NEW YORK – Mayor Bill de Blasio and Department of Veterans’ Services Commissioner Loree Sutton today announced The Veterans On Campus NYC(VOC) program, marking the beginning of Fleet Week.
“When veterans return from service, research shows that they vote, volunteer, and work with their neighbors at higher rates than their civilian counterparts. Additionally, the majority of GI-Bill users are first-generation college students,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “By investing in its student veterans, the City will be leveraging and attracting federal resources; making a long-term human capital investment in all five boroughs; and providing pathways to opportunity for tens of thousands of diverse young people—all of whom have a demonstrated commitment to service.”
“New York is a mecca for corporate headquarters across all industries, and those industries need young, emerging talent with superior intellectual and leadership skills,” noted Gerry Byrne, Chairman/Founder of VOC. “In launching Veterans On Campus NYC, we are creating a community of very special students who will be supported and thanked by New York for their important contributions to our Nation,” added Byrne, who is Vice Chairman of the Penske Media Corporation, a Fordham grad, Marine officer and Vietnam Vet. Byrne serves as a Trustee of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and sits on the Advisory Board of Fordham’s Gabelli School.
A powerful American talent pool is emerging, comprised of the 100,000 armed services members annually leaving the military to seek higher education. Across its hundreds of colleges and universities, over 12,000 students are currently using their GI Bill to pursue higher education in New York City. The Veterans On Campus NYC (VOC) program strives to nurture this valuable workforce asset, combining the resources of a coalition of NYC colleges, the New York City Department of Veterans’ Services (DVS), and corporations like Marsh & McLennan and Veterans Advantage. The initiative was launched this morning at a roundtable hosted by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“We want veterans to find their next mission in New York City. The GI Bill is a great way to do that, and DVS is committed to doing its best to make sure that veterans and their families are able to use the City’s rich ecosystem of colleges and universities as a springboard to a successful life. It’s not just good for our veterans, it’s good for the City—veterans are civic assets,” adds NYC Department of Veterans’ Services (DVS) Commissioner, Brigadier General (Ret.) Loree Sutton, MD.
Working collaboratively with Commissioner Sutton’s office, VOC-NYC has four core objectives:
(1) To assist New York City academic institutions in further identifying and adopting best practices which support the needs and strengths of student veterans currently enrolled across the City;
(2) To attract the finest men and women of our armed forces to come to New York City to pursue undergraduate and graduate education;
(3) To help all veterans and their families transition effectively into academic and urban life, and to thrive while in school; and
(4) To launch veterans into successful careers in the private and public sectors.
Veterans On Campus-NYC will provide access to mentoring, internships, and public and private-sector employment opportunities through its affiliations and relationships with large corporations. In addition, Veterans On Campus-NYC will organize social/service-oriented activities to bring veterans together across the City.
Peter Beshar, EVP and General Counsel of Marsh & McLennan Companies and a member of the VOC Executive Committee comments, “Marsh & McLennan has hired over 490 veterans in the past three years and is eager to hire more. We are proud to participate in Veterans on Campus-NYC."
The Executive Committee of Veterans on Campus-NYC includes: Gerry Byrne, Vice-Chair of PMC Media Group; Peter Beshar, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Marsh & McLennan Companies; Donna Rapaccioli, Dean of the Fordham Gabelli School of Business; Jeremy Travis, President of John Jay College; Scott Higgins, CEO of Veterans Advantage; Commissioner Loree Sutton; Peter Meijer, Chairman of Student Veterans of America; and Christopher Rosa, Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at CUNY. The Leadership Council includes Mindy Bockstein, Executive Director of External Affairs at John Jay College of Criminal Justice; Matt Butler, Director of Military and Veterans’ Services at Fordham University; and Jason Mangone, a Senior Advisor at the NYC Department of Veterans’ Services.
Veterans Advantage will provide VOC-NYC program participants with a free one-year digital membership to their service, which brings exclusive discounts from national retailers and travel companies to active military, veterans, and their families. “We are so excited to be involved with VOC-NYC and have the opportunity to support New York City’s student veterans, says Army veteran and Vietnam veteran Higgins. “We hope that by offering the free membership we can help these students stress less about their finances and focus on what’s really important—their schooling and future careers.”
Veterans On Campus-NYC also plans to launch “The Salute Awards” during Veterans Week 2017, date and location TBD. Each participating school will nominate a veteran student based on academic achievement and community service. Final selections will be made by a panel assigned by the Executive Committee.
Starting in July 2017, in support of Veterans on Campus-NYC, the City is committing to a listening tour, led by DVS Commissioner Loree Sutton, of colleges and universities across the city to gain insights into the needs of the City’s student veterans. This listening tour will lead to a public report about NYC’s student veterans by the end of 2017.
Additional information can be found at www.vocnyc.org
About Marsh & McLennan Companies
MARSH & McLENNAN COMPANIES (NYSE: MMC) is a global professional services firm offering clients advice and solutions in the areas of risk, strategy and people. Marsh is a leader in insurance broking and risk management; Guy Carpenter is a leader in providing risk and reinsurance intermediary services; Mercer is a leader in health, wealth and career consulting; and Oliver Wyman is a leader in management consulting. With annual revenue of more than $13 billion and more than 60,000 colleagues worldwide, Marsh & McLennan Companies provides analysis, advice and transactional capabilities to clients in more than 130 countries. The Company is committed to being a responsible corporate citizen and making a positive impact in the communities in which it operates. Visit www.mmc.com for more information and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter @MMC_Global.
Veterans Advantage: Veterans Advantage is a registered public benefit corporation with the mission of advocating greater respect, recognition, and rewards for U.S. military veterans, active and retired U.S. military, guardsmen, reservists and their family members. Founded in 2000, Veterans Advantage partners with a national coalition of trusted retailers, travel industry leaders, and service providers to create new benefits and discounts for the men and women who have sacrificed for our freedoms. For more information: https://www.veteransadvantage.com/