Toolkits & Training

The following feature frameworks, tools and thought leadership that focus on the unique needs of active military, veterans and their families. These resources encourage coordination and collaboration among the many actors seeking to best serve those who have served us.

Hiring and Employment:

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Military Placement Resource center contains information for human resources professionals who want to hire current and former military service members.

Institute for Veterans and Military Families, Syracuse University
The IVMF is the first national center in higher education focused on the social, economic, education and policy issues impacting veterans and their families post-service. Guide to Leading Policies, Practices, and Resources: Supporting the Employment of Veterans and Military Families (PDF).

UBS Veterans Network (UBSVN) -- Mentorship/Retention
The UBSVN promotes leadership principles, professionalism and service at UBS. Specifically, it focuses on four things: recruiting and retaining talented staff, enhancing the client experience, leadership development, and promoting awareness of Veterans' roles in company culture, business operations, local communities, and client relationships. The goal is a culture of caring, integrity, and pride that builds the firm's reputation as a place where high-quality employees work and clients and prospects want to do business. This effort helps connect veterans to the organization and its mission, and as a result Veterans are staying at UBS.

Sears Holdings currently employs more than 30,000 U.S veterans, with more than 1,500 still serving in the National Guard and reserves, and thousands of military spouses. The Sears Associate Military Support Group helps maintain a positive work environment for these employees. Sears Holdings offers of a military pay differential to its full-time associates who are reservists, serving on active duty. Reservists who are employed full-time are allowed to continue participating in life insurance, medical and dental programs. Via its long-standing Heroes at Home program, Sears has supported U.S. soldiers, by rebuilding homes for veterans and providing gift cards to active service members during the holidays. Since its inception in 2007, the Sears Heroes at Home program has raised more than $30 million to help renovate 1,000 homes and improve the lives of more than 62,000 families.

Teamsters Military Assistance Program
The Teamsters Military Assistance Program (TMAP) is associated with the Helmets to Hardhats program, which the Teamsters has been actively involved in for years, and provides employment assistance to military veterans for jobs in the construction industry. TMAP, in association with Helmets to Hardhats, offers the following courses to veteran, Reserve and Guard communities at no cost to the candidate: 200-Hour Teamster/Military CDL Licensing Program; Teamster Construction Apprenticeship Program; 40-Hour Basic Hazardous Waste Worker Course; 8-Hour Hazardous Waste Refresher Course; 8-Hour Hazardous Materials Transportation Awareness Course; 16-Hour Emergency Responder - Operations Level Course; 10-Hour Construction Safety and Health Outreach Course; and 10-Hour General Industry Safety and Health Outreach Course.  Major funding for these courses comes from a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Worker Training Grants Program.

Utility Workers Military Assistance Program
The Utility Workers Military Assistance Program (UMAP) is open to veterans who have recently returned and is designed to provide the requisite skills and knowledge an individual will need to become successful in a career pathway within the Gas Utility Sector. The U-Map Program will provide and intensive 7 month training program which will include a one month paid internship and mentorship with experienced journey-level gas utility workers. Classes are for credit and will be taught through the Wright College and Dawson Technical Colleges both of which are part of the Chicago Community College system.

Women For Wounded Warriors
Women For Wounded Warriors is a nonprofit organization committed to empowering the business and educational needs of this generation’s wounded and their families by offering personalized one-on-one mentoring to the spouses of America’s wounded, and through partnership with various entrepreneurial organizations and educational institutions comprehensive academic seminars, development workshops, online training and more. Women For Wounded Warriors is highly successful in connecting its targeted veteran population with relevant educational and entrepreneurial opportunities let us help you provide for those who provided for us. Women for Wounded Warriors provides the guidance and support to spouses of wounded service members to ensure continued growth and success for both the family and veteran who have sacrificed so much.

Veteran Reintegration:

Center for a New American Security (CNAS) has written numerous papers with powerful frameworks that encourage collaboration and coordination including the following:

Employing America’s Veterans: Perspectives from Businesses provides empirical data representing the experiences of 69 companies of varying size, location and industry.

Investing in the Best: How to Support the Nonprofits that Serve Veterans, Service Members and Their Families offers guidance and baseline criteria for those interested in responsibly supporting nonprofit organizations addressing the needs of military and veteran communities.

Well After Service:

Veteran Reintegration and American Communities begins with a new definition of veteran wellness and provides concrete recommendations for how the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs and community-based and private organizations can work together successfully to reintegrate veterans into civilian society.

Volunteer Coordination:

The Points of Light Institute’s “Community Blueprint” is a roadmap for local communities across America to address the most common challenges facing veterans, returning service members and their families by transforming goodwill into service.

Health Care and Behavioral Health for Veterans:

Vets Prevail -- Created For Vets By Vets
The interactive training is delivered online, to reach the modern veteran, providing a convenient and completely confidential approach to treating deployment-related effects of combat such as PTSD, depression and anxiety. Public service announcements created by Vets Prevail have made a dramatic impact on building public awareness of the challenges associated with untreated post traumatic stress in turn having an effect on increasing community involvement. 

Bio Direction – Redefining the identification and management of brain injuries
BioDirection, Inc. is a medical device start-up company commercializing easy-to-use, low cost, handheld point-of-care products for the screening and monitoring of mild brain injury (mTBI) -- commonly referred to as a “concussion.” The company is redefining the identification and management of concussions which represent over 85 percent of reported brain injuries. Even a single concussion can lead to life-long problems and increases the risk for a second concussion. There is now evidence that concussions have cumulative effects resulting from repetitive subconcussive brain injuries. Based on recent awareness and clinical evidence, there is a compelling need for an objective handheld system to separate a simple head injury from brain injury. BioDirection’s screening platform, currently in advanced stage of development, combines clinically-validated biomarkers with the latest advances in integrated nanotechnologies to deliver an affordable, accurate and reproducible test platform to identify the difference between a head injury and a brain injury.

Veterans Artist Program
The Veteran Artist Program (VAP) encourages, fosters, and promotes veteran artists through networking, mentorship, collaborations with professional artists, and original productions. VAP believes that the arts not only encourage healing for veterans returning from war but is a viable career option for those looking to be intentional in their creative discipline. The arts has always been the perfect tool to document, promote, and make change in a society and VAP knows that veterans can transform the arts in America and become part of the mainstream creative arts community. Watch a short 10 minute video documentary produced by the Vets on Sets (VOS) film crew.

The Citizen Soldier Support Program (CSSP) Primary Health Care and Behavioral Health Provider Directory is a network of primary and behavioral health care providers who are trained in -- or who have expressed an interest in -- serving the specific needs of military members and their families.

The Welcome Johnny and Jane Home Project
To help combat what COL (Ret.) David Sutherland calls the "epidemic of disconnection" between current and former military and the rest of the citizenry, The Welcome Johnny and Jane Home Project arranges for any service member or veteran to have a nonveteran who is not a therapist, just an ordinary citizen, listen to whatever the service member or veteran wants to say about their time in the service or coming home. There is no fee, and it is confidential. It is just someone offering the gift of the time and place to have someone listen with respect and without judgment and without questioning or commenting. Veterans from all wars since World War II have found this very helpful, as documented in a Harvard Kennedy School study. If you are interested, please write to


Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans
The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) offers cutting edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management to post-9/11 veterans with disabilities resulting from their service to our country. The EBV is designed to open the door to business ownership for our veterans by:

  1. Developing their skills in the many steps and activities associated with launching and growing a small business.
  2. Helping them leverage programs and services for veterans and people with disabilities in a way that furthers their entrepreneurial dreams.

The EBV is designed around two central elements:

  1. Focused, practical training in the tools and skills of new venture creation and growth, reflecting issues unique to disability and public benefits programs.
  2. The establishment of a support structure for graduates of the program. The practical elements of the program will involve three phases: (1) Delegates participate in a self-study curriculum, facilitated by an online discussion and assessment module, which will be moderated by entrepreneurship faculty and graduate students from one of the partner EBV Universities. During this phase delegates will work on the development of their own business concepts. (2) During the nine-day residency at one of the eight EBV Universities, delegates are exposed to the "nuts and bolts" of business ownership through experiential workshops and lessons from world-class entrepreneurship faculty representing nationally ranked programs around the country. (3) Delegates are provided with ongoing technical assistance from faculty experts at the EBV Universities and EBV partners.

Foundation for Financial Planning
The mission of the Foundation for Financial Planning (FFP), a nonprofit charitable organization, is to help people take control of their financial lives by connecting the financial planning community with people in need. We achieve this by supporting pro-bono advice and outreach activities. In 2012, FFP and AMVETS entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to provide pro-bono financial planning and financial education for the AMVETS family.

Military Child Education Coalition
The work of the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) is focused on ensuring quality educational opportunities for all military children affected by mobility, family separation, and transition. A 501(c)(3) non-profit, world-wide organization, the MCEC performs research, develops resources, conducts professional institutes and conferences, and develops and publishes resources for all constituencies. The role of the MCEC is to help families, schools, and communities be better prepared to support military-connected children throughout their academic careers.

No Greater Sacrifice -- Scholarship
No Greater Sacrifice (NGS) was created to raise funds to support the educational needs of children and families. In so doing, they honor the sacrifice and commitment to the men and women in uniform. NGS accomplishes its mission in part by partnering with charities already on the ground to ensure that children of wounded warriors with a disability rating of 60% or greater will be able to attend and successfully graduate.

Sentinels Of Freedom
Sentinels Of Freedom provides life-changing opportunities for men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces who have suffered severe injuries and need the support of grateful communities to realize their dreams. Sentinels Of Freedom provides up to four years "life scholarships" to help veterans become self-sufficient. This two to four-year program assists veterans with severe service-related injuries who have the aptitude, attitude, and drive to become independent and successful members of society. Sentinels Of Freedom is able to assist veterans because whole communities step forward to assist. Local businesses and individuals not only give money, but also time, goods and services, housing and transportation.

Student Veterans of America
Student Veterans of America (SVA) provides Veterans with the resources, support, and advocacy needed to succeed in higher education and following graduation.  SVA member chapters are student groups that have formed on college and university campuses to provide peer-to-peer networks for Veterans attending those schools.  These groups coordinate campus activities, provide professional networking, and generally provide a touchstone for Student Veterans in higher education.

VeteransPlus programs were designed by veterans and are delivered by veterans to provide practical financial solutions geared to real life circumstances of current and former military personnel. Their veteran counselors can help break down communication barriers that might exist when veterans discuss personnel finances with non veterans. VeteransPlus has two programs that deliver financial education and literacy.

Other Organizations

Soldier On – Affordable Housing for homeless veterans
Since 1994, Soldier On has been helping homeless veterans by providing shelter, counseling, job training, and education. In 2009, the organization broke ground on the Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans community in Pittsfield, MA, and there are two other locations in the development process. Soldier On endeavors to provide veterans with integrity, dignity, and hope as they transition from homelessness to home ownership. Each location provides opportunities for drug and alcohol addiction treatment, educational services and job training. Soldier On not only provide servicess it is a provider to services.

Troops First Foundation
Troops First Foundation is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization that works to provide meaningful assistance to our service members who have suffered devastating injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan. With unduplicated relevance as a core principle, the founders of Troops First Foundation has created several programs and specialized events designed for Wounded Warriors and their families that address relationship building, mentoring, reintegration and looking forward.

Strategic Context White Papers

The following white papers serve as seminal documents in grasping the underlying context that helped to frame the big ideas behind the creation of Easter Seals Dixon Center. These papers help guide Easter Seals Dixon Center in al of our interactions with the thousands of organizations dedicated to serving our active military, veterans and their families. Easter Seals Dixon Center believes in collaboration and coordination. Within these papers, readers will discover new ways to envision how their mission can and should intersect with other like-minded entities.

  • Sea of Goodwill (PDF*)
    Matching the Donor to the Need
    Describes a re-integration trinity of education, meaningful employment and access to health care which serve to improve the quality of life for service members and their families.
    By: Major John W. Copeland and Colonel David W. Sutherland
    Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Warrior and Family Support
  • Channeling the “Sea of Goodwill” to Sustain the “Groundswell of Support” (PDF*)
    Transitioning from Concept to Application
    Focuses on ideas and tasks that will have a meaningful impact on building public awareness, encouraging community involvement, and promoting community services for veterans, their families, and the families of our fallen.
    By: Captain Chris Manglicmot and Major Ed Kennedy and Colonel David W. Sutherland
    Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Warrior and Family Support
  • Menu of Initiatives (PDF*)
    By: Major Christopher Manglicmot, USA; Colonel David W. Sutherland, USA; Colonel Brenda Blackman, USAF; Lieutenant Commander Kim Mitchell, USN; Lieutenant Colonel Tony Forbes, USA; Lieutenant Colonel Dennis Hart, USMC; Lieutenant Colonel Dawn Devine, USA; Lieutenant Colonel Ann Curtis, USAF

For more information on how Easter Seals Dixon Center can consult and advise your organization please contact us.

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