May 2, 2013

Cornell recognized for its support of veterans

ROTC students
Cornell University Photography
Veterans Day ceremony in Sage Chapel, Nov. 9, 2012.

The Families and Work Institute has named Cornell University one of four 2013 Work Life Legacy Military Award recipients. Cornell is the first institution of higher education to be recognized.

The Work Life Legacy Military Awards were created in 2012 to help increase the number of service men and women hired into civilian jobs and help them build long-term careers. By promoting awareness of military veterans’ talent and skills, and sharing best practices to recruit and support veterans and their families, the award helps veterans re-enter the civilian workforce.

Last year, Cornell was noted for its “promising practices” that support veterans; this year’s recognition highlights the work Cornell’s Veterans’ Colleague Network Group (VCNG) has done to help recruit and support veteran employees.

“We are very pleased to be recognized with a Work Life Legacy Military Award from the Families and Work Institute,” said Mary Opperman, vice president for human resources and safety services. “I would like to thank Cornell’s veterans in the Veterans Colleague Network Group – and those who lent their guidance and support to them – for initiating such concrete actions as establishing a Veterans Affairs office on campus and developing a dedicated website for veterans to encourage other veterans to come to Cornell and find a community here.”

The VCNG also participates in state and national veteran recruitment fairs and promotes positions at such bases as Fort Drum, said Opperman.

“Veterans bring a broad range of leadership, team-building and organization skills to the workplace, as well as a strong work ethic and engagement in their work,” said Lynette Chappell-Williams, associate vice president for inclusion and workforce diversity. “They also bring specific skill sets in project management, administration information technologies, engineering, facilities and law enforcement. We are pleased to offer programs that help us recruit, hire and support our military families.”

The Families and Work Institute highlighted some of these programs and support services, including Cornell’s email lists for faculty and staff interested in the topics of parenting children with special needs, caregiving for adults, and LGBT families; a family helper list with contact information and profiles of people available to help with family care, education and household maintenance; and a guide to finding, hiring and keeping informal care providers.

The three other 2013 winners were JPMorgan Chase, Merck and Verizon Communications.

“Each of these companies has generated a holistic approach by recruiting, hiring and training vets and giving them a path inside their organizations to sustain employment and create a bright future,” said retired Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a member of the Families and Work Institute’s board.

Opperman; Chappell-Williams; Robert Stundtner, director of project management for Facilities Services; Cassandre Joseph, director of diversity engagement; and other Cornell and VCNG representatives will accept the legacy military award at the Work Life Legacy Awards dinner, June 3, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City.

The Families and Work Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization founded in 1989 to study the changing workplace, the changing family and the changing community.