Shenandoah University will host a Veterans Community Engagement Forum on Thursday, June 2, at 1 p.m. in Halpin-Harrison Hall.
The event will bring together veterans and private, public and non-governmental organizations that support them at the local, state and national levels to discuss and foster a better understanding of the issues affecting veterans and their families.
The forum aims to re-engage veterans and the regional Community Veterans Engagement Boards (CVEBs) that focus on strategic actions that optimize support, care and services for veterans. Additionally, the forum will shed light on the many services available to veterans and will provide an opportunity to problem-solve some of the issues plaguing the veteran community.
It’s exciting to again be partnering with the Northern Shenandoah Valley CVEB and the host of community partners in our region to identify and support the needs of veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors. Shenandoah University is committed to being a school of choice for veterans and the leader in promoting and providing world-class education, services, and support to military-affiliated learners in our region.”
Cameron McCoy, Ph.D., Shenandoah University provost
A military-affiliated panel, consisting of an active-duty service member, a veteran, a spouse of a veteran, and a Shenandoah student who is the child of a veteran, will identify veterans’ needs and will focus on understanding some of the current challenges facing members of the military community throughout the region.
Michael Diaz, chair of the Northern Shenandoah Valley Community Veterans Engagement Board, will share information about what has been done to address veterans’ needs. CVEBs, which operate under the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, work to create collaborative networks on the local level and use community resources to address issues identified by the local community.
The forum will also include a presentation on Bunker Labs, which helps veterans and military spouses start and grow successful businesses, and a roundtable discussion among veteran-supporting organizations that will provide an opportunity to learn about current services available in the area and to promote partnership and collaboration across organizations.
Dr. McCoy, a military veteran, will share information about the Veterans, Military and Families Center (VMFC) and the planned Hub for Innovators, Veterans and Entrepreneurs (HIVE) during the forum. Attendees will get a chance to review the HIVE’s progress following the event.
In creating the HIVE, Shenandoah has identified an opportunity to further support the community by restoring the former National Guard Armory located on campus, and the initiative is designed to support economic growth and development in the community and region, while also providing an anchor for veteran care, services and resources.