Laptop Donation Story
A Partner Success Story in Ending Veteran Homelessness
Laptops Help Florida Veterans Seize Job Opportunities
Read the Orlando VA and Lockheed Martin’s Story | May 13, 2016
For Veterans experiencing or at risk of homelessness, meaningful employment is an important step toward securing or maintaining stable housing. However, without reliable computer and internet access, it can be difficult or impossible to build a résumé, search for jobs and complete online applications. That was the case for Veterans at the Orlando VA Medical Center at Lake Nona who were enrolled in Homeless Veteran Community Employment Services (HVCES): They were eager to take steps toward employment, but needed the tools to get online and apply for jobs.
This issue caught the attention of Jason Denney and Jennifer Dimas with Lockheed Martin's Orlando-based Military/Veterans Employee Resource Group, which already collaborated with local VA hospitals on events such as Stand Downs and VA's holiday angel tree campaign. In working with Annie Artis, the Orlando VA's community employment coordinator, Mr. Denney and Ms. Dimas recognized another opportunity to give back.
"For these Veterans, a computer could be the game-changer that helps them find that first civilian job or get back on their feet after falling on hard times," Ms. Dimas said.
On March 25, 2016, Lockheed Martin donated 10 laptop computers to the Lake Nona VA. Hospital IT staff connected them to the internet and installed the software that Veterans would need to develop résumés and seek job opportunities.
"We are so excited to be able to offer use of these laptops to the Veterans we serve," Ms. Artis said. "Removing this barrier to employment opens up countless opportunities, and is a great example of how VA and partners are working together to end Veteran homelessness."
Ms. Artis and her HVCES colleagues split the laptops between three locations: the Lake Nona Domiciliary, Lake Baldwin Domiciliary and the Health Care for Homeless Veterans office at the medical center. The laptops provide Veterans with convenient, reliable access to the resources they need to seek and gain employment, both through guided employment workshops at the medical center and independent job searches at the domiciliary locations.
"Lockheed Martin employees live by the motto, 'We never forget who we are working for,' and this doesn't end when Servicemembers become Veterans," Mr. Denney said. "I am proud to be a part of an organization that continually supports our Veterans and this computer donation is just a small part of what Lockheed Martin does all year."