Crane Learning & Employment Center for Veterans with Disabilities
CLEC was the brainchild of disabled veteran Larry McRoberts, a Vietnam-era United States Navy commander. CLEC not only finds jobs for veterans, but it also helps them obtain educational benefits and assists with daily living expenses such as rent and groceries.
“There is only so much the Department of Defense and VA can do,” McRoberts explains. “The gap between what the government can do for soldiers and what they need to start a new life is being closed with this program.” He further noted that much credit belongs to the Endowment. Few, if any, other states benefit from such generous philanthropy.
The need is growing. The government reported that 343,835 veterans across the country filed disability claims after fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan. As that number multiplied following the troop surge, there are now hundreds of thousands of new veterans attempting to navigate complex health care, education and workforce bureaucracies to establish new lives. Jim Schonberber, director of Crane Technology, which oversees CLEC, says “Our goal is to become a national model for helping take veterans from injury to employment.”