LYNETTE CHAPPELL-WILLIAMS: In 2013, Cornell University was recognized by the Families and Work Institute for our commitment to addressing the needs of veterans. The advantage for Cornell as being one of the four organizations being recognized is it says we're doing what we can in terms of providing benefits for each veteran that is looking for employment. It's not only in terms of the work experiences themselves, but also in terms of how we support veterans' families in terms of helping them to transition to our work environment as well.
BOB STUNDTNER: Many, many wonderful things take place here that make a difference. The people that are here-- there's 30,000 people during the school year on campus every day, students, faculty, and staff. And they are some of the neatest, smartest, most artistic people on the planet. And it's really fun to be working with them and for them.
For veterans, I think the most important thing that the university is doing is recognizing what the advantages to hire veterans. When I interviewed in my initial position here at Cornell University, they were interested in the fact that I was a veteran. And it was the first employer that I had spoken to who talked to me about that, took an interest in it. It was important to them that I was a veteran and first place that I felt welcomed as a veteran.
BERNARD AMPONSAH: I think veterans should come to Cornell because it's a good place to work. They have good benefits. And also, the structure here is almost like the military. My military experience translates to what I do here at Cornell. For example, when I was on the ship, I was the shipboard electrician. I was amazed when I came here because here at Cornell, we have wireless, we have gas turbines. And what we do on the ship really translates here because on the ship, we fix lights, we install models, we did all kinds of stuff, which all these trade and skills can be transferred here.
Employee degree program, whereby if you want to attend college at Cornell, they give about 100% tuition so long as what you're trying to study relates to your work. I started taking college courses at [INAUDIBLE] College. I'm pursuing a degree in business administration. Cornell is able to pay me 80% of my tuition for eight credits. I think this is a good thing. This is one of the advantages I have here.
BLAIR MACDONALD: Cornell is a great place to work for a few reasons. Really, it's almost like family. They really do care about their people. And the military is a family. So when you leave one family, you tend to kind of feel a little lost. But if you do come to Cornell, and you work with anything-- building care, dining, Cornell Police, EMS, those different types of things, faculty, staff-- you actually become part of that family. I see myself staying for the long haul. I'll be here 30 years probably.
You get a good paycheck. You get great health care benefits. You can support your family on it. And it's a great place to live. Upstate New York is a beautiful part of the country. And you can't beat where we live right now.
EMILY FRANCO: The Veterans Colleague Network Group, that's a fabulous group for me to be part of because it helps me connect with other veterans. And it's a population I'm comfortable with. It's people I know. I know their background. I know some of their experiences.
In addition to that, there's a support mentality. They want to develop you. You can become a better leader. You can develop specific skills. But if you have issues and you're dealing with family issues or care of an elderly parent--
There's so many opportunities in terms of you can go through the applied degree program. You can take classes. There are cultural events you can attend.
If you're a veteran, you should come to Cornell because Cornell really cares about all of the people in its community, but they've made an effort. So here, you have this great university doing a really good job with all its employees, but they've made an effort with veterans to say, you're a priority in terms of development, in terms of resources, in terms of the community that's evolving around veterans. I think that's tremendously important.
SUE WITHERS: I like being part of the VCNG because both my children are military, along with my son-in-law. You have a group that is similar to what you're going through. It is a good group to be able to help me through the things that I'm going through with my children.
Youngest daughter was in Iraq. And some things happened in her life that kind of turned her around so she is going through a very difficult time with PTSD. And you just need somebody to talk to and be able to help me through this so I can help her.
LYNETTE CHAPPELL-WILLIAMS: And as a veteran, you have the opportunity to be in a small town where people connect with each other, but working for an employer that provides a great deal of opportunity.
Cornell's community is great for veterans because it's had a long-term relationship with the military through their ROTC program, in fact, over 70 years. So whereas other institutions may have had a split with their ROTC, we've remained committed because we understand the value of the military.
As a veteran, you can benefit from working at Cornell. Not only do we create an environment where you are challenged, but there are a number of different opportunities. Whether your background is in terms of facilities, engineering, we have a place for you here. We also provide a wonderful community for you. It's a very close knit community. You can feel supported. The kind of experience you had with the brotherhood, sisterhood, in the military, you find that same kind of environment here at Cornell.
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Cornell University recruits and employs the most talented individuals, including dedicated service men and women whose values closely align with the university's. Here, veterans and military personnel will find opportunities to advance the greater good, contribute leadership and technical skills, and take advantage of educational, professional and work/life benefits that are specific to their needs.
The Families and Work Institute has awarded Cornell the 2013 Work Life Legacy Military Award for its support of veterans and military personnel. The institute cited the exceptional work of the Veterans Colleague Network Group (VCNG), which provides services and resources for the university's veteran community.