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April 27, 2022   •   Press Release  

SAFE Awards Grants to Advance Veteran Employment Opportunities

Folsom, Calif.  April 27, 2022 – Recognizing a need to assist veterans seeking advanced and entry-level careers, SAFE Credit Union is awarding $30,000 in grants to two Sacramento-area organizations committed to providing employment resources to veterans.

SAFE is granting $20,000 to Cyber Proud and $10,000 to Volunteers of America, of Northern California and Nevada, as part of the credit union’s grant program.

Cyber Proud will use the funding to provide employee training for veterans seeking careers in information technology. Volunteers of America plans to support homeless veterans with job-seeking resources.

Cyber Proud mentor Michael Reese, president and CEO of Found It Data Cybersecurity and Gabrielle Morgan, technical assistance associate for Cyber Proud. Coleen Morehead, Cyber Proud's founder and CEO, with Cyber Proud adviser George Usi, CEO and co-founder of Omnistruct, a cyber security management company.
Cyber Proud mentor Michael Reese, president and CEO of Found It Data Cybersecurity and Gabrielle Morgan, technical assistance associate for Cyber Proud. Coleen Morehead, Cyber Proud's founder and CEO, with Cyber Proud adviser George Usi, CEO and co-founder of Omnistruct, a cyber security management company.

Underemployment has become a strong barrier to meaningful post-service careers for many veterans, according to the Veteran Opportunity Report compiled by LinkedIn. The number of homeless veterans increased by 4 percent in California between 2019 and 2020, reports the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“We are excited to contribute to the efforts of these two organizations who closely understand the employment needs of today’s veterans in the Sacramento region,” says SAFE Credit Union Community Impact Manager Amanda Merz.

Cyber Proud plans to use the funds to enhance its Career Development Program. With the grant, the Sacramento-based program will provide veterans skills specific to the development of an information communication technology career. Veterans will receive career readiness training, industry mentoring, and job placement services. “Our goal is to move individuals from lower-wage jobs to high-demand, high-wage careers,” says Cyber Proud Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director Coleen Morehead. The organization provides access to training in industries including communications technology and cybersecurity.

Volunteers of America will support homeless veterans with financial education sessions to help them improve their financial literacy while searching for employment. Volunteers of America also assists homeless veterans secure permanent housing and stability. “In Sacramento, there’s a homeless problem, one that plagues many veterans,” says Volunteers of America Executive Director Leo McFarland. “Our organization is committed to keeping its veteran programs open and to continue serving homeless veterans in our community. With funding from SAFE Credit Union, these much-needed ongoing services will continue effectively.” Founded in 1911 the nonprofit’s Northern California and Nevada chapter is one of the largest providers of social services in the region, operating more than 40 programs including housing, employment services, substance abuse and recovery services. The program provides shelter or housing to more than 3,500 men, women, and children every night.

Volunteers of America Development Director of Northern California and Northern Nevada, Ana Bankert with U.S. Army Veteran Kevin Jones.
Volunteers of America Development Director of Northern California and Northern Nevada, Ana Bankert with U.S. Army Veteran Kevin Jones.

SAFE annually awards grants in phases focusing on its three pillars of philanthropy: veterans, healthcare, and education. For more information on SAFE Credit Union’s grants program, go to www.safecu.org/community/community-impact/funding.

Veterans attend Volunteers of America Veteran Employment Services fair.
Veterans attend Volunteers of America Veteran Employment Services fair.

About SAFE

SAFE Credit Union has made members an integral part of its vision since 1940. Over the years the credit union has kept the focus on what really matters, putting members first, a formula that has seen SAFE grow into a leading financial institution in Northern California with $4.5 billion in assets and about 242,000 members. SAFE crafts every cutting-edge product and sterling service with members’ needs foremost in mind. In addition to banking services conveniently available through online, chat, mobile, or phone options, SAFE offers in-person services for members and small businesses at service centers across the Greater Sacramento region. SAFE is a not-for-profit, state-chartered credit union with membership open to businesses and individuals living or working in Sacramento, Placer, Yolo, El Dorado, Sutter, Butte, Nevada, Solano, San Joaquin, Contra Costa, Yuba, Amador, and Alameda counties. Insured by NCUA. www.safecu.org

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