Equipping veterans for success

2019 Giving Guide

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One of U.S. Bank’s longstanding commitments has been to hire and support veterans. On Independence Day, a group of U.S. Bank employees put that commitment into action.

Employees helped renovate, beautify and modernize a library on the Milwaukee VA Medical Center campus that was built in the 1890s, converting it into a computer lab and recreation space for veterans. About 50 volunteers helped install new computers, desks, chairs and a projector screen, and cleaned and painted the computer lab.

The project was backed by a $20,000 gift from U.S. Bank and culminated in the donation of 100 laptops to veterans in need. The project was part of an ongoing partnership with Tech For Troops, a nonprofit organization that provides veterans with skills, computers and IT workforce training. Tech For Troops collected and refurbished the laptops to ready them for the veterans.

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JeNyce Boolton, community relations manager for U.S. Bank, said the project aligns with the company’s Community Possible corporate giving and engagement platform.

“Our corporate giving platform is focused around economic development, stable jobs, homes and vibrant communities,” Boolton said. “Because Tech for Troops supports veterans, it fits really nicely into our work by providing veterans with the resources they need to get back into the workforce or, if they’re in the workforce, to continue their path to growth and development.”

In 2017, U.S. Bank contributed more than $58.4 million to nonprofit organizations through Community Possible.

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Jim Santilli, president of U.S. Bank’s local employee resource group for veterans, said the effort is aimed at setting up veterans for success.

“Several of the veterans were on the job hunt,” he said. “Now they don’t have to leave the comfort of their home; they can apply for jobs online. Another gentleman was just starting an engineering degree at (Milwaukee School of Engineering) and this came just in time before the school year so he can do all the work he needs to do.”

More than a one-time commitment, U.S. Bank will continue to support the effort by providing financial literacy classes to veterans at the VA, along with more laptop giveaways.

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“Whenever we enter into a partnership with an organization, we want it to be very deep one,” Boolton said. “We wouldn’t provide financial support once a year; we want to provide that consistent support and engagement. With the partnership with the VA, there will be numerous touchpoints for bankers to get involved to solidify our commitment to our veterans.”

Boolton said it’s particularly rewarding to give back to a group that has given so much to the country.

“When we volunteer, it’s always gratifying,” she said. “But there is something really special about giving back to veterans who sacrificed so much for our country to protect our values and ideals.”

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