New Program Helps Connect Vets to Workforce

Tim Tooten


Veteran James Grace

A mentoring program from American Corporate Partners is being introduced to the Community College of Baltimore County. The idea is to give veterans who are making their way through college an inside track into Fortune 500 companies. Between classes, veterans at CCBC are catching up on schoolwork. At the Veterans Resource Center on the Essex campus, they're not just earning credits, they're also about to take advantage of a new mentorship program.

"I really enjoy being able to help my battle buddies do well and succeed," said Christina Duncan, director of veteran services at CCBC.

Nationwide, the new program offers veterans the tools they'll need for long-term career development after graduation.

"They have someone in the field that they can talk to and bounce ideas off of, bounce concerns off of, and things like that. It's very valuable to have a mentor like that," Duncan said.

The mentors have something in common, having also served the country. Last year, American Corporate Partners helped more than 2,400 college-based veterans. Twice that many have taken part since the program launched in 2008, which impressed CCBC student Josh Dickerson.

"Being able to relate to another veteran already in the career field is an outstanding opportunity for the veterans that are currently in school," Dickerson said.

Veteran James Grace can't wait to find out more about the program.

"If there's another veteran who's an engineer working for a Fortune 500 company, I would love to meet them and love to engage with them. That would be ideal," Grace said.

So far, more than 60 companies are taking part in the corporate mentorship program.