Big 4 accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP recently launched a first-of-its-kind fellowship program to support the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), sending select professionals to work for IVMF pro bono for multiple months to advance work supporting veterans and their families. This program will be offered twice a year during the fall and spring.
IVMF develops education and employment-focused programs in collaboration with industry, government, NGOs and the veteran’s community. The organization works to address the primary economic and public policy concerns of our nation’s servicemen, servicewomen and their families.
Kelly Smith, a manager at Ernst & Young LLP, is the first fellow to be based in IVMF’s offices at Syracuse University for a three-month rotational program, serving October through December. Among other duties, fellows will provide consultation to IVMF, drive policy and support programs that can have a significant impact on veterans’ issues, and enhance relationships with IVMF’s key stakeholders.
“At EY, we have shifted our focus beyond simply hiring veterans to helping them thrive in our organization,” said Nancy Altobello, the EY Americas Vice Chair, Talent. “We feel it’s important to acknowledge the transition from military to civilian life and providing an inclusive and supportive work culture is just the beginning. Supporting our veterans and their families is not only the right thing to do; it also helps us to achieve our business purpose of building a better working world.”
In addition to this new initiative, Ernst & Young LLP continues to strengthen the following efforts intended to benefit those who have served.
100,000 Jobs Mission
Ernst & Young LLP is a member of the 100,000 Jobs Mission, a coalition of over 120 companies with a goal of hiring 100,000 transitioning service members and military veterans by 2020. The coalition has already collectively hired more than 92,800 veterans through the third quarter of 2013, with Ernst & Young LLP hiring nearly 215 veterans since joining the mission. The firm currently hires veterans in all of its service lines and especially in Advisory Services — the fastest-growing area of recruiting at the firm — given their unique and complementary skill sets.
The EY Veterans Network
Established in June 2010, the EY Veterans Network supports veterans in their career development and their transition from the military to civilian life. Doubling its participation yet again in the past fiscal year, the network has rapidly grown to over 400 members. It has also transformed from a local community to a national group, with representation throughout Ernst & Young LLP service lines and regions in over 50 cities across the US. Every US branch of service (Navy, Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard) as well as foreign veterans and non-veteran supporters from all corners of the firm are represented. Participants attend events, networking functions, community projects and other initiatives. The network has also instituted a peer mentoring program, which pairs veteran new hires with veteran peer advisors to serve as a resource and sounding board to help ease the transition from military to civilian life and ensure EY’s veterans are both personally and professionally successful.
For over two years, Ernst & Young LLP has supported the Jericho Project, a New York nonprofit ending homelessness at its roots, through multiple fundraising initiatives, communications and networking events to benefit veterans and others. Additionally, the firm is collaborating with the Jericho Project on a new initiative to provide veterans assistance with financial planning through education and training.
As a result of this work benefitting veterans, the Jericho Project recognized Ernst & Young LLP as its Corporate Champion at its 30th Anniversary Gala on Oct. 9: “The Way Home: 30 Years of New Beginnings.” The event was attended by 400 leaders from business, government, nonprofit media and the arts, with Nancy Altobello accepting the award on behalf of the firm.
US Army War College
On Nov. 21, Ernst & Young LLP will again host the US Army War College (USAWC) at its New York City headquarters, providing a macroeconomic overview and leadership training to 15 members of the military. The USAWC is the Army's ultimate professional development institution that prepares selected military, civilian and international leaders for the responsibilities of strategic leadership in a joint, interagency, intergovernmental and multinational environment. EY Veterans Network co-chairs Joe McHugh and Tony Klimas will lead the event with support from The Peterson Institute for International Economics, a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research institution devoted to the study of international economic policy. Ernst & Young LLP has also invited the spouses of these military personnel to join in the afternoon’s activities.