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Commending Northeastern University on the Opening of Its Center for the Advancement of Veterans and Service Members (Cavs)by Representative Seth Moulton
Posted on 2015-12-17
in the house of representatives
Thursday, December 17, 2015
Mr. MOULTON. Mr. Speaker, at a time when employment rates for many
student veterans continue to lag behind those of their civilian peers,
I rise today to commend Northeastern University for launching a new
center aimed at tackling this urgent challenge head on. Northeastern's
new Center for the Advancement of Veterans and Service Members--or
``CAVS'' for short--offers a wealth of services and benefits to
returned service members, including mentorship opportunities and
assistance with the transition from military to civilian life.
Student veterans at Northeastern benefit from the university's renowned experiential learning infrastructure through specialized cooperative education placements within a global network of 3,000 employers. And with CAVS now coming online, these students can also access tailored experiential learning programs and career resources that leverage their unique individual competencies and prior military experience.
Mr. Speaker, despite a slowly improving unemployment rate, veterans nationwide consistently face greater barriers to employment than non- veterans. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, half of all veterans in the United States will face a period of unemployment after transitioning from military service--particularly younger veterans, with those aged 18-24 facing an unemployment rate double that of civilian peers. In a report by Prudential prepared in conjunction with the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, 69 percent of veterans list finding a job as a civilian as their greatest challenge after service.
That's why I am so pleased to see that Northeastern's new center expands the university's focus on student veteran employability by focusing on the education and career advancement of returning service members. It's clear that Northeastern recognizes the contributions and sacrifices of service members and is committed to providing student veterans with an experiential education that allows them to leverage their unique leadership skills for their future careers.
Mr. Speaker, this work is not new for Northeastern. In fact, the university has a proud, 100-year legacy of educating veterans and service members. Today, Northeastern ranks among the top 10 private, non-profit, research universities for attracting post-9/11 G.I. Bill recipients. And the university also signed a first-of-its-kind agreement earlier this year to offer accelerated master's degrees in homeland security to members of the National Guard.
Northeastern is building on its strong track record of educating and preparing student veterans for the future: Northeastern's student veteran graduation rate is 82.6 percent, well above the national average of 51 percent. Through its Institute for Military Leadership in the Workforce, Northeastern's new veterans center will serve all aspects of veterans' integration into academia and will link students to strategic partners in the private sector. Based in Boston, the center's reach and impact will extend worldwide to veterans within Northeastern's Global Network.
Mr. Speaker, today there are some 600 student veterans and active duty personnel currently receiving benefits and support at Northeastern, a population that is expected to continue to grow in the wake of the opening of the center. The university's commitment to veterans now totals some $4 million, including its assistance through the federal Yellow Ribbon Program, the support and operation of the new center, and the establishment of a new scholarship program to aid veterans with costs not otherwise provided for through the government's benefits.
Additionally, Northeastern has more than 90 ongoing research projects funded by the Department of Defense, two Centers of Excellence funded by the Department of Homeland Security, and a $15 million state- of-the-art research institute that focuses on sensitive problems of national security. This past September, the university signed a $20 million cooperation agreement with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory to continue conducting critical defense research.
Mr. Speaker, Northeastern's unique military-aligned ecosystem provides veterans with more opportunities to explore different career paths, to learn how to better translate skills for the civilian job market, and to build relationships among the community. I commend Northeastern, under the visionary leadership of President Joseph Aoun, for undertaking this important work.
Northeastern's attention to veteran education and transitional needs is deeply appreciated. I urge all of my colleagues to take the time to review this important effort.