Posted on February 14th, 2012 by Craig Newmark
(from the fair organizers /Craig)
On March 2, 2012, our community will demonstrate its commitment to our service members, veterans and their families. Held at the S.F. Veterans War Memorial Building (across from City Hall), the day-long event will address their needs. On-site will be a Job Fair, Town Hall/ Collaborative, Veterans Art Show, workshops and seminars.
Throughout the day, community based organizations, veteran’s service organizations, non‐profits, military family readiness groups and agencies will be available. At Noon, there will be a “Signing Ceremony” on the stage of the Herbst Theatre to show the community’s commitment and awareness in supporting our service members and their families. All are invited to attend!
*Employers* register for the Job Fair and *Hire a Hero*!
Friday, March 2, 2012 | 9 am – 5 pm
12 noon – 2 pm: Community Covenant Signing Ceremony
War Memorial Veterans Building
401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, California
For more information, please visit our website: www.communitycovenantsf.org
To RSVP, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; or Phone: 415-745-AFCC, (415-745-2322).
Our mission is to bring the community together to ensure comprehensive support and accessibility to those who serve, and to sustain this support through regular community meetings.
Posted on February 9th, 2012 by Craig Newmark
Hey, people in Veterans Affairs and elsewhere are working with folks in private industry to help vets get jobs. They're doing some genuinely innovative work.
Key to this is the Blue Button effort, which now allows vets to download their service record including skills codes. That record can be used in a number of innovative ways, to build better resumes and also to more effectively find jobs based on those skill codes.
For example, the following is a live visual portfolio for Ann Weeby, built using tools from rrripple.com, based on the skills codes in the Blue Button skills file.
(Hey, Ann's looking for her next opportunity.)
The skill codes can also be used to search the Veterans Job Bank at the National Resource Directory. For example, Ann has a skill code 42 Alpha or 42A. She can manually enter that code into the job bank and she'll see a list of all of the jobs relevant to that skill code.
When she actually applies to a matching job she can send a link to her rrripple portfolio that will not only showcase a verified document of her skills but all of the other evidence of her skills and achievement during or after military service that make her the best candidate for the job.
This is just one more example of some really good work that you never hear about. Lots more's needed…
Posted on February 6th, 2012 by Craig Newmark
Hey, I've worked with Aneesh for a coupla years, and bear witness that he's the real deal, and has done a lot for the country, serving citizens well and providing a good return for the taxpayer dollar.
Here you see him, on the left, with Joaquin Alvarado from American Public Media, and myself, on January 25th at the White House. (Photo by Jay Rosen from NYU.) We were discussing how to use government data to help people, including improved customer service, along with some others smart regarding new tech.
People who've worked with Aneesh have nothing but praise for his effort, well deserved, for real. You might check out Seven Videos That Best Highlight Chopra’s Work.
President Obama said, “As the federal government’s first Chief Technology Officer, Aneesh Chopra did groundbreaking work to bring our government into the 21st century. Aneesh found countless ways to engage the American people using technology, from electronic health records for veterans, to expanding access to broadband for rural communities, to modernizing government records. His legacy of leadership and innovation will benefit Americans for years to come, and I thank him for his outstanding service.” Read more on "Aneesh Chopra steps down as US CTO after major contributions" »
Posted on January 26th, 2012 by Craig Newmark
With the wars overseas winding down, the need to help vets and military families is increasing, as attention to their needs shrinks.
Vets need jobs, and that's high priority. So do their spouses, and they all need a hand dealing with everyday challenges that are magnified when troops are deployed or relocated.
A guy like me, I don't know what kind of real-life help they need, but here's what I read. They might need a little help in areas I wouldn't have figured:
- getting school credits transferred
- dealing with family stress resulting from deployment or relocation
- understanding military culture, like commonly used acronyms
- meeting people in new bases
- using social media, including issues like operational security
- good jobs that can move with a relocation
Really good help is provided by Blue Star Families and also the National Military Families Association, which focus on military families connecting and helping each other other out.
The National Resource Directory has a really good database of nonprofits and government agencies who can provide specialized help in specific geographies.
Sesame Workshop also provides help with difficult transitions. (That's me at a Sesame event, with Cookie Monster; he's the one in blue.)
The Department of Veterans Affairs now has Facebook pages for each medical center.
DonorsChoose.org has programs to help the schools that serve military families.
Finally, don't forget national groups which provide broad assistance, like the Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America and the Bob Woodruff Foundation.
I figure that we should support Americans who risk taking a bullet to protect us, and that means also looking after their families. Just seems right…
Posted on January 25th, 2012 by Craig Newmark
The new Open Government stuff gets results, normally with no media attention. It's just good, solid work, no drama, no way to sensationalize it. That's included a lot of progress in the last two years or so from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Turns out that a group of folks at the GSA, that's the General Services Administration, has been planning for years to figure out how to make Federal websites more effective, and they concluded a real successful national conversation at the end of last year:
A lot of people provided and refined a lot of good ideas, and here're my favorite three. Please note I'm biased, since I focus on customer service and getting to the point fast and simply.
1. Talk in plain language. People don't need fancy anything, much less Washington/Beltway language.
2. Simplify everything. My take on this is that people should be able, ultimately, to go to one place to figure stuff out, to get help, and not be bounced around from place to place, or to be totally lost. My model for this is the 311 style systems in places like NYC or SF, one stop shopping for government services.
3. Get welcome and mission statements off the homepage, or maybe just off the top of homepages. They get in the way, and add little.
Again, this is my take, filtered by my biases.