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Press Releases

Media Contact:
Scott Roller
Strategic Communications Officer
The Heinz Endowments

Phone: 412.338.2619
Email: sroller@heinz.org

PAServes - Greater Pittsburgh best in U.S. for connecting returning veterans with essential services

PITTSBURGH, PA., March 5, 2020 PAServes - Greater Pittsburgh, the local group created more than four years ago to connect returning veterans and their families with essential services that support their reintegration to civilian life, is outperforming its affiliate organizations across the United States, according to latest national data.

The Pittsburgh-based nonprofit, launched as part of the national AmericaServes network in 2015 with a grant from The Heinz Endowments, has become the most successful in the network in several key metrics, including connecting and fulfilling 85 percent of requests for help from current and former servicemen, servicewomen, and their families. This compares with an average successful connection rate of 74 percent among AmericaServes’ 17 member organizations across the country, according to statistics compiled by Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) which manages the national network.

PAServes covers a population of more than 113,000 veterans, as well as currently serving military members and their families, in Allegheny, Butler, and Westmoreland counties. The organization provides connections to a comprehensive range of resources and support groups, including education, health care, employment, housing, human services, legal, social activities, mentoring, sports and fitness, and community engagement.

PAServes, coordinated by a team at the community health and wellness provider Pittsburgh Mercy, has handled more than 13,000 requests for assistance over the past four years from just over 5,000 individuals, connecting them with 62 support organizations. The volume of requests for services increased 79 percent from 2018 to 2019.

Through close collaboration and the use of a shared technology platform, PAServes and its service provider partners – including the Allegheny County Department of Human Services and the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System – have reduced the average time to connect individual service requests with appropriate resources to five days, compared with a national average across all AmericaServes communities of seven days. PAServes is also a leader in successful completion of service requests that require involvement with multiple organizations, averaging 13 days, compared to the national AmericaServes average of 15 days.

“Connecting returning servicemen, servicewomen, and their families to the critical support they need to successfully transition to civilian life is central to the Endowments’ work, and we are delighted with the outstanding success that PAServes has achieved in a relatively short time,” said Grant Oliphant, President of The Heinz Endowments. “These statistics represent individuals who enrich our community, and PAServes is demonstrating a model that would benefit communities across the country.”

AmericaServes is the nation’s first coordinated system of public, private and nonprofit organizations working together to serve veterans, transitioning service-members, and their families. PAServes was launched in Pittsburgh as part of the AmericaServes network in the fall of 2015 with $300,000 in support from the Endowments.

PAServes was the third member organization of the AmericaServes network, preceded by New York and North Carolina. Now with 17 member communities across the United States, AmericaServes programs require all partner organizations to embrace transparency, a dedication to coordination, and clear communication.

Active duty forces, National Guard, and Reserve service members, as well as veterans and their families who reside in the Greater Pittsburgh area are eligible for support from the PAServes network.

PAServes was formed in response to data from a 2013 IVMF survey of 8,500 service members, veterans, and their families, who ranked the navigation of benefits and services as their top challenge in transitioning from military to civilian life (60 percent), with finding a job (55 percent) coming in as their second most pressing need. In addition to direct support services, PAServes also coordinates applications for U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs benefits.

“With nearly 5,000 new military and military-affiliated individuals moving into southwestern Pennsylvania each year, there is an ever-increasing need for a system that is easy to access and navigate, and helps connect to the services that ease the transition into civilian life,” said Megan Andros, the Endowments’ Senior Program Officer for Veterans.

“PAServes, the service organizations with whom they work, and coordination partner Pittsburgh Mercy are undertaking groundbreaking work in streamlining the process, and that means the incredible job skills, leadership experience, and dedication to service our veterans bring to our region can be more fully realized.”

PAServes Program Administrator Matthew Gryskewicz said the organization has seen significant growth since its launch, which can be attributed to two major pillars that guide its work. “The first is a commitment to knowledge and understanding of our community’s programmatic supports, which allows us to connect veterans and their family members to the right place, at the right time, eliminating the guesswork,” he said.

“Secondly, PAServes is deeply committed to our community partners and providers. The successes, coordination, and spirit of collaboration of our partner providers allow our veterans and family members the opportunity to grow and prosper, wherever they are in their lives.”

Ricardo Iamuuri: New Artist in Residence with Veteran Community

PITTSBURGH, PA., July 24, 2019 - Pittsburgh, PA…July 24, 2019…The Office of Public Art and RethinkVets are pleased to announce that Ricardo Iamuuri Robinson has been selected as the artist in residence with the RethinkVets coalition. Through this two-year initiative, Iamuuri and members of the post-9/11 veteran community will collaborate to develop a creative project that challenges misconceptions about the veteran community.

RethinkVets is a coalition of organizations that serve veterans in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Nearly 5,800 new veterans settle in the region each year. The coalition is working with the Office of Public Art (OPA) to produce an artist in the public realm residency which will facilitate a creative collaboration between Iamuuri and members of the veteran community. OPA issued a nationally advertised call for artists in February 2019, and Iamuuri was selected from the pool of applicants by a panel that included veterans and visual artists.

“The model of the artist in the public realm residency deeply embeds artists within the communities that they are engaging with, and results in projects that neither the artist nor the community could have envisioned on their own,” said Sallyann Kluz, Director of the Office of Public Art. “The selection committee, and particularly the veterans on the committee, was excited to see the range of Ricardo’s work and the ways in which he challenges preconceived notions of identity. We are excited to see how this collaboration develops, and what both the artist and the veterans take away from the experience.”

Iamuuri is a composer, sound recordist, and audiovisual artist. His work explores the ancestry of sound born from object and space, and he is founder and owner of SONARCHEOLOGY STUDIOS, a field recording service dedicated to the production of all things related to sound. During the first year of the program, Iamuuri will collaborate with the RethinkVets coalition members to engage veteran and non-veteran communities throughout the region to facilitate dialogue and learn more about the challenges that veterans face. The second year of the program will be dedicated toward implementing a creative project that will be generated from the first year of collaboration and engagement. The structure for this residency is intentionally open-ended. The goal is for deep community engagement that results in a collaborative, creative project.

“One of the many endowments for an artist is the gift of expressing their unique vision. This residency encourages me to leave my visions at the threshold and enter at the risk of seeing and creating art beyond my own expectations. I am truly excited about this challenge and I look forward to engaging the region’s veteran community. I believe everyone has a story and it will be my job to turn up the volume,” said Ricardo Iamuuri Robinson.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Ricardo Iamuuri Robinson and the Office of Public Art team,” said Megan Andros, The Heinz Endowments’ senior program officer for veterans. “We hope this creative work helps spur a community dialogue about our region’s military and veteran community and inspires deeper interaction with the population.”

This project is being supported by generous funding from The Heinz Endowments.

About Ricardo Iamuuri Robinson

Ricardo Iamuuri Robinson is an audiovisual artist. He is founder of Sonarcheology, a creative art practice merging improvisational listening with environmental archeology. By way of this method his art attempts to listen to the interrelationships between sound and shape, language and space, or what he calls “the ancestry of sound.” For more information about his work, please visit: sonarcheology.com.

About the Office of Public Art

Office of Public Art (OPA) is the leading agent and advocate for public art in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Founded in 2005, OPA is located at the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council and works with communities and artists throughout the region by providing public art education, commissions, project management, artist selection, and artist residencies in the public realm. OPA collaborates with individuals and organizations in both the public and private sector. For more information, visit: publicartpittsburgh.org.

About RethinkVets

RethinkVets, an initiative of The Heinz Endowments, is a coalition of nonprofit organizations working to drive better outcomes for service members, veterans and military families, address misconceptions and reshape public opinion about veterans in the Pittsburgh region. Visit rethinkvets.org.

About The Heinz Endowments

The Heinz Endowments is devoted to the mission of helping southwestern Pennsylvania prosper as a vibrant center of creativity, learning, and social, economic and environmental sustainability. Core to our work is the vision of a just community where all are included and where everyone who calls our region home has a real and meaningful opportunity to thrive. Visit heinz.org.

Pittsburgh employers’ alliance announces launch of first data-centric Veteran Employment Coalition

PITTSBURGH, Pa., May 22, 2019 — An alliance of Pittsburgh businesses announced today the launch of the Pittsburgh Veteran Employer Coalition (PVEC), a first-of-its-kind, community-based employment collaborative that will advance the lives and combat the pervasive underemployment of Pittsburgh’s veteran and military-connected residents. The Coalition is a result of a 24-month collaboration between The Heinz Endowments, Institute for Veteran and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF) and an eight-member steering committee. Approximately 60 businesses are expected to join the PVEC during the remainder of 2019.

On an unprecedented scale, the PVEC will connect the city’s estimated 50,000 post-9/11 veterans and military-connected families with skill and experience-matched corporate sector employment opportunities, recruit active-duty personnel prior to exiting the military, and foster employment retention and data-based benchmarking.

The PVEC will operate under the auspice of a steering committee consisting of representatives of eight major employers, including Accenture, City of Pittsburgh, FedEx Ground, Giant Eagle, Highmark Health, PITT OHIO, Oberg Industries, PNC Financial Services, and the Endowments.

All steering committee members have approved a charter agreeing to uphold the commitments of the coalition’s companies, including sharing recruiting, hiring, and retention data. Progress on initiative benchmarks will be determined by data provided by PVEC members and will be shared in aggregate with the community at large.

Putting their competition for workforce development aside, businesses in the group are committed to a partnership that strengthens the community of Pittsburgh by empowering veterans, recognizing their individual and collective skills and worth, and creating an extensive talent pipeline for employers in the city.

From May 2017 to May 2019, IVMF, the nation’s leader in veteran transition services, joined the Endowments in guiding eight forums with employer representatives and veteran groups from the Pittsburgh region that provided input for the creation of the Coalition.

Data from a 2017 Call of Duty Endowment/ZipRecruiter study shows that nearly one-third of all veteran job seekers – a rate 15.6 percent higher than non-veteran job seekers - are underemployed in positions that do not utilize the full potential of their skill sets.

The PVEC will address veteran underemployment through shared data, networking opportunities and skills translation tools, as well as work with businesses on how they can best serve and retain their veteran employees. Data to be collected and shared in aggregate to the community includes the number of veterans hired, education level, fulltime/part-time status, salary range, retention rate, zip codes where veterans live, years of service, and Military Occupational Specialty.

Almost $100,000 has been provided by the Endowments to support the initiative, with future funding provided by the Endowments and employers committed to the Coalition.

“The estimated 50,000 post-9/11 veterans who have chosen the Pittsburgh region as their home - and the 5,200 more that are predicted to join them each year - are a highly trained and experienced pool of talent,” said Endowments’ President Grant Oliphant. “The Pittsburgh Veteran Employer Coalition will help connect veterans with top employers, ensuring veterans’ employment potential is fully realized while providing companies with the first-rate employees they need.”

Sharing the PVEC’s mission to employ and serve veterans and military families, the IVMF currently offers two programs for veterans in Pittsburgh—PAServes and Onward to Opportunity (O2O). PAServes is the Greater Pittsburgh branch of the IVMF’s AmericaServes network of coordinated care, connecting military veterans, service members and their families with resources specific to their unique needs, while O2O provides career preparedness training for service members leaving the military, veterans, and military spouses.

“Today is an exciting day in Pittsburgh as the work of so many comes to fruition in support of the city’s veterans and families,” says Mike Haynie, vice chancellor of Syracuse University and founder & executive director of the IVMF. “The thoughtful and strategic formation of the PVEC will create lasting and sustainable impact for the city, its veterans and families, and the economic landscape. The IVMF is proud to have a hand in creating supportive systems across Pittsburgh for those who have served.”

“PITT OHIO is proud to partner with the PVEC and looks forward to working with and providing career opportunities for the many veterans and military-connected families in the greater Pittsburgh region,” said Brian McGuire, vice president of Human Resources, PITT OHIO. “We value the many diverse qualifications and skills veterans obtained while serving our country and now appreciate the special contributions they will provide to our organizations.”

“With unparalleled skills, experiences and commitment to teamwork, veterans strengthen Pittsburgh’s sense of civic responsibility and its economic vitality,” said Deborah Rice-Johnson, president, Highmark Inc. “Highmark has benefited in countless ways from our veteran employees who have served our country. We are excited and proud to join forces with other leading western Pennsylvania employers to expand job opportunities and resources available to these special individuals who have sacrificed so much, yet have so much more to contribute.”

A complete list of employers who have committed to the PVEC will be released later in 2019. In the coming months, the Coalition will continue to expand its network with the greater Pittsburgh community to identify organizations with like-minded values who may have employment opportunities for veterans, including but not limited to businesses, academia, non-profit groups and government organizations.

Entities interested in partnering should contact info@thepvec.org

Rethink Vets Announces Artist Residency

The Office of Public Art, working in collaboration with Rethink Vets and The Heinz Endowments, has released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for artists or artist teams to work with the Rethink Vets coalition as an artist-in-residence. The two-year initiative, part of OPA’s artist in the public realm residency program, will result in a creative project developed in collaboration with veteran communities in Allegheny, Butler, and Westmoreland counties. The selected artist or artist team will be paid a fee of $25,000 for the first year of the residency; an artist fee and project implementation budget for the second year will be determined through the development of the creative project proposal. An additional allowance of $7,500 for materials and related expenses will be provided in the first year of the residency to support community engagement and other activities. An artist information session will be held on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 from 6 – 7:00 PM at the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, 810 Penn Avenue, 7th Floor, Pittsburgh, 15222. RFQ submissions are due on Monday, April 8, 2019 at 11:59 PM. Applications will only be accepted through Submittable, an online application platform used by the Office of Public Art. The application and complete call for artists may be accessed at: http://tinyurl.com/rethinkres

Through the artist in the public realm residency program, the Office of Public Art believes that artists can and should be engaged as change agents who can collaborate with communities to envision their futures, address community issues, and strengthen connectivity. By placing an artist-in-residence with members of the veteran community, OPA and Rethink Vets intend to facilitate a creative collaboration that breaks down the misconceptions about veterans and develops new approaches to addressing the challenges that veterans face.

The residency will be a two-year process. During the first year, the artist or artist team will work with Rethink Vets and its coalition members to engage several veteran communities, and will then spend the second year producing a project whose concept is generated through the first year of collaboration and engagement. Interested artists and artist teams can learn more by downloading the RFQ here.

“With nearly 5,800 new veterans settling in the Southwestern Pennsylvania region each year, it is especially important that we understand both their stories and their enormous value,” said Megan Andros, senior program officer for veterans at The Heinz Endowments. “We are funding the veteran artist-in-residence program in partnership with the Office of Public Art because we believe it has the power to inspire conversation about the abundance of experience, talent, creativity and dedication to strengthening community that our veterans have to offer.”

This is the second collaboration between Rethink Vets and the Office of Public Art. The two organizations first worked together during the 2018 Three Rivers Arts Festival to organize the exhibition Rethink Perception. The exhibition featured artwork by local and national artist veterans. The exhibit was visited by over 2,000 people during its four-day run.

Rethink Perception Exhibition Returns for the Gallery Crawl

The Office of Public Art and RethinkVets bring back the veteran inspired exhibition

Pittsburgh, PA...September 13, 2018...The Office of Public Art, in collaboration with RethinkVets and The Heinz Endowments, will bring back the exhibition Rethink Perception for ten days beginning on September 21, and concluding on September 30. The exhibition features the work of six artist-veterans from around the United States. Housed in a repurposed shipping container reminiscent of those often utilized in overseas military deployments, the climate-controlled exhibition space will be located adjacent to 212 10th Street, Pittsburgh, 15222. Rethink Perception is free and open to the public. To see gallery hours, please visit: publicartpittsburgh.org.

RethinkVets is a coalition of organizations working to change the perception of how returning veterans are viewed by the American public. The exhibition features the work of six artist-veterans: Alicia Dietz (Richmond, VA), Jonas Lara (Oxnard, CA), Jamie Peterson (Columbia, SC), Hector René (Brooklyn, NY), Ehren Tool (Berkeley, CA), and Elise Wells (Stahlstown, PA). Each artist is a member of the United States Veterans’ Artists Alliance (USVAA), an award-winning, multidisciplinary nonprofit organization that provides opportunities for veterans working across the humanities. Selected for their unique perspectives and strong artistic abilities, the artists and their works are intended to raise awareness about how veterans work, challenge veteran stereotypes, and celebrate the significant contributions of veterans to both military and civilian life.

Rethink Perception first opened at the 2018 Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival and engaged over 1,500 visitors. Retired Medical Service Corps Captain Sean Tyler volunteered as a gallery attendant during the festival. "As a veteran, I found the Rethink Perception exhibit at the Three Rivers Arts Festival to be eye-opening and provocative. The exhibition overall challenged the status quo, which usually portrays veterans as being damaged individuals in need of a lot of help. Rethink Perception did exactly as promised; it gave a look into the lives of veterans who have found their way and their purpose after their service ended. Veterans, like all people, are on a spectrum and shouldn’t be pigeonholed into the damaging narrative of being dysfunctional or broken. We are capable of amazing things and this exhibit shows exactly that,” said Tyler.

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About RethinkVets

RethinkVets, an initiative of The Heinz Endowments, is a coalition of nonprofit organizations working to drive better outcomes for service members, veterans and military families, address misconceptions and reshape public opinion about veterans in the Pittsburgh region. Visit rethinkvets.org.

About The Heinz Endowments

The Heinz Endowments is devoted to the mission of helping southwestern Pennsylvania prosper as a vibrant center of creativity, learning, and social, economic and environmental sustainability. Core to our work is the vision of a just community where all are included and where everyone who calls our region home has a real and meaningful opportunity to thrive. Visit heinz.org.

About United States Veterans’ Artists Alliance

The United States Veterans’ Artists Alliance (USVAA) is an award-winning, multi-disciplinary non-profit arts organization, founded in 2004 by military veterans and artists. USVAA provides opportunities for veterans in the arts by highlighting the work of veterans in the arts, humanities and entertainment industry along with the contributions veterans have made historically to the rich cultural history of our nation. Visit usvaa.org.

About the Office of Public Art

The Office of Public Art expands the range of possibilities for artists to engage communities through technical assistance, educational programs, commissions, and residencies in the public realm. Founded in 2005, they work with organizations and individuals, within the thirteen county regions of Southwestern Pennsylvania, in the public and private sector to facilitate the development of and information about public art. For more information, visit: publicartpittsburgh.org.

How The Media's Narrow Portrayal Of Service Members Does The Military A Disservice

By Emma Moore on August 2, 2018

As the American military becomes more isolated from society and society more disconnected from war, public understanding of its military will continue to impact the interest among young people to serve and the burden of war on military members and families. The familiarity gap between the military and society exacerbates contradictory attitudes towards the military community: the military as an institution enjoys incredible public support, but the emergence of 'generations of war' given high service rates among children of service members are met with shrinking familial connections to the military. Similarly, public views label veterans as community assets and leaders, but also assume veterans experience PTSD and homelessness. The military is easy to love from afar, but the disconnect ultimately threatens national security.

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Artist-Veterans' "Rethink Perception" Exhibition Opens at Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival

The Office of Public Art and RethinkVets collaborate to host "Rethink Perception" exhibition

Pittsburgh, PA June 1, 2018 -- The Office of Public Art, in collaboration with RethinkVets and The Heinz Endowments, announce the exhibition "Rethink Perception," opening June 2, 2018 as part of the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival. The exhibition will feature the work of six artist-veterans from around the United States.

"Rethink Perception" will feature the work of six artist-veterans: Alicia Dietz (Richmond, VA), Jonas Lara (Oxnard, CA), Jamie Peterson (Columbia, SC), Hector René (Brooklyn, NY), Ehren Tool (Berkeley, CA), and Elise Wells (Stahlstown, PA). Each artist is a member of the United States Veterans' Artists Alliance (USVAA), an award-winning, multidisciplinary nonprofit organization that provides opportunities for veterans working across the humanities. Selected for their unique perspectives and strong artistic abilities, the artists and their works are intended to raise awareness about how veterans work, challenge veteran stereotypes and celebrate the significant contributions of veterans to both military and civilian life.

Housed in a repurposed shipping container reminiscent of those often utilized in overseas military deployments, the climate-controlled exhibit space is located at the corner of Penn Avenue and Stanwix Street. "Rethink Perception" is free and open to the public June 2, 3, 9 and 10 from noon - 8pm.

"Rethink Perception" is a continuation of the Endowments' RethinkVets campaign, launched in 2017, and is a bridge to the campaign's second phase that will debut in fall 2018. "RethinkVets, and the "Rethink Perceptions" exhibit in particular, aims to illustrate that veterans are much more than the heroes or victims that many perceive them to be," said Megan Andros, senior program officer for the Endowments.

RethinkVets is a coalition of organizations working to change the perception of how returning veterans are viewed by the American public.

For more information, please contact Sallyann Kluz, RA, Director for the Office of Public Art, Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council at skluz@pittsburghartscouncil.org, 412-391-2060, ex 251.

To learn more about RethinkVets please visit: www.rethinkvets.org. To learn more about the Office of Public Art, please visit: www.publicartpittsburgh.org.

Endowments’ new messaging campaign seeks to refocus understanding of veterans’ needs

PITTSBURGH Pa., June 1, 2017 -- A major public campaign was today launched in the Pittsburgh region in efforts to help create a true understanding of the challenges faced by veterans seeking to re-integrate into the community after returning from active military service.

Part of the campaign addresses widely held beliefs that the majority of returning veterans suffer from mental health issues, serious debilitating physical injury, or both – misperceptions that can prejudice efforts of former servicemen and women to kick-start their careers in civilian life.

And the campaign developed by The Heinz Endowments focuses on veterans’ comprehensive range of skills, qualifications and strong leadership qualities in urging local businesses to consider hiring more individuals who have served in the military.

“The idea that most returning veterans are in some way incapacitated or vulnerable is a myth that tends to permeate our communities locally and nationally,” said Grant Oliphant, President of The Heinz Endowments. “Certainly this can influence public charitable giving, but it does not help veterans and their families as they work to reestablish their lives.

“The truth is that veterans have an enormous amount to offer our community. They represent tremendous assets, socially, professionally and economically and we hope that our campaign can help to increase understanding and appreciation of that in refocusing the conversation. We hope it will inspire more action and less lip service in addressing the real needs of veterans.”

A two-part creative messaging campaign begins today (June 1) with varied ‘teaser’ versions of display signage and digital banners in Downtown Pittsburgh and on-line depicting an ex-serviceman or woman with a statement designed to inspire public curiosity, such as “Don’t just thank a veteran,” or “Veterans don’t just deserve respect,” or “Don’t just call veterans heroes,” or “Don’t just honor a veteran’s past.”

One week later, on June 8, the second part of the messaging will be added to the signage and digital banners to complete the statements: “Don’t just thank a veteran. Hire one.” “Veterans don’t just deserve respect. They deserve opportunities.” “Don’t just call veterans heroes. Call them for an interview.” And “Don’t just honor a veteran’s past. Help them build a future.”

The messaging refers individuals to a special website created to provide further information at RethinkVets.org which offers resources for veterans, their families, potential employers and the public. The site introduces users with the message: “Veterans don’t come back the same. They’re stronger, smarter and better leaders,” and features profiles of veterans and local organizations providing support services together with information addressing veterans’ needs and how these can be misunderstood.

The campaign messaging, developed by the Endowments with local advertising agency, Garrison Hughes, will use interior and exterior signage on buses, transit shelters and the North Side T Station together with digital banners on media websites. Before launching the initiative, the campaign was reviewed and endorsed by separate focus groups comprising veterans and members of the public.

More than four years ago, the Endowments began significant funding to programs that support veterans, under the leadership of Program Officer Megan Andros, a veteran of the United States Army who served in the Iraq War. Since then the foundation has awarded total grants of over $4 million, including funding for detailed research and surveys investigating the needs of returning veterans and the creation in 2015 of PAServes, a coalition of 46 nonprofit organizations in the Pittsburgh region providing support services for former servicemen and women.

PAServes, the first program of its kind in the Pittsburgh region, is designed as a single-point service to connect returning veterans and their families in Allegheny, Butler and Westmoreland counties with employment contacts and social, health and wellness services. Currently the local region is home to more than 235,000 veterans, and southwestern Pennsylvania is a major destination for the ex-military with 5,000-plus arriving annually.

“Misperceptions around returning veterans is a significant issue which in turn creates a big problem of under-employment, represented by large numbers of veterans failing to secure work in civilian life that is commensurate with their skills and qualifications,” said Megan Andros. “The fact is that less than one percent of veterans return with debilitating injury, physical or mental, and our messaging campaign is designed to help change the narrative, which we believe is key.”

"The Veterans Breakfast Club is excited to support The Heinz Endowments' new campaign to recast our conversation about veterans’ re-integration,” said Nick Grimes, Post-9/11 Program Director of the Pittsburgh nonprofit. “With the percentage of men and women serving in our armed forces at an historic low, most people are only dimly aware of the veterans’ experience and harbor many misconceptions about it.

“We hope that through this campaign, people will gain a better understanding of veterans' unique qualifications and skills and will see our veterans for what they are: invaluable assets to local businesses and the community at large.”


Media Coverage

Campaign urging Pittsburgh employers to hire vets

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

As a maintenance officer in Iraq during the Second Gulf War, Megan Andros commanded more than 100 troops in a heavy brigade combat team, and oversaw millions of dollars...

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Heinz Endowments launches campaign for vets

Pittsburgh Business Times

The Heinz Endowments has unveiled a national campaign to help veterans re-enter the civilian workforce. The campaign was created by the Heinz Endowments and Pittsburgh-based ad agency Garrison Hughes. The first part launched on digital banners and signage in Pittsburgh on Thursday.

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The Campaign