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Regent Hosts Virginia Values Veterans

By Brett Wilson | April 10, 2013

Joseph Barto, program manager, speaks at the Virginia Values Veterans conference hosted by Regent University.

Norman Rockwell's famous painting, The Homecoming, features a returning military veteran standing at attention outside of his city home, waiting to be embraced by his family members. What the painting does not depict, however, is the veteran's next step; what can sometimes be a less-than-picture-perfect transition into the workforce.

On Tuesday, April 9, Regent University's Military & Veterans Affairs and Office of Career Services hosted the Virginia Values Veterans (V3) conference. The organization, commissioned by Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell '89 (Law and Government), is an effort to alleviate the number of veterans struggling to find employment after their service in the military has been completed.

This was V3's sixth conference, held to train employers how to hire and retain employees from the pool of nearly 575,000 unemployed military veterans in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The target goal of V3 is for one out of every three Virginian employers to pledge to hire one veteran a year. This, according to V3's program manager, Joseph Barto, will create over 50,000 jobs for military veterans.

"We want these veterans to come home to Virginia, because we have good jobs waiting for them," said Barto. "We want them to come to the Commonwealth, because they know this will be a good place for them and their families."

Since its inaugural conference in June of 2012, V3 has helped train nearly 300 Virginian employers. In just under a year, 3,500 job pledges have been made by Virginian employers, and nearly 1,300 jobs have been retained by veterans.

"This success is largely due to the V3 program," said Barto. "And what a great accomplishment."

With its endorsement by GI Jobs and Military Advanced Education as a "Top Military-Friendly School" and a student body that boasts one out of six students who have served in the military, Regent is striving to provide its former service members with similar opportunities on the frontier of higher education.

"Hosting the V3 conference is further evidence of Regent's unwavering commitment to 'standing in the gap' for our military veterans," said Military & Veterans Affairs director, David Boisselle. "Regent is becoming a destination-school for veterans who desire a top-flight Christian education coupled with transition training and support that leads to a good job."

Though he acknowledged Regent's success at becoming a more welcoming academic atmosphere for veteran students—both on campus and online—Regent president Dr. Carlos Campo asked attendees to show him ways to "dig deeper."

"We want to know where we might be missing ways to be more military friendly," said President Campo. "And we want to make sure that we keep good people in Hampton Roads."

President Campo recalled being aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S Truman in September of 2009 while participating in the Aircraft Carrier Distinguished Visitor (DV) program. His mission during his visit was to connect and encourage the "incredibly focused" individuals he met aboard the carrier.

"I wanted to tell each of them that I would be very proud to have them be a part of our organization," said President Campo. "Let's keep our veterans home, and let's give them a great opportunity in the Commonwealth of Virginia."

Learn more about Regent's Career Services and Military & Veterans Affairs.

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Mindy Hughes, Public Relations

Phone: 757.352.4095 Fax: 757.352.4888

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