N.C. veterans getting a million bucks from Walmart Foundation

N.C. Veterans Affairs Director Illario Pantano meets with service members at executive manion in June
N.C. Veterans Affairs Director Illario Pantano meets with service members at executive manion in June

N.C. Veterans Affairs Director Illario Pantano meets with service members at the Executive Manion in June

RALEIGH – The Walmart Foundation is giving $1 million to help veterans statewide assimilate to civilian life, according to an announcement from Gov. Pat McCrory.  The money  will go into a public-private partnership led by the N.C. Department of Veterans Affairs, NC4VETS, with the private NCServes initiative from the institute for Veterans and Military Families. The organizations work on helping veterans who are fresh out of the military build new skills, get jobs and settle into a civilian life. According to a study from the Pew Research Center, 44 percent of veterans report difficulty adjusting as they leave the military.

“We want veterans to choose North Carolina as their new home. Veterans enrich our workforce because of the skills and discipline they received throughout their military career and their leadership skills will strengthen the communities in which they live,” McCrory said. “I want to thank the Walmart Foundation for assisting us in helping newly separated veterans get off to a good start in their new civilian life.”

In recent months, McCrory has been working to build programs that boost job skills in veterans and cut government red tape as they move into civilian jobs. He and Commerce Secretary John Skvarla say that the state’s highly-skilled 770,000 veterans have proven to be a selling feature as the two work to draw companies to North Carolina. At the announcement of a $1.85 billion expansion of a Novo Nordisk pharmaceutical facility in Johnston County last week, the company’s chief of U.S. operations specifically mentioned having vets in the workforce as a reason Novo Nordisk chose to expand in the state after considering other options in the country.

Earlier this summer the governor signed a bill into law that would give some credit for certain military training toward civilian job certifications. He also signed a bill granting in-state tuition rates for veterans.

“The purpose of this partnership to ease and streamline the access to services an individual veteran and family members need,” said Ilario Pantano, North Carolina Veterans Affairs Director. “NC4VETS has tremendous reach, and by partnering regionally with NCServes’ community-based networks, we have a winning formula to attract veterans and help them make North Carolina their new home.”

Among the features of the project is a resource catalog for veterans and a call center to answer questions on education benefits, healthcare and housing.