Disney Hosts Transitioning Military Servicemembers for Day of Magic and Networking

Cappy Surette

by , Manager, External Communications at Disney Parks Experiences and Products and co-chair of the Veteran Business Employee Resource Group known as “Disney SALUTE”

Here at Disney, we’re honored to champion and support military servicemembers and veteran hiring programs to help those who served find meaningful work following their military service. It’s a big job and we’re delighted to team with other like-minded organizations including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce “Hiring our Heroes” program. This program connects the military community—servicemembers, military spouses, and veterans—with American businesses to provide networking, professional training and hands-on experience in the civilian workforce. Participating host companies harness the power of internships to find, evaluate, and hire the best military talent.

Hiring Our Heroes

We’re proud to be one of the many organizations that participate as a host company in the Corporate Fellowship Program which provides participants 12-weeks of civilian work experience to help make their transition a smooth one following their service to their country.

We recently had the honor of hosting the current cohort of sixty servicemembers, thirty of whom attended virtually, who are all participating fellows in this program with a diverse set of companies across Central Florida for a day of comradery, networking and sharing on tips for success in the post-military job hunt.

Their visit to Walt Disney World Resort began at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, where they got the blood flowing by soaring with the banshees on the Avatar Flight of Passage attraction located in Pandora – The World of Avatar.

Military Fellows enjoying Disney magic at Pandora -The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park

Military Fellows enjoying Disney magic at Pandora -The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park

After a morning in the park, the group enjoyed a backstage tour of some of our facilities and ended their day with lunch, presentations and round table discussions with Disney cast members who are military veterans themselves and part of our “Disney SALUTE” veteran affinity group. It was a privilege to answer their questions, share stories and provide advice on the job hunt having been on similar journeys in the past.

Cast members presenting during Disney SALUTE Corporate Fellowship Program

“We greatly appreciated the hospitality,” said Aleksandra Johnston, Deputy Director (East) for the Corporate Fellowship Program at Hiring our Heroes. “Working alongside companies like Disney gives our servicemembers a chance to network and gain hands-on experience so they can begin their new careers after their military service. Veterans and their families bring incredible value and expertise to companies, and we are happy to lead programs that connect the two together.”

U.S. Army veteran Dan Grundvig, Manager of Supplier Sustainability, organized the day’s events and was excited to connect transitioning military servicemembers with veterans now working at Disney who understand what they are feeling at this stage in their transition.

“It was a great honor hosting this group of incredible men and women,” said Dan. “Programs like Military Fellowships give our servicemembers the necessary tools for them to successfully transition into a new line of work while also celebrating their incredible contributions to our nation.”  

To learn more about programs like the Hiring our Heroes from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation go to hiringourheroes.org.

Registration now open for the Veterans Institute Summit (August 19-20)

Veterans Institute Presented By Disney Institute

As part of our commitment to veteran and military spouse hiring programs, we are thrilled to be hosting the Veterans Institute Summit this coming August 19-20 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. The two-day event is designed to empower companies to build effective veteran hiring, training and support programs of their own. To learn more about this event and to register to attend, please visit our Veterans Institute Summit website.

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