NOVEMBER 2015 ;e Costco Connection 57
By Gary Strauss
THE IMMENSELY POPULAR video game
Call of Duty is helping to provide real-world
jobs for thousands of young military veterans.
Through donations by Call of Duty game
maker Activision Blizzard and ancillary sales
of Call of Duty dog tags through Costco and
other retailers, the Call of Duty Endowment
callofdutyendowment.org) has underwritten
several nonprofit and veterans’ support organizations that prepare vets for the job market.
Since Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick
co-founded the endowment in 2009, the nonprofit has provided more than $12.9 million in
funding to help 14,700 vets find careers. The
goal: 25,000 jobs by 2018.
“Joblessness among young veterans
who’ve served since 9/11 is 17 percent, a rate
three times greater than the national average,”
says Kotick. “By recruiting veterans, busi-
nesses can directly help these men and
women get back to work and establish good
careers after military service.”
Aside from funding job efforts, the Call of
Duty Endowment has worked hard to raise
awareness of the value veterans bring to the
workplace, says executive director and Costco
member Dan Goldenberg. It has done so by
highlighting their technical and team-oriented
skills, above-average productivity and higher
workforce retention rates.
Many young vets are unprepared for the
transition to civilian life, says Goldenberg, a
former Navy aviator. Many need career coaching to determine what they want to do next.
Others need advice on potential training or
education, résumé burnishing, and tips on how
to handle potentially stressful job interviews.
Hire Heroes USA (
benefited from Call of Duty Endowment funding to hire career coaches and résumé experts,
helping over 2,000 veterans find employment.
“It’s been an incredible relationship,” says CEO
Brian Stann, a Costco member and decorated
former Marine Corps captain.
Corporate America Supports You (CASY;
casy.msccn.org), another nonprofit underwrit-
ten by the endowment, helped Costco member
and Army reservist Charity Alich find a second
career as an operations manager for a
Minneapolis-area construction firm. “When
my time [as a chief war-
rant officer on active
duty orders] was up, I
needed to figure out
what to do,” says
Alich, 44, of Ham
“CASY helped me
drastically change my
résumé so I could
articulate my military
experience into words that
civilians could understand.
Within two weeks, I had three job
This fall, Costco will be the exclusive
retailer selling Call of Duty dog tags, packaged
with Call of Duty: Black Ops III, beginning
November 6. “We are grateful for our part-
nership with Costco, which has funded the
placement of over 1,000 veterans in quality
jobs,” Kotick says. C
Gary Strauss is a freelance writer based near
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