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Statewide and Local Elected Officials Join Military, Education Leaders and AT&T to Support New Texas-Based Foundation Targeting Military Veterans Transitioning to Private Sector

AUSTIN, Texas, July 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush and State Representative Pat Fallon joined Admiral Bobby R. Inman and Linda Mays McCaul as well as Chancellors William McRaven and John Sharp and representatives from AT&T today to raise awareness of the needs of military veterans who often struggle to find work in corporate America and to support a new Texas organization dedicated to helping veterans transition to the private sector.  As part of today's event, both the Texas A&M University System and the University of Texas System will announce $50,000 contributions each and AT&T a $25,000 contribution in support of the VETTED Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to identifying military talent for transition preparation and planning, business executive education, career services, and industry placement in the private sector. All three organization's leadership urged other businesses to join them in supporting VETTED.

"As Texas Land Commissioner, one of my most important tasks is to ensure our veterans get the benefits they've earned," said Bush, who is a veteran and former officer in the U.S. Naval Reserves. "But along the way, and in spite of our best efforts, we know far too many veterans struggle to find work after their discharge or retirement from service. There's no doubt in my mind that it's possible to go from the battlefield to boardroom."

Fallon, a Air Force veteran turned entrepreneur and member of the Texas Veterans Caucus, lauded the goals of VETTED Foundation and encouraged other companies to join AT&T in supporting the organization.

"As we all know, our military veterans often struggle to transition to the private sector," Fallon said.  "VETTED takes this challenge head on and, in partnership with the University of Texas and Texas A&M University, is offering a comprehensive education program to arm veterans with the business knowledge and career services they need to succeed in corporate America.  As someone who has made the transition from military to business, I greatly appreciate the goals of this organization and encourage businesses from across the state to support this program and support our nation's veterans."

Inman, Chairman of the VETTED Foundation, added, "It's no secret that companies value the leadership, professionalism, wisdom, collaborative style, and work ethic that veterans bring to the table. However, we know that the majority of veterans struggle to find work in corporate America.  Today, I'm proud to be here with the VETTED Foundation and AT&T to promote efforts to help military veterans transition to the private sector, helping those who have been the front lines for American transition into the leaders of tomorrow in industry and entrepreneurship."

The VETTED Foundation was founded by Michael Sarraille, an active duty military officer and former student at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. Sarraille found that 70% of career military veterans struggle to find work in the private sector which led him, then a 1st year student in the full-time MBA program, to launch the VETTED Foundation. VETTED offers a comprehensive education program that has been developed in partnership with Texas Executive Education, and will provide veterans with the business knowledge and career services they need to succeed in today's corporate environment. VETTED launched this year in Texas.

"Seventy percent of all veterans struggle with the transition out of the military and into the private sector," said McCaul, who serves as Vice Chairman of the Foundation. "Despite corporations trying to do the right thing with veteran hiring programs, more than 70 percent of hiring managers admit having a hard time making business sense of military experience. We developed a program that is both cost efficient and time efficient for veterans. A lot of these men and women, just retired, are in their mid-40s with a family. They don't have the option of a full-time MBA.  The solution is relatively simple -- provide veterans with the business tools to succeed, and they will enter their second careers with confidence and effectiveness."

John Sharp, Chancellor of the Texas A&M University System said, "VETTED is addressing a critical issue facing our military veterans in a credible and effective way. Supporting our military personnel and their families should always be a priority, and VETTED's work is ensuring no service member is left behind. Texas A&M is very pleased to support their mission and we appreciate AT&T and others who do so as well."

Admiral William McRaven, Chancellor of The University of Texas System, added, "The leadership, energy and ingenuity of Michael Sarraille in forming VETTED Foundation is to be commended. That Michael is a currently serving military officer and a University of Texas Longhorn makes me even prouder. He embodies UT Austin's belief that 'what happens here, changes the world,' and this program will undoubtedly change lives for the better. We thank AT&T for encouraging others to invest in this important work."

The AT&T contribution reflects the company's continued committed to U.S. military veterans.

"For nearly 100 years, AT&T has remained dedicated to supporting active duty military personnel, veterans and their families," said Tracy King, Vice President Public Affairs for AT&T Texas.  "Our nation's service men and women make sacrifices to protect our country and our freedoms, and as a company, it as an honor to support them both at home and abroad. Moreover, military veterans possess the skills we need to succeed as a company and are an invaluable part of our workforce."

In May of 2016, AT&T committed to hiring an additional 10,000 vets for a total of 20,000 vets hired by 2020.  AT&T also is a founding member of the 100,000 Jobs Mission, launched in 2011 by JPMorgan Chase and 10 other companies to commit to hiring 100,000 veterans by 2020. The coalition has grown to more than 180 corporate members and tripled its commitment to hiring at least 300,000 veterans by 2020. The coalition's companies have collectively hired more than 217,000 veterans by 2014.

Once veterans are hired, AT&T helps ensure they have the skills needed to grow their careers and succeed as an employee in the ever-evolving technology landscape. The AT&T veterans' employee resource group also serves more than 9,000 members and creates an instant community for veterans. This includes mentoring and helping other veterans in their transition process.

To learn more about AT&T's commitments to veterans, click here.

About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T

AT&T is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs. AT&T Aspire is AT&T's signature philanthropic initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, employee volunteerism, and mentoring. Through Aspire, we've passed the $250 million mark on our plan to invest $350 million in education from 2008-2017.


VETTED, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization is the optimal Veteran transition platform to transform proven military leaders into tomorrow's industry leaders and entrepreneurs. VETTED identified military talent for transition preparation and planning, business executive education, career services, and industry placement in the private sector. VETTED is creating the first State Model, the Texas Model, to serve as the launch pad for successful veteran transitions before moving nationally. Learn more at www.vetted.org.

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