Skills Edge for Transitioning Veterans


Adapting to civilian life after serving in the military is not always a smooth transition—especially when it comes to joining the civilian workforce. Many service members have developed skillsets that are not always easily translated into private professions and find themselves unsure of what jobs to look for. The lack of assistance and guidance tends to lead to veteran job-hopping and not knowing where to go in their careers after serving their country.

The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University recognized the need for early intervention for veterans coming out of the military in order to assist them in finding long-term employment and providing guidance for relevant skills development. This type of response is critical as IVMF’s research has revealed that less than 50% of veterans transitioning to civilian life stay at the first company they find employment at.

Onward to Opportunity

The IVMF has several programs that support the upskilling and reskilling for talent mobility for the veteran workforce. Onward to Opportunity (O2O) is one program in particular that provides free training for professional certifications and job placement to transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses. The ultimate goal of programs such as O2O is to provide relevant training in the skills—business management, IT and other professional certifications—companies need now and will need in the future.

To date, more than 132,000 transitioning service members, veterans and military family members have received support and guidance from the IVMF. Programs like O2O continue to lead the way in changing how veterans view their future employment.

The IVMF’s innovation, combined with Syracuse University’s support and the Schultz Family Foundation’s desire to help, continues to make a huge difference in the lives of those who have served their country.

“Thanks to O2O, I have the knowledge and skills to ensure project success. The wide variety of programs they offer and the skills and certification veterans can attain will make them highly competitive in today’s job market.”

Jay Hanlon

U.S. Marine Corps Veteran