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For Immediate Release

Easter Seals and Veterans In Film & Television (VFT) Partner to Increase Employment for Vets in Entertainment

VFT launches interactive website as a gateway for veterans obtaining meaningful industry employment

Chicago, September 19, 2013

Media Contact:
Kristen Barnfield

Kyle Hausmann-Stokes

Easter Seals, a disability services organization, announces its partnership with Veterans in Film & Television (VFT), a nonprofit networking organization that unites current and former members of the military and brings them career opportunities in the film and television industry.  The partnership underlines both organizations’ dedication to serving returning veterans, especially in the area of employment.  

Key to the partnership and with support from Easter Seals, VFT launches an interactive website, VFTla.org, a valuable networking tool among veterans seeking careers in entertainment and a first-of-its-kind resource for the film/TV industry to find and hire veterans. Through a number of initiatives, Easter Seals and VFT will work to promote and advance veteran career opportunities within the film and television industry. 

"Our Easter Seals partnership helped bring to fruition our all new VFTLA.org website - an online directory of our members - which makes it incredibly easy for the entertainment industry connect with and engage the veteran community working in it,” said VFT Co-Founder and US Army Veteran Kyle Hausmann-Stokes. “This is a really exciting time for us." 

Last year, Easter Seals renewed its commitment to its Military & Veterans Initiative— a focus area of the organization that provides individualized support to returning veterans and their families as they re-enter civilian life. Easter Seals provides direct services and assistance in a variety of areas such as work force development, job placement assistance, family counseling, housing and access to healthcare and wellness programs.   

“Easter Seals is committed to helping more veterans access long term job opportunities and are delighted to partner with VFT to support those looking for careers in entertainment,” said James E. Williams, Jr., president and chief executive officer, Easter Seals. “Our hope is that we can bring this innovative support group and networking website to serve veterans in other industries overtime.”

Easter Seals believes returning veterans make valuable, long-lasting contributions in our community.   

With more than one million military service personnel returning home in the coming year, some face challenges during transition and reintegration -- whether physical wounds, isolation, or exasperating emotional and psychological wounds. Easter Seals is committed to helping advance community service solutions on a national scale to support and honor military families.   

Making Connections 

In February 2012, two veterans who served during the Iraq War and were looking to find veteran mentors and colleagues, recognized a critical need for a stronger support system for veterans networking in the entertainment industry.  They co-founded Veterans in Film & Television for veterans who work, or aspire to work, in film/TV as a means to interact with, support, and learn from each other.  Since then, VFT has grown to more than 1,500 members in Southern California and has launched a chapter in New York City. Easter Seals recognizes VFT as a smart solution to reintegration.  

"Thanks to its new partnership with Easter Seals, VFT will have more resources than ever to execute its primary mission, to help veterans working in film and television to find and support one another," said Mike Dowling, VFT Co-Founder, USMC Veteran. 

About Easter Seals

For nearly 100 years, Easter Seals has provided life-changing solutions to the people of our country. From children and adults living with disabilities, to military families looking to serve their communities, Easter Seals is committed to creating a world of inclusion, dignity, empowerment and independence. We personalize solutions for individuals with autism, and intellectual and physical disabilities through innovative therapy, training, education and support services. 

Recognizing the new and unmet needs of so many returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, we are also addressing serious gaps in service by mobilizing our national network of community-based services through a partnership with Dixon Center (www.theDixonCenter.org). At Easter Seals, we are equipped to serve thousands of individuals and military families across our 70+ affiliates, 550 nationwide service sites, 27,000 professional staff and 40,000 local volunteers. Find out more at www.easterseals.com.

About Veterans in Film & Television

Veterans in Film & Television is a nonprofit networking organization that unites current and former members of the military working in the film and television industry. Its unique website is a gateway for the entertainment industry and the veteran community that works in entertainment to connect, providing a place for veterans working or aspiring to work in entertainment a place to network with and learn from one another. Visit www.VFTLA.org to learn more.

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