American Corporate Partners Pairs Veterans with Experienced Professional Mentors
Blake Stilwell

There are a lot of resources and organizations open to veterans looking to get out of the military and make a smooth transition to civilian life. Some are focused on job or skills training, education or some other critical aspect of finding a job. But what does a veteran do when they don’t know where to start?

Veterans who are unsure of their next steps aren’t alone. A Chamber of Commerce study found that 85% of transitioning service members didn’t know what they wanted in their next career. No matter where a veteran is in their transition timeline, corporate America is here to help

American Corporate Partners (ACP) is a nonprofit that isn’t just out to get veterans a job; it’s looking to prepare vets for their entire civilian career. To do this, the organization has created partnerships with America’s most valuable corporations so vets can tap into the experience of seasoned professionals.

ACP believes underemployment is a bigger threat to the long-term success of a veteran’s transition than just unemployment. Underemployment can take different forms, from taking a job that doesn’t pay the bills to one that doesn’t fully utilize the range of skills and experience a vet brings to the table. The latter can lead to a host of mental-health issues, ones particularly threatening to the veteran community.

To keep veterans away from either unemployment or underemployment, ACP’s program facilitates mentoring, networking and personal career advice to help guide service members to gainful employment.

American Corporate Partners gets its name from the hundreds of companies it works with to fill critical roles with veteran talent. ACP’s mentors all come from the ranks of Fortune 500 companies and are paired with veterans to form meaningful, one-on-one relationships over the course of a year.

Post-9/11 veterans, their spouses and active-duty spouses are eligible for an ACP mentor program. Based on the needs of the applicant, ACP can pair one of these individuals with mentorship (at no cost) in the realms of resume and interview preparation, career exploration, career advancement, networking, professional development and even insight on founding a small business.

Mentors and proteges are matched based on needs, experience level, interests and geographic location. No matter where a service member is in the transition period, ACP can find a good match for them. Meetings usually are held once per month and most often held virtually, but the relationship that forms between the mentor and mentee can take the meetings in person (where it’s safe to do so) or more often (if needed). They also are encouraged to communicate by email.

ACP has paired more than 20,000 veterans with a corporate mentor to help those veterans get their civilian lives started on the right footing. It all starts with a phone call from an ACP staff member to understand the veteran’s goals, preferences and timeline.

To learn more about American Corporate Partners or apply for a mentor, visit the ACP website. Interested veterans, service members and spouses also can follow ACP on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.