recruiting, hiring and developing veterans with companies across Texas.”

Veterans Institute is the latest effort in Disney’s long history of respect and appreciation for the U.S. armed services, and it leverages the success of Heroes Work Here, which Disney launched in 2012 with a commitment to hire more than 1,000 veterans by 2015—a goal the company has already surpassed, with more than 3,800 former service members hired.

Highlights of the San Antonio Veterans Institute workshop will include an inside look at Disney and USAA best practices; renowned keynote speakers, panelists, advice and insights from experts and elite veterans support organizations; stories from veterans about their own transition to the civilian workforce; and a presentation by Disney Institute, the professional development arm of The Walt Disney Company. Featured speakers and presenters will include Mr. Robles, ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff, and James Schmeling, co-founder of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University.

About Disney’s Heroes Work Here

Supporting the U.S. Armed Forces has long been a Disney tradition, and Disney’s Heroes Work Here continues that proud legacy with a companywide initiative to hire, train and support military veterans. Disney introduced the program in March 2012 with a commitment to hire at least 1,000 veterans by 2015. Having exceeded that goal in the first year alone, with 1,300 veterans hired, the company announced in March 2013 that it would create opportunities for another 1,000 former service members over the next two years. To date, Disney has hired more than 3,800 veterans through Heroes Work Here.

Disney’s Heroes Work Here initiative also features a public awareness campaign to encourage employers across the U.S. to hire former military service members. The campaign includes the free Veterans Institute workshops, as well as public service announcements highlighting the skills and experience of veterans who work at Disney. The PSAs direct viewers to the White House’s Joining Forces initiative (www.joiningforces.gov) and have aired across Disney’s media properties including ESPN, ABC and ABC Family, making more than 500 million impressions.

The third component of Disney’s Heroes Work Here initiative is philanthropy. Disney’s philanthropic support of veteran and military organizations has exceeded $1 million since the launch of Heroes Work Here, and through the Disney VoluntEARS program, employees have engaged in several service projects with veterans organizations in communities around the country.

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