One of the toughest battles a U.S. military veteran faces after returning from active duty is finding a job and reentering the work force. The battle is so tough that in 2011, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden came together to launch Joining Forces. Joining Forces is a nationwide initiative calling all Americans to rally around service members, veterans, and their families and support them through wellness, education, and employment opportunities.
The Happy Joe Mission
Happy Joe is a 501 c3 non-profit organization that helps U.S. veterans with entrepreneurship and employment opportunities. Training initiatives prepare veterans not only for a career in the web technology industry, but also provide the skills necessary to start their own businesses. Most of the team behind the organization is either in active duty or has previous military experience.
The organization’s mission is to give back to veterans in a measurable way that makes a deep impact.
Happy Joe provides career placement and job training in the web technology industry free of charge to our veterans. We help them navigate their re-entry into the civilian marketplace and advocate for the rights that they’ve earned the right to. And we partner with the best companies and resources to ensure that our military veterans have every opportunity to become successful after their commitment to service is over.
Training and job placement programs are funded primarily by the Happy Joe Scholarship Fund. 100% of the donations and contributions go towards the efforts of working with veterans. Funds are also obtained through a sponsorship program several companies routinely contribute to, including Automattic and iThemes.
WordPress’ Role at Happy Joe
WordPress is the cornerstone used to help veterans learn a valuable skill. By learning WordPress, veterans can take advantage of valuable opportunities to work in the field either as an employee or through contract work. Dalman tells the Tavern that in 2015, as part of the training initiative, he’ll launch WP Bootcamps. “WP Bootcamps will be tailored to the military community and help our Armed Forces veterans to set up resume style websites on WordPress so that they can be seen as technology relevant.”
When asked if there are any success stories, Dalman points to himself as an example, “Personally, WordPress has allowed me as a veteran to launch very successful businesses in the marketplace, in addition to helping other veterans do the same. I am not the most tech savvy person in the world, but WordPress has provided me with the ability to make a great living, doing work I love to do.”
Learning and working with WordPress affords him the opportunity to travel and meet amazing people in the community. When asked by veterans if they can make a living in web technology using WordPress, Dalman responds, “I tell them if I can do it, they certainly can!” Some of the veterans taking advantage of Happy Joe are homeless or in deep financial trouble but are using WordPress to make a better life for themselves. Dalman notes that success stories of members will soon be shared on the Happy Joe website.
Happy Joe Needs Your Financial Support
While spreading the word about Happy Joe is appreciated, Dalman says the organization first and foremost needs financial assistance. “We need people to help fund the training and mentoring of our veterans. We have a lot of people who are sharing the story and mission of Happy Joe and we are VERY appreciative of that. However, we need sponsorships and donations to make a true difference.”
Happy Joe is working with around a dozen veterans with more on the way. According to Dalman, there are a half-dozen companies willing and ready to hire veterans. However, the organization can’t make it happen without funding. “There is work that we need to do to get veterans up to speed and ready. This takes time, money, and commitment. So please, go and donate to Happy Joe today so that we ALL can make a difference.”
If you’re interested in contributing financial support to the Happy Joe project, you can do so via the donations page. Keep in mind that it’s a 501c3 non-profit organization meaning donations are tax-deductible. 100% of public donations and contributions go directly to helping the veterans Happy Joe works with. There’s also a sponsorship page that explains not only how companies can get involved but also the benefits each sponsorship level provides. For example, Alpha Team sponsors which are the highest tier receive VIP access to trained and dependable veterans.
Veterans day in the U.S. is a reminder for Americans to remember and thank those who honorably serve or served in the military, it’s organizations like Happy Joe that think of them and give back year round.