Posts tagged: veterans
Fifteen of the nation's top cartoonists, including Tom Richmond of MAD Magazine, Jeff Keane of the Family Circus, Mike Peters of Mother Goose and Grimm, Rick Kirkman of Baby Blues, Todd Clark of Lola, Mason Mastroianni of B.C. and more, will be in Boise on Dec. 1 for the “Guardian Ball,” a benefit for the Wyakin Warrior Foundation. The Treasure Valley foundation provides intensive services to severely wounded and injured veterans, including education, mentoring, professional development, networking and job placement; the wounded vets get full scholarships to Boise State University and the College of Western Idaho as part of the program. The scholarships run for 51 months - that's four years plus three months the summer before enrolling, when the severely wounded vets are helped out with housing, medical issues and orientation to prepare for college.
The benefit will be a black-tie gala with dinner, music and a live auction, at which the cartoonists will provide original art, caricatures and more; the event will be at the Boise Centre. Click here for more information, including ticket sales.
Interestingly, the connection between cartoonists and the Wyakin Warrior Foundation is an integral one: The foundation's founder, retired Navy Capt. Jeff Bacon, is a cartoonist himself, who's drawn cartoons for the Navy Times, Marine Corps Times and Military Times. “I organized USO trips to take the cartoonists around to visit the wounded troops and such,” Bacon said, “so all these guys are my friends, and I just asked them to come.”
Cartoonists have been visiting the troops since World War II, when they “bonded so much they formed the National Cartoonists Society, the largest professional organization for cartoonists in the country,” Bacon said. They went on USO trips during the Korea and Vietnam wars, and in 2005 started again for today's conflicts. Bacon and other cartoonists have visited wounded troops at military hospitals stateside, and cheered up troops in combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan. “So we've all gotten pretty close, just like the guys did in World War II really,” Bacon said, “so all I had to do was ask, and everybody said yes.”
As part of the benefit, a silent auction will begin online this Friday at the foundation's website, www.wyakin.org, for items ranging from cartoon art to trips.
Nearly 700 service members, veterans and their spouses attended the “Hiring Our Heroes” job fair at the Idaho Center yesterday, the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce reports, and 81 of them got job offers at the fair. “In addition, many follow-up phone calls and interviews were scheduled yesterday, as the companies present at the fair plan to hire 327 additional new employees over the next 12 months,” the chamber said in a statement today; the fair attracted more than 100 employers.
The latest figures for veteran unemployment rates in Idaho compared to the overall population, from the 2010 Census, showed that while non-veterans in Idaho had an unemployment rate of 9.5 percent, veterans were at 12.8 percent.
The job fair, one of a series of such events across the country sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and various veterans and military organizations, was co-sponsored in Boise by organizations including the Boise Chamber, the Idaho Department of Labor, KTVB-TV and more.
Job-hunting veterans and their job-hunting spouses are being invited to a big job fair for vets next week at the Idaho Center entitled “Hiring Our Heroes.” It'll be next Wednesday, Sept. 12, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; participants are asked to pre-register online here. The job fair will feature more than 85 employers, all with current job openings; it is open to military veterans, their spouses, and members of the National Guard and reserve. One in a string of such events across the nation, it's sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Idaho Committee of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, the Idaho Department of Labor, the American Legion, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and more.
Chris Ramos, Idaho Department of Labor veterans program coordinator, said, “This is a real opportunity for Idaho employers to take advantage of the skills and abilities veterans bring to the workplace, and for veterans and their families to get an opportunity for employment with some of Idaho's great businesses.” The event is free, both for the veterans and the employers; for more information, contact Roberto Gonzales at the department, 364-7781 ext. 3372. The department also is sponsoring a workshop for veterans tomorrow to prepare for the job fair; it'll be at 1 p.m. at the Canyon County office, 4514 Thomas Jefferson St., in Caldwell; contact Gonzales to sign up.
Idaho is among 20 states that are part of a consumer protection settlement forcing the shutdown of a California-based website that targeted military veterans to attend for-profit colleges. The states charged that the company's websites, including GIBill.com, were deceptive and misleading, giving the appearance that they were operated or endorsed by the U.S. government or military. They directed users only to the website owner's clients, which were presented as “eligible GI Bill schools.”
Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said, “This settlement ends the deceptive practices this company used to mislead the people who risk their lives to protect our freedom. Our veterans and active duty military personnel have earned their educational benefits and should not be subjected to trickery when deciding where best to use those benefits.”
As part of the settlement, the company, QuinStreet Inc. of Foster City, Calif., will pay $2.5 million, including $100,000 to reimburse Idaho for its costs to participate in the case, and the firm will relinquish the domain “GIBill.com” to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which will use it to educate service members about benefits available to them. Click below for a full announcement from Wasden's office.
Idaho has won a national award for its Wounded Warrior Transportation Job Training pilot program, a grant-funded program aimed at vets injured in Afghanistan and Iraq that helps them train for and find employment in the transportation field. Twenty vets are either currently in school or recently graduated as part of the program, which offers training through the College of Western Idaho; 15 are earning commercial driver’s licenses, three graduated from flagger/safety courses, and two renewed commercial licenses. “We’re ready to move forward on a statewide proposal as additional money becomes available,” said Michelle George, who works in the Idaho Transportation Department's human resources office, and wrote the $99,300 grant with Chris Ramos of the Idaho Department of Labor; the money comes from the Federal Highway Administration.
The program helps the wounded vets with financial assistance for training, day care, transportation, records, licensing and certification. It was awarded the 2011 President’s Transportation Award in Administration from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).