AT&T and Veterans Outreach Center Unveil New Technology Lab

In the spirit of the holiday season and in celebration of the nation’s bravest men and women who have put their lives at risk to protect our country, Rochester Chamber Partner member AT&T has announced a $25,000 contribution to Rochester Chamber member Veterans Outreach Center (VOC) in Rochester affording them the ability to update the organization’s Colonel Robert Abbott Veterans Community Technology Center (VCTC) and create a state-of-the-art AT&T Technology Lab.

With the AT&T Technology Lab, VOC plans to utilize the updated computer classroom to establish certification trainings including Microsoft Office certification, Networking in IT certification course, and basic desktop publishing courses. Additionally, basic computer classes will continue to be made available to veterans seeking support. With expanded capacity of the VCTC, VOC will be able to offer a variety of vocational assessment and pre-employment testing. This expansion will allow VOC to be more flexible preparing veterans and their family members to upgrade their skill sets for today’s job market. Possessing increased skills and certifications will enhance possibilities for better paying, middle skills level employment and career opportunities. Middle skills careers that are in-demand locally include: Advanced Manufacturing, Skilled Trades, Information Technology, Customer Service Call Center, Tourism, Culinary, and Health Care. VOC will also be able to diversify their current learning and teaching strategies with this new equipment and will reach more veterans in rural locations and provide distance learning capabilities.

This $25,000 contribution is part of AT&T’s Thank Our Heroes program. AT&T contributed $500,000 across the country in 2017 to 14 local organizations who serve veterans and active duty military personnel. The campaign recognizes the nation’s heroes and supporting organizations like Rochester’s Veterans Outreach Center for their inspirational work to support active duty military personnel, veterans and their families.

Founded locally in 1973 by returning Vietnam veterans, today’s VOC remains anchored in the community and offers a comprehensive portfolio of supportive services designed to meet the needs of veterans and their families. Through the generosity of the community and corporate partnerships, all of the programs and services are provided free of charge. The organization offers comprehensive resources to current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families through direct service, community collaboration and advocacy. The organization provides supportive services to more than 1,500 veterans in Rochester, Buffalo and the 14 surrounding counties.

“We are excited to be a recipient of the AT&T’s Thank Our Heroes program. AT&T’s generosity enabled us to open the new AT&T Technology Lab here at Veterans Outreach Center, which is housed with state of the art computer equipment,” said Laura Stradley, VOC Executive Director. “The new computer lab will allow us to train veterans and teach them innovative skills required to succeed in today’s economy.  I’m confident that we’ll see great results from our investment in this workforce development program, and we look forward to continued partnerships with AT&T in the future.”

“We are honored to collaborate with Veterans Outreach Center to provide local veterans with new state-of-the-art technology resources to help them learn new skills and become digitally literate to help prepare them for the innovation jobs that are changing our economy at a robust pace,” said Marissa Shorenstein, President, AT&T-Northeast Region. “AT&T has a long history supporting our military, veterans and first responders and this contribution is one small way we can express our thanks to our nation’s servicemen and women who have done so much to protect our country and freedoms.”

For nearly 100 years, AT&T has remained dedicated to supporting active military personnel, veterans and their families. The nation’s service men and women make sacrifices to protect our country and our freedoms, and it is an honor for AT&T to support them both at home and abroad. Moreover, military veterans possess the skills we need to succeed as a company and are an invaluable part of our workforce. In April 2013, AT&T announced its goal to hire 5,000 veterans and their family members into career opportunities over a five year period.  In November of 2013, AT&T doubled that commitment to 10,000. In May of 2016, in conjunction with Joining Forces, AT&T is doubled its goal to hire an additional 10,000 veterans for a total of 20,000 vets hired by 2020. In addition, AT&T supports veterans and military families through a variety of financial contributions, programs, and collaborations with organizations dedicated to service men and women and their families. AT&T supports Blue Star Families and their networking events for military spouses, as well as United Through Reading which offers deployed parents the opportunity to stay in touch with their families by reading children’s books aloud and recording them on DVD. The Company also supports Team Rubicon’s international disaster relief operation that unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy disaster response teams, free of charge to communities affected by disasters across the country. 

"I would like to thank AT&T for their commitment to Veterans Outreach Center and the Rochester community. With this investment in a state of the art technology lab, Veterans Outreach Center will be able to continue and improve on their important work of assisting and training veterans to ensure they have the latest skills in today’s workforce,” said New York Senator Joe Robach.

“It is critical that our community continuously works to find new ways to support the growing number of veterans returning home from duty as they transition to civilian life,” said Assembly Majority Leader Joseph D. Morelle. “I am grateful to AT&T and VOC for their dedication to uplifting these veterans and their families by providing important resources and workforce development training.”   

“As we work to create more jobs, safer/more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities for our citizens, we envision a city where resources are readily available and our communities are seamlessly connected,” said Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren. “This new computer lab will go a long way in helping Veterans Outreach Center’s workforce development program prepare our veterans for today’s innovation economy.”