Grant provides career training for veterans and boosts disaster relief efforts
After bouncing around from job to job, Nick Turner, a 24-year old Army veteran, was running low on money and moved back in with his parents. Then he heard about a job fair at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in suburban Detroit. There he learned about the Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces program, which opened the door to the opportunity of a lifetime.
“This program has completely changed my path,” said Turner, who was accepted into nurse assistant training and received a Ford Blue Oval scholarship. “I can now see light at the end of the tunnel.”
Nick is on his way to a career in health care as a certified nurse assistant and he is not alone. Ford Motor Company Fund is expanding its long-standing support of the American Red Cross by pledging $1 million dollars for workplace development training for veterans, military members and their families, as well as disaster relief through the Red Cross Disaster Responder program.
“Recent government data show unemployment among post-9/11 veterans is at 9.7 percent,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. “This expansion of our Red Cross partnership provides deserving veterans and their family members the chance to build new careers in the nursing field, which is a win-win-win for them, the Red Cross and our communities.”
As part of this two-year commitment, Ford is providing 200 Blue Oval Scholarships for nurse assistant training that will enable veterans, or those soon to leave military service, and their families to receive nurse assistant training in five cities: Detroit, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Nashville, Tenn. and Louisville, Ky. The Red Cross program equips trainees to achieve state-level certification as nurse assistants and obtain sustainable and competitive employment. The program provides job development and work readiness resources as well as helps graduates find employment.
“Ford’s support allows us to extend our nurse assistant training program in five areas of the country and helps us serve a larger number of service members and their families,” said Lynn Crabb, senior director of Policy and Programs, Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces.
“It gives you life skills,” said Sadie Fulton, a member of the Air National Guard and a student in the nurse assistant program. “I want to work in a VA hospital and it really gave me definite alternatives. It’s very rewarding.”
As part of this partnership, Ford also is joining the Red Cross Disaster Responder program and pledges donations on an ongoing basis in advance of major disasters. This helps the Red Cross ensure an immediate response to meet the needs of those affected by disasters of all sizes. In addition, Ford Motor Company is donating two Transit Connect vans to support crisis response in Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico.