VOWS, BWF, EY, and WayUP Join Forces to Connect Both Veterans and Employers at the 2021 VOWS Symposium - Bob Woodruff Foundation

VOWS, BWF, EY, and WayUP Join Forces to Connect Both Veterans and Employers at the 2021 VOWS Symposium

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Our careers can shape our sense of self and help us form enriching social relationships. For veterans, we know a fulfilling career can be an essential component of their transition into civilian life.  

This is why the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) works with Veterans on Wall Street (VOWS). VOWS was launched to bridge the gap between veterans and careers in financial services. Today, the VOWS umbrella now includes over 100 firms and has expanded its focus beyond the financial sector. VOWS continues to innovate to meet the emerging needs of veterans and is working with WayUP to help expand its candidate database. WayUP specializes in connecting early-career candidates with careers. VOWS has also established the sub-committee Women Veterans on Wall Street, which “strives to raise awareness for women veterans, support transitioning from the military into the workforce, and provide a strong professional network for women veterans across the country.”

VOWS has raised over $10 Million for BWF over the years which is allowing us to focus on the emerging needs of veterans who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the aftermath of the Afghanistan withdrawal. 

The VOWS Symposium serves as the ideal opportunity for veterans transitioning into the civilian workforce to connect with their peers who have already begun careers across many industries including corporate leadership, hiring managers, and key influences from government agencies and the financial services industry. This year will mark the 11th symposium which will take place virtually November 4-5, 2021, and is being hosted by EY. There is no cost for service members, veterans, spouses, and corporate hiring managers interested in attending.

“VOWS was created because a lot of smart people all saw the same gap – we were not hiring enough veterans and military spouses,” Suni Harford, President, of UBS Asset Management and Co-founder of VOWS said. “Financial services is an ideal career path for those trained in the military given the pace, the complexity, the team orientation. So we found a way, now a group of over 150 companies, to build a better path into financial services and now many other industries. Bringing military servicemen and women on board is the proverbial win-win-win scenario. Good for our companies, good for the individuals and their families, and good for our country.”

For EY, the event represents a chance to connect veterans and their unique skill sets to top employers.

“Veterans possess differentiated experience that helps equip them with leadership skills, confidence and teaming abilities that can be gained in few other places. They play a vital role at EY, helping us to innovate and deliver exceptional client service,” said EY Veterans Network Executive Sponsor Anthony Caterino. “We are honored to host the VOWS Symposium and support their important efforts to help transitioning veterans and their partners focus on career readiness and connect with leading financial services organizations.”

The VOWS Symposium will set out to connect organizations and provide an environment where they can share employee recruitment and retention strategies. The event will focus on helping veterans and military spouses sharpen their job-searching techniques. Specific workshops to help enhance resumes and how to network in a world that relies heavily on virtual interactions.

Whether job seekers are trying to get their foot in the door at innovative start-ups or established Fortune 500 companies, WayUp is able to offer assistance. With over 50,000 veterans registered through WayUp, VOWS and BWF have built direct lines for veterans and organizations to explore meaningful employment opportunities. WayUp is encouraging veterans and military spouses to set up profiles on their platform after they register for the symposium. WayUp can help match registrants with open positions at top organizations across the country and offer help with interview preparation and more. Employers can also benefit from WayUp, having the ability to easily search for candidates using the veteran sourcing tool.

COVID-19 was the ultimate disrupter for the labor force and for veterans in general As we come out of the pandemic, it is critical that veterans are afforded every opportunity to jumpstart the next stage of their careers. The 2021 VOWS Symposium could be coming at the perfect time. VOWS has added additional virtual content that reaches beyond the New York Metropolitan. Last year, the symposium transitioned to a virtual forum due to the pandemic and there was a major increase in attendance. Since attendees can now access the symposium globally online, the event will again be held virtually. 

“This might be our most important symposium to date,” Anne Marie Dougherty, CEO of the Bob Woodruff Foundation said. The future of work is now. Companies from Wall Street to Main Street are embracing flexible and remote work options, which means they can now tap into an impressive pool of veteran and military spouse talent across the country.”