Activision's Call of Duty Endowment, which raises money and awareness for military veterans' unemployment, has donated $500,000 in grants to five different groups focused on helping returning servicemen transition into civilian careers.
The USO, Amvets, Military to Medicine, Student Veterans of America and Veterans Green Jobs will each receive the grants, just after the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced it found there are more than 1 million military veterans in the country currently out of work.
According to the BLS' recently-released annual Veterans' Employment Summary, the problem most impacts the youngest veterans, those between the ages 18-24, where the unemployment rate is 21.9 percent for men and 15.3 percent for women.
The grant money will be evenly distributed among the five groups; each will receive $100,000 in support of their initiatives to help veterans find jobs.
The USO, for example, is currently creating two new facilities -- one for career support at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland and a new medical campus at Virginia's Fort Belvoir.
Student Veterans of America focuses specifically on younger vets, while Amvets operates a pilot program for veterans living in Ohio that the grant will help them expand. Colorado-based Veterans Green Jobs trains vets in sustainable "green" jobs, and Military to Medicine provides online training and employment assistants for vets looking to transition to the healthcare field.
"It is a great honor to support these organizations that are training and placing our military men
and women in 21st century careers," says Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick. "For those who give selflessly to defend our freedom, we must continue to increase the public's awareness of this problem, and we must work together with businesses around the country to find our heroes fulfilling and sustainable jobs."
Last October, the Call of Duty endowment, or C.O.D.E, donated $25,000 to non-profit group Still Serving Veterans, which offers support to veterans such as job training and education, as well as help for post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.
The endowment was originally founded by Activision Blizzard in November 2009. The group pledged to donate $1 million to help unemployed veterans, with an initial donation of $125,000 to Paralyzed Veterans of America.