Military Families Help Fill Skills Gap through ThanksUSA’s Pathways for Patriots

$100 Million Initiative Provides Need-Based Scholarships, Mentoring
and Internship Programs for the Children and Spouses of our Armed Forces

MCLEAN, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–National non-profit ThanksUSA will introduce its Pathways for
scholarship and career pipeline program for military
families on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. The $100 million
initiative provides need-based scholarships, mentoring and internship
programs for the children and spouses of our Armed Forces. It
simultaneously helps diverse industries address the nation’s skills gap
and fill workforce shortfalls – with more than 5.5 million unfilled jobs

“One of the biggest challenges facing our military families is college
affordability,” says ThanksUSA President and retired Marine Lieutenant
Colonel Kevin Schmiegel, who devised the Pathways program.
“Almost two million military family members don’t wear the uniform but
“serve” too, including more than 700,000 spouses and 100,000 children
between the ages of 17 and 22. Pathways for Patriots offers them
financial and career support for a bright future and an extraordinary
talent pipeline for corporate America.”

ThanksUSA will make the announcement at a special event honoring
military families, hosted by the Honorable Michael McCaul in conjunction
with High Tech and Military Family Caucuses and ThanksUSA. The event
will be held at the Rayburn House Office Building Foyer on Tuesday,
March 7, 2017, from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm and will be attended by ThanksUSA
scholars and their families, Members of Congress and corporate

Among the attending corporate supporters will be major sponsor Lockheed
Martin, a global aerospace, defense and advanced technologies company.
Lockheed and ThanksUSA scholars in STEM (science, technology,
engineering and math) are leading the charge toward reducing the skills
gap in tech-related fields. The Pathway to STEM talent pool
boasts Lockheed’s flight-testing engineer Charlotte Orren, ThanksUSA
scholarship recipient (2012-2014) and Navy dependent.

“Ms. Orren is a ThanksUSA success story, a young woman who represents
the enormously talented and dedicated individuals in our military, both
on the battlefront and at home,” said Lockheed Martin’s Vice President
of Government Affairs, Larry Duncan. “We are pleased to help expand
America’s economy and our industry’s future with talented graduates like
her and other students currently heading down the STEM pathway.”

“The opportunity to reach for my dreams was an incredible gift. I was
given a wonderful opportunity to receive a top-notch education with the
help of people who believed in me, including my parents and ThanksUSA,”
says Charlotte Oren. “Today, at Lockheed Martin, I continue to receive
opportunities to develop my professional knowledge and experiences.”

Ms. Orren is one of several ThanksUSA scholarship recipients attending
the event. They include: mechanical engineering student (Virginia Tech)
and Navy dependent Natalie Ebreo; electrical-computer engineering major
(State University of New York Polytechnic Institute) and Air Force
dependent David Jeselson; US State Department employee and Army
dependent Cedric Pulliam; Air Force dependent and ThanksUSA biology
scholar (Carroll College, Montana) currently pursuing a medical degree
Ashtin Jeney; Army spouse Andrea Barreiro, studying psychology in
applied behavioral analysis on a full-tuition Kaplan / ThanksUSA
Scholarship; and Kristine Goffos, ThanksUSA Iowa State University
scholar (2010-2012) and a Coast Guard dependent, currently a digital
strategy associate.

The founding sponsors and supporters of the Pathways program
include Lockheed Martin, CVS Health, Kaplan University, Rumsfeld
Foundation, Smiths Group, Cobham, The Wireless Association and Twin
Logic Strategies.

“Our military families are an extraordinary talent pool for all
professions and industries, and it is clear programs like Pathways
for Patriots
are vital in helping them achieve their educational and
career aspirations, financial stability and a brighter future.” says Mr.
Schmiegel. “Post-secondary education is too often out of reach
for a majority of military families who depend on one income. But thanks
to our corporate sponsors’ willingness to engage with our scholars in a
meaningful way, the Pathways initiative will advance the career
trajectory of thousands of military children and spouses who deserve our
gratitude through the gift of education.”

About ThanksUSA

ThanksUSA is a non-partisan, charitable effort to mobilize Americans of
all ages to “thank” the men and women of the United States armed forces.
The organization provides college, technical and vocational school
scholarships to the children and spouses of military personnel.

About Pathways for Patriots

The Pathways for Patriots Program engages corporations from specific
industries (i.e., Tech/STEM, Public Service, Healthcare, Hospitality,
Financial Services, Manufacturing, and Energy) to create pipelines of
military spouses and children interested in pursuing post-secondary
degrees, certifications, and ultimately careers in occupations that
companies are struggling to fill. The initiative will help our scholars
establish careers in hard-to-fill occupations through mentoring,
internships, and employee engagement.

About Lockheed

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global
security and aerospace company that employs approximately 97,000 people
worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design,
development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced
technology systems, products and services.


Michele Stork
(703) 855-4108