Brief History of the Program
In the Summer of 2010, Admiral Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited the area and gave Morgantown the challenge of “becoming the best city in the nation for returning warriors.” He selected Morgantown because of the outstanding economic climate and national news coverage about our low unemployment rate. The Morgantown Chamber of Commerce, along with West Virginia University, accepted that challenge.
PACE Enterprises, which formerly governed Operation Welcome Home, is acutely aware of the difficulties faced by Veterans returning from the Global War on Terror. Members of the PACE leadership team studied ways of expanding PACE’s programs to include our Wounded Warriors as they return to North Central West Virginia. Ultimately, the Team developed what is known as Operation Welcome Home.
Operation Welcome Home is a non-profit initiative to provide Veterans of the Armed Forces a physical venue for rehabilitation services and support, mentorship, counseling, transitional and employment services. This is a program that aims to alleviate common barriers to services and employment faced by Veterans whom have so selflessly served our Country. Operation Welcome Home provides a common meeting place at Mylan Park for Veterans to congregate, share what’s on their mind, form bonds and simply relax with other Veterans who understand their trials and triumphs. In turn, the program helps Veterans develop an individualized employment plan that will help in their transition to civilian life.
Though the mission of Operation Welcome Home has changed to a degree since its inception, the concept of meeting the employment needs of Veterans still remains first and foremost as we serve the entire Veteran community in our area. While we have developed a very unique and impactful means of placing Veterans in meaningful employment, we still field general Veteran-related issues as they arise and continue to use a strong and diverse web of strategic partners to meet the needs of our prior and current servicemen and women.