Call of Duty Endowment: 2021 Year in Review

Despite the pandemic and the end-of-year Omicron variant, the Endowment is proud to announce it had another RECORD year in the number of veterans placed in high-quality jobs.

by Mike Lavigne on Feb 09, 2022

When we collectively look back on 2021, there’s no question many of us will say it was a challenging year with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the many changes to how we work and how we live. However, the Call of Duty Endowment rose to the challenge and did not let those challenges negatively impact the work we’re doing for the men and women who’ve served in the U.S. and UK armed forces.

In spite of the pandemic and the end-of-year Omicron variant, the Endowment is proud to announce it had another RECORD year in the number of veterans placed in high-quality jobs.

Let’s take a look at the numbers:

  • 16,138 veterans found meaningful employment through our support in 2021, pushing us closer to our goal of 100,000 veterans placed by 2024.
  • The average salary in 2021 was $64,163 - the highest in the Endowment’s 12 year history – and nearly twice the current U.S. average.
  • Those numbers resulted in a total of more than $1 billion in first year salaries gained by the veterans we helped – another record for the Endowment.

Every veteran matters, and the Endowment is proud to support traditionally under-represented populations as part of our work. Last year, 20% of the veterans we placed in meaningful employment were Black, as compared to the 12% of the veteran population. Women also saw success – 19% of our placements were women, as compared to 10% of the total veteran population.

We couldn’t have achieved these numbers without the dedicated support of our grantees, including the winner of our 2021 Seal of Distinction, American Corporate Partners (ACP).

The Seal of Distinction is the premier standard for high performance in the veteran employment space. As part of the award, ACP received a $30,000 unrestricted grant.

ACP is a New York-based organization with national reach that directly drives measurable, high-quality job placements through curated one-on-one mentoring, networking, and online career advice.

In addition to ACP, the Endowment provided $8.6 million in grants in 2021 to 12 other U.S. and UK-based organizations to place veterans in jobs, typically at a much lower cost than government-funded programs.

The U.S. government pays $4,988 to put a single veteran to work through transition programs. It costs the Endowment one ninth of that: an average of $547 with higher quality outcomes.

Veterans know the value they’re getting as a direct result of the Endowment’s help – and they don't mind talking about it.

This is important work - but it doesn’t come easy. The Endowment wouldn’t be able to continue breaking records year over year if it weren’t for the generosity of Activision Blizzard employees, partners, and gamers.

Our partners at Call of Duty were instrumental to our mission in 2021. Their support for our work was evident in the attention to detail and creativity through multiple campaigns and digital item packs they created to help us raise funds and awareness. Our first digital item pack was inspired by Tim Hobbs, an Army Medic, that the Endowment placed in a high-quality job. With help from the team at Treyarch, we were able to raise awareness for the employment challenges of medics and hospital corpsmen, while in the process, raising funds to place more vets in jobs. This success is also thanks to our partners at Raven for helping us launch our in-game Revival Challenge and takeover of the Call of Duty Warzone connecting screen in honor of Military Appreciation Month. Sledgehammer Games' awesome team partnered with us to create the Call of Duty Endowment Timeless Pack - your support for the Endowment has helped countless veterans. Our first-party partners at Microsoft and Sony had a huge impact on our ability to sell these packs, and we thank them for their support.

As a result of digital pack sales across the franchise, we were able to place more than 5,500 veterans in full-time jobs.

Corporate partners also helped tremendously – funds raised through initiatives led by GameStop, Pilot Company, USAA, and Humble Bundle in the U.S., and Yogscast’s Jingle Jam, Amazon, and Papa John’s in the UK, combined to put more than 6,000 veterans to work.

We also participated in this year’s NFL My Cause, My Cleats week. We featured Cameron Mabb, an Army vet who, through Endowment grantee Hire Heroes USA, finished his Army career and transitioned into healthcare recruiting.

A lifelong Buffalo Bills fan, Cameron was thrilled to meet the Bills’ star wide receiver Stefon Diggs in a surprise reveal – and was blown away to see the cleats Stefon would wear on Monday Night Football in a battle with the New England Patriots for the lead of the AFC East. Covered in the insignias, patches, and awards that celebrated Cameron’s Army story, the cleats are up for sale on the NFL Auction page, and as of this article’s publishing date, has the second highest bid on a pair of cleats.

The Endowment’s time in the 2021 media spotlight wasn’t limited to professional football. As our Battle Doc pack brought attention to the unemployment and underemployment of former military medics and corpsmen in-game,we also brought attention to this important issue via a relentless strike campaign that resulted in a win in the Social Good Awards category of the Streamy Awards for 2021. Between op-eds, television and radio stories, and a widely-read white paper, our campaign to shine a light on this important topic during the pandemic era was crucial, as the medical field suffered one of its worst personnel shortages in a generation.

While we’re proud of our accomplishments last year, we’ve definitely got our eyes on 2022.

We’re looking forward to bringing more attention to the places in the workforce where veterans can have an outsized impact immediately – like trucking and the medical profession – and working with state and local governments to find ways to make licensing  for those fields less complicated for those with relevant military experience. In the meantime, you can stay informed on the Endowment’s plans, and the successes we’re helping veterans find, through all our social media channels.

We’re so grateful for your support and the tireless efforts of our grantees. We know, as you do, that veterans can and should be a vital part of our country’s workforce and our communities. The Endowment will continue to make that happen in 2022.

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