- More than 900,000 Americans participate in more than 2,000 groups for military, veterans and their spouses on Facebook.
- As such, the social media giant is launching The Military and Veterans Hub to help members and veterans find job opportunities and expand their digital skills.
- Facebook is also entering into a partnership with SCORE to provide a mentor match program, a veteran-focused educational toolkit and workshops.
The internet's greatest strength is its ability to let people instantly communicate with one another across great distances. For active military members, veterans and their families, that ability has made tours of duty in faraway lands less harrowing, even as conflicts raged. Facebook announced today a handful of measures it's taking to help current and past American service members communicate and reintegrate into society.
With four days remaining before Veterans Day, the social media giant revealed its Military and Veterans Hub. Touted as a "new resource for military members and veterans to help them continue to build their community, find job opportunities and enhance their digital skills," the hub aims to make civilian life easier for our men and women in uniform.
"This Military and Veteran Hub is going to make it a lot easier for veterans to access these tools by consolidating all of these resources in one place," said Frank Diaz, a veteran and owner of Tin Hut BBQ. "As a veteran who hires other veterans for my business, I know that it's going to be immensely helpful to veteran-run or veteran-affiliated businesses all over the U.S."
Facebook representatives said this new drive to assist American military personnel was largely thanks to a partnership with SCORE, "the nation's largest network of volunteer expert business mentors to provide education and mentorship to military members, veterans and their families who want to become entrepreneurs."
Using the buddy system
Through the company's partnership with SCORE, current and former members of the military can take advantage of a new program that can help make their small business dreams a reality.
The program will match members with a mentor from SCORE. These mentors come from a pool of fellow American military veterans who became experienced business owners after their service.
The program will also provide a "veteran-focused educational toolkit" to ease the process of launching a business. Further, it will offer veteran-focused interactive workshops that give members "guidance on starting a business. SCORE's veteran mentors will also be available to all attendees after the workshop for continued support through all stages of startup and growth."
"We are grateful for all that our nation's veterans have done for us, and are proud to help veterans and their families who want to start their own business," said Bridget Weston, CEO of SCORE. "Data shows that entrepreneurs with access to a mentor are five times more likely to succeed in business, and we're excited to be working with Facebook to provide our veteran community with the support and guidance they need to succeed." [Read related article: Small Business Resource Guide for Veterans]
Using tech to help real American heroes
In recent months, Facebook has held events aimed at helping the veteran community. Boost with Facebook, for example, was held in San Diego and helped train more than 1,400 people on how to use the company's digital tools. In Hawaii, Facebook held a Boost Leaders network event to help support military and veteran businesses in the tropical state. [Read related article: Nearly 400,000 New Worker Training Opportunities Opening in the U.S.]
In conjunction with the Military and Veterans Hub and its partnership with SCORE, Facebook announced a new 12-month career development program that uses augmented reality/virtual reality to help veterans with backgrounds in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering or computer science "help [Facebook] solve global challenges."
Additionally, Facebook offers a Military Skills Translator that helps veterans turn the skills they learned in the service into careers. "We also support our veteran employees through internal mentorship programs, groups and, for the first time this year, an internal Facebook Vets and Allies Leadership Summit," company representatives wrote.