The Call of Duty™ Endowment Announces 2017 Seal of Distinction Awards, Expands Program to U.K.

Oct 31, 2017

Goodwill Southern California, Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region, and NextOp, Inc. Recognized for Commitment to Veteran Employment in the U.S.

SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Call of Duty™ Endowment ("the Endowment") is proud to announce the selection of Goodwill Southern California, Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region, and NextOp, Inc. as the 2017 recipients of the Call of Duty™ Endowment Seal of Distinction, the standard of excellence in the veterans' employment sector. Recognized as a national leader in funding veteran employment by the Philanthropy Roundtable, the grant program is in its fifth year and is key to the Endowment's success in placing veterans at one-fifth the cost of U.S. Department of Labor efforts. Winners each receive a $30,000 unrestricted grant and the opportunity to apply for additional restricted funding, advice, and support.

"Goodwill Southern California, Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region, and NextOp, Inc. do a tremendous job helping veterans find high quality jobs that are a great fit for their talents and needs," said Dan Goldenberg, Executive Director of the Call of Duty Endowment. "We're pleased to honor these high performing organizations' impact with the Seal of Distinction."

Goldenberg added, "We are also excited to expand our Seal of Distinction Program to the U.K. this year. We are looking forward to soon announcing the U.K. winners and forging partnerships with these impactful organizations, as well."

More about this year's U.S. winners:

  • Goodwill Southern California serves veterans with vocational challenges by providing education, training, work experience, and job placement services. In 2016 they placed 752 vets throughout Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino at an average cost per placement of $1,022.
  • Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region's Military and Veteran Services program assists transitioning military and veteran families with job training and placement services by providing individualized, holistic plans to help each participant succeed with the goal of achieving career placement, retention, and long-term financial education and stability. Last year, Goodwill of the Olympics & Rainier Region's Military and Veteran Services program placed 208 veterans at an average cost per placement of $1,076.
  • NextOp, Inc. is a Houston, Texas-based non-profit organization that places 1.5 veterans per day into energy, construction, and manufacturing careers. Their mentors help each transitioning veteran adjust to their new roles and cultivate the necessary skills to excel, increasing satisfaction and reducing turnover. NextOp has placed almost 1,000 veterans since inception in March 2015 with an average 2016 cost per placement of $1,559.

The Seal of Distinction program would not be possible without Deloitte's partnership and their thorough vetting of all Seal of Distinction nominees.

"Deloitte is absolutely essential to our Seal of Distinction model," added Goldenberg. "Together we identify top performing organizations and ensure that more veterans get back to work."

"Deloitte is honored to assist with the Call of Duty Endowment for a fifth year to help them identify organizations in the veterans non-profit sector worthy of the Seal of Distinction," said Mark Goulart, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP. "Once again, the rigorous vetting process, with an emphasis on metrics, transparency, and high standards, has helped the Endowment identify organizations deserving of the Endowment's support."

Goodwill Southern California, Goodwill of the Olympics, and Rainier Region, and NextOp join a distinguished group of non-profit organizations recognized by the Endowment for successfully serving veterans in their search for high quality employment. In the last year alone, organizations supported by the Endowment placed 11,615 veterans into jobs at an average cost-per-placement of $619—less than one fifth the cost of U.S. Department of Labor placement programs. Since the program's launch in 2013, the Endowment and its grantees have placed more than 39,000 veterans into full-time jobs.

This year's Seal of Distinction recipients join an elite list of non-profit organizations that are winners of the Seal of Distinction and making a major difference in the lives of our nation's veterans:

Applicants for the Call of Duty™ Endowment Seal of Distinction must meet rigorous criteria to be considered, including opening their books to provide extensive documentation about their job placement results. The metrics assessed included number of placements made, average cost per placement, average starting salary, six-month retention rate, key employee background checks, and a variety of organizational financial health indicators. All qualified applications were initially reviewed and evaluated by the Endowment's outside Board of Advisors. Semi-finalists were then independently assessed on a pro bono basis by Deloitte and ultimately approved by the Endowment's Board of Directors.

The Endowment's initial goal in the US was to identify and fund best-in-class organizations to place 25,000 veterans in jobs by the end of 2018. That goal was met two years early, and has subsequently and ambitiously been revised to placing 50,000 veterans into high-quality jobs by 2019. The Endowment launched its Seal of Distinction program in August 2013 and to-date has awarded more than $23 million in grants to previous Seal of Distinction recipients, and Activision Blizzard has donated over $27 million to the effort since inception in 2009.

About the Call of Duty Endowment:

The Call of Duty™ Endowment is a non-profit foundation co-founded by Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. The Endowment helps veterans find high quality careers by supporting groups that prepare them for the job market and by raising awareness of the value vets bring to the workplace. For more information about the Call of Duty Endowment, please visit www.callofdutyendowment.org.

ACTIVISION and CALL OF DUTY are trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc. All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners.

Rubenstein Communications
Joy Phillips, 212-843-8096
jphillips@rubenstein.com

Source: Activision Blizzard, Inc.

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