A program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
The Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program has a lot to be thankful for heading into 2021. Ending 2020 on a programmatic high, the CFP placed a total of 1,261 fellows with over 300 host companies nationwide. The program not only met its 2020 goals, it surpassed them by placing several hundred more service members into fellowships than anticipated, despite a global pandemic and the struggles many industries and companies faced.
Watch how the program overcame the global pandemic.
This year is already off to a notable start for the program, which has a total of 16 program managers that oversee locations across the country. The program’s first cohort of 2021, which runs from January until April, secured fellowship opportunities for more than 500 active duty service members approaching their transitions out of the military. The cohort is the largest one the program has seen since its introduction to the military community at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in 2015.
“As we reflect back on the challenges of 2020, we are excited that our program continues to see growth every cohort and we see this being a trend for 2021,” said Stefanie Watson, Deputy Director of the Corporate Fellowship Program. “Despite the pandemic, our employer partners are committed to finding excellent military talent through our program, and we are thankful for their continued support.”
Many host companies pivoted in 2020, by offering virtual opportunities for fellows. Watson said most fellowships are still virtual in 2021.
The Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program is an innovative 12-week program that provides transitioning service members with professional training and hands-on experience in the civilian workforce. The professional development offered through the program prepares candidates for a smooth transition into meaningful civilian careers.
Participating corporations benefit by gaining access to the best and brightest transitioning service members, while also developing a more comprehensive understanding of the veteran job market.
To be eligible for the program, active duty candidates must be within 180 days of separating or retiring from the military at the time of the 12-week program.
They must also have either earned a bachelor’s degree plus have three or more years of leadership experience or have earned an associate degree plus have five or more years of leadership experience.
The program currently boasts an 86% job placement rate and an average salary of $93,000, so many of the men and women who are exiting military life, are entering opportunities that could bring them long term, high paying civilian jobs.
And more growth is coming. In recent years, new locations like Chicago, Tampa, and St. Louis have been added to the program’s map allowing opportunities for service members in places not available to them in the past.
Program managers anticipate the announcement of new locations in 2021 to include the addition of Huntsville, Alabama.
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A Program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation