During the spring 2019 semester, the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) was awarded $100,000 from The Leon Levine Foundation (TLLF) and $250,000 from longtime supporter Prudential Financial Inc. The funding from The Leon Levine Foundation will support IVMF’s AmericaServes veteran outreach program in the Carolinas, and the award from Prudential Financial Inc. will fund new research and navigation tools to strengthen career pathways for veterans and talent-seeking employers through higher education.
Grant dollars from TLLF will support five AmericaServes networks in North Carolina and South Carolina for their programs and trainings. The selected markets in North Carolina collectively coordinate care for the entire state—NCserves Metrolina, NCServes Coastal, NCServes Western and NCServes Central Carolina. The fifth selected market is SCServes, which coordinates care for South Carolina’s Lowcountry.
The IVMF’s AmericaServes is the country’s first coordinated network of organizations serving the military community by providing veterans, transitioning service members and their families with a way to simply and effectively navigate and access supportive services in their communities. Each AmericaServes network consists of vetted service providers, connected through a coordination center that understands each provider’s services, capacity and eligibility requirements, and facilitates accurate referrals for users to receive the services they seek.
The Prudential grant will be used to explore educational trends and pathways for veterans pursuing higher education that align with in-demand careers. The study will also review opportunities for employers to recruit, hire and maintain veteran employees within these coveted occupations, and ultimately result in a navigation tool for both aspiring student veterans and employers.
“This research will help to inform policy and programming around higher education for veterans,” says Nick Armstrong, Ph.D., senior director of research and evaluation at IVMF and Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs adjunct professor. “Partners like Prudential understand the challenges faced by the military community. Their dedication to making significant changes to the landscape of financial education, workforce development, entrepreneurship and research for veterans and their families is critical as we work to advance the post-service experience of our country’s veterans.”
Over the last five years, Prudential has awarded IVMF over $2 million in funding.
Previous awards from the company have been dedicated to funding programs and research related to entrepreneurship training for veterans and military spouses, career preparation for transitioning service members and their families, and the employment challenges experienced by military spouses. Research specific to military spouse employment has been well-referenced as an authoritative perspective for employers, hiring managers, and human resource professionals looking to hire and retain military spouses.
“Valuable partners like Prudential and The Leon Levine Foundation are critical to our work in supporting and advancing the military community,” says Ray Toenniessen, assistant vice president for veterans development at IVMF. “Our team is grateful for the generosity and support of these partners and proud to work with them in an effort to better serve veterans, service members and their families.”
Started by Leon Levine (founder of Family Dollar Store) in 1980, The Leon Levine Foundationseeks to improve the human condition by creating permanent, measurable and life-changing impact throughout the Carolinas. Based in Charlotte, NC, the organization invests in nonprofits with strong leadership, a track record of success, and a focus on sustainability in the areas of healthcare, education, Jewish values and human services.
With operations in the United States, Asia, Europe and Latin America, Prudential provides customers with a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management. Their dedication to creating long-term value for stakeholders through strong business fundamentals consistent with their mission has helped to establish the 140-year old firm as one of the world’s most trusted brands.