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    Executive Summary of Colorado Discussion Groups April 6 & 8, 2011

    The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) values initiatives and programs that engage veterans and military families, grow a knowledge base of how national service can best meet the needs of veterans and military families, support efforts that engage veterans who want to continue service in new ways at home, and promote effective collaboration with our veterans, military family members, and veteran- serving organizations. To support CNCS in this effort, the National Service Inclusion Project (NSIP), a CNCS training and technical assistance provider on disability inclusion, in collaboration with the Center for Technical Assistance and Training (CTAT) and Operation TBI Freedom (OTF), both at Denver Options have partnered together to form a new initiative.

    This program will identify promising practices, products, and delivery strategies to enhance the capacity of veterans groups, national service programs, and the disability community so as to guide the practice, policies, and procedures of service programs as they recruit and support veterans with disabilities. Most importantly, veterans, including those who are current or former AmeriCorps or other national service volunteers, will inform this work extensively and products will be made available to veterans’ groups, national service programs, and the disability community to guide the practice, policies, and procedures of service programs as they recruit and support veterans with disabilities.

    The following draft narrative summarizes two, four-hour discussion sessions conducted in April 2011 that included 10 veterans in Denver, CO and 10 active duty soldiers, soon to be veterans, from the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, CO.

    Veteran demographics, with participant ages ranging from 20s – 50s, include:

    Active duty and soon to be veteran demographics, with participant ages

    This initial draft summary provides a snapshot of the discussion from the two groups. A comprehensive report will be completed an is expected to be disseminated in fall, 2011. For further information, please see the contact information at the end of this document.

    ranging from 20s – 40s, include:

    Each group was asked the same questions and shown the same materials to identify commonalities as well as differences in opinion from each group’s responses. During the two sessions, both groups of veterans viewed and discussed a variety of informational recruitment materials related to CNCS programs, including products from http://americorpsweek.gov/index.asp, selected videos from http://www.americorpscontest.org, Vets Corps and materials from http://www.nationalservice.gov/about/serveamerica/ veterans.asp.

    Both groups indicated strongly they very much appreciated being asked to provide their input, opinions and recommendations on how best to recruit veterans in national service. Common themes emerged from the two discussion groups and the following includes representative samples and quotes:

    Themes and Recommendations to Enhance Recruitment: