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Pols Rally to Help Veterans Shift Into Tech Mode

A group of bipartisan lawmakers is lending a hand to a newly formed support network aimed at moving returning veterans onto the front lines of data crunching.  

Sen. Richard M. Burr of North Carolina and Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan, both Republicans, have signed on alongside Maryland Democratic Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger to serve as honorary co-chairmen of the nascent NS2 Serves Training Program, a workforce-realigning initiative designed to usher military personnel into the field of information technology.  

NS2 Serves , the charitable arm of SAP National Security Services Inc., is expected to share highlights from its ongoing efforts Tuesday during a congressional reception. The get-to-know-you event — formally dubbed “Improving the Well Being, Employment Status and Opportunities Available to Post 9/11 Veterans and Their Families” — is scheduled to take place in room SVC 209 of the Capitol Visitor Center from 5 to 7 p.m.  

A budding coalition of like-minded organizations — including Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America; Boeing Defense, Space and Security; Special Operations Warrior Foundation; Working Wardrobes and VetNet — should also be onsite for the roll out of the cooperative effort. NS2 Serves launched its retraining program last fall. The 17 recruits in the first class graduated earlier this year, and have all found new jobs (with an average starting salary of more than $60,000) in the IT sector. The current crop of 20 would-be career changers has final exams on Wednesday, with graduation tentatively set for Friday.  

“If they pass the test, they’ll be fully certified,” an event organizer said of the culmination of a hands-on, 11-week deep-dive into data management some participants have compared to boot camp.  

“We need to help veterans with more than just an occasional job fair. They need, and have earned, a more holistic approach,” the organizer said of the thinking behind the loosely based support network. “We’re making a statement that everyone needs to step up and do more, particularly corporate America.”  

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