RALEIGH – Bunker Labs Raleigh-Durham will soon introduce a new program, Bunker Connect, to promote personal and professional development in the local military community.

Bunker Connect: A Community of Resources will bring together local veterans, military spouses and supporters to network with community partners and employee resource groups in the Triangle. The program aims to boost connections between the military veteran community and the professional development resources around them locally.

The free event is set for January 16 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Loading Dock Raleigh. In addition to networking, attendees will also hear a talk from Albie Masland, director of growth and partnership development at the Travis Manion Foundation, who will speak about community-building.

Bunker Labs Raleigh-Durham is one of only a handful of chapters piloting the national Bunker Connect program across the U.S., including Austin, Minneapolis, Chicago and Phoenix.

Bunker Labs partnered with the Schultz Family Foundation on the initiative. Dean Bundschu, Atlantic regional executive director for Bunker Labs, says the Schultz Family Foundation has been supportive of Bunker Labs for several years, sharing an understanding of veterans’ struggles with transitioning in professional development.

“Bunker Labs’ focus is entrepreneurship, [but] we understand that many veterans are looking for opportunities outside of entrepreneurship, along with other ways to connect with and serve fellow veterans,” Bundschu added.  “We wanted to create a way to bring together the veteran support community to reach a broader pool of veterans within the communities we serve.”

Over 70 people were registered for the event as of last week. Bunker Labs hopes to have more than 125 in attendance. Tickets are free on Eventbrite.

Bundschu says the Bunker Labs Raleigh-Durham chapter is continually growing and will continue to do so in the next year.

“Our goal is to continue to run the program quarterly here in [the Triangle] as we continue to engage partners and the veteran community,” Bundschu adds. “So we hope to continue to grow and expand the size of the events throughout 2020 and beyond.”