News Articles

News News Updates that Connect Veterans to Resources and Information
Included below are news updates containing resources and information for veterans employment opportunities and support. News and resources are shared on a regular basis from leaders in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (DOL VETS) and veterans service organizations (VSOs). Articles explore and promote available resources for veterans employment and advocate for veterans employment awareness and employment issues.

 

November 2017
American Job Center Helps Utah Vet Find Right Career
By George Riedel

After being honorably discharged from the U.S. Army, Specialist DeeAnna M. Baxter-Stone struggled to find a civilian career that was the right fit. She took odd jobs to help make ends meet, but struggled financially.

With a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, DeeAnna sought work as a federal contractor conducting military investigations but was unable to pass the physical tests due to a shoulder injury.

She was first referred to the Utah South County Employment Center in August 2015. Art Fracchia, an employment counselor with the Disabled Veteran Outreach Program, helped her apply for a position with a security company DeeAnna thought would provide the real-world experience she needed for a law enforcement career. She was offered a position and eventually promoted to project manager, but very long hours left little time for her family and personal life.

“Art was extremely supportive of me when I let him know I was very unhappy in the first job, and he did not hesitate to start all over again to help me look for something that I could make a career out of,” DeeAnna said.

Art then connected her with the state’s Work Success program, where she took several career development classes and participated in networking events.

During this time Art also helped her tailor her resume and coached her on the interviewing process. DeeAnna applied for a number of jobs with no luck. But she didn’t give up and neither did Art.

“DeeAnna listened to all of the advice we gave her. She has a ‘never give up’ attitude. She is a great person to work with,” said Art.

Art proposed she try a completely different route: the Zions Bank Military Internship Program for honorably discharged veterans. The 12-week intensive paid internship provides banking education and mentorship that enhances veterans’ skills and resumes. It also offers job search education and assistance, and opportunities for networking and community involvement.

After classroom training, participants begin rotations through various aspects of banking infrastructure such as regulations, corporate collections, commercial lending, bank fraud, money laundering, and IT. Participants may be hired by bank management at the end of the process. Although this was outside the scope of what DeeAnna had originally wanted to pursue professionally, she saw a real opportunity to use her prior skills with computers and writing, as well as her military leadership experience.

After completing the classroom portion, DeeAnna didn’t even have a chance to finish the internship because Zions Bank was so impressed by her qualifications and aptitude that they offered her a full-time position with a base salary of $65,000 a year, paid leave, and other benefits. She began working for the bank in May as an anti-money laundering/fraud compliance analyst, and is grateful for a 40-hour a week schedule that allows her to spend quality time with her family.

“Had it not been for my representative, I would have never even considered working where I am, basically because I did not know there were positions offered that had coincided with my education,” DeeAnna said.

Veterans can receive one-on-one assistance at American Job Centers across the country. Visit www.veterans.gov for more information or call 1-877-US2-JOBS to find your local center.

George Riedel is the deputy regional administrator for the Department’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Services in Dallas.

 

October 2017
Fiscal Year 2016 Federal Veteran Hiring Results and Federal Hiring Programs

On September 12, 2017, the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released the results of Fiscal Year 2016 (Oct 1, 2015-September 30, 2016) veteran hiring for the executive branch of the federal government. The report, titled "Employment of Veterans in the Federal Executive Branch," normally runs about a year behind the period it covers, so the report issued in September 2017 is the most recent report.

According to OPM, more than 71,000 veterans entered federal employment in FY16, bringing the total number of federally employed veterans to 635, 266 – up 11,000+ from FY15. Veterans represent approximately 31% of the federal workforce--up five percent since 2009. In 2009, the President issued Executive Order 13518, "Employment of Veterans in the Federal Government," starting a government-wide effort to improve veteran employment in federal agencies called "the Veterans Employment Initiative" (VEI).

The federal government has established a dedicated veteran’s employment web site for federal agencies, veterans and other interested parties at https://www.fedshirevets.gov/. The site is a great source for obtaining information about federal employment and deals not only with veteran hiring, but also with veteran-spouse/survivor hiring.

Veterans can be hired into federal jobs through several different methods. There are two ways for the government to advertise (called a job announcement) for a federal job: Merit Promotion and Delegated Examining. Both types of announcements are posted on the federal job web site: https://www.usajobs.gov/. Most, but not all veterans, are eligible to apply for a federal job; we’ll cover the details in another article. Eligible veterans can only apply to a Merit Promotion announcement if the announcement allows employees outside the agency posting the announcement to apply for the job. For example, if the announcement is from the Department of Homeland Security and only Homeland Security employees can apply, veterans would not be able to apply. Under Merit Promotion procedures, when veterans can apply for a federal job, the veteran is not given "preference" in the hiring process – they simply get to apply as if they were already federal employees.

If the announcement indicates that any US citizen can apply, it is called a "Delegated Examining" (DE) or "Public" announcement. Any veteran can apply to one of these postings. When a veteran applies to a DE announcement, the veteran may be eligible for "preference" in the hiring process. Preference does not guarantee the veteran a job, but the chance of being referred to the hiring manager increases.

Most veterans can also be hired without going through the Merit Promotion or DE announcement process. There are two ways for this to work. First, any veteran, whether disabled or not, may be appointed to a GS11 or lower position without competition. The authority to hire a veteran this way is called Veterans Recruitment Appointment, or "VRA". The second way is when a veteran has been rated at least 30% disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs. In this case, the veteran can be appointed to any General Schedule position (GS1 through GS15) without competition. Obviously, networking is important for either of these special appointment authorities to result in a veteran being hired. LVERs should be working with local federal agencies to promote veteran hiring, especially through these two special authorities as they reduce the time for the hiring manager to recruit and fill a position from months to days. If you are not familiar with federal veteran hiring processes and authorities, check the FedsHireVets web site or talk with your state DVET or ADVET.

Helping prepare a veteran for any job, including a federal position, means the DVOP must ensure the individual has a terrific resume, which is a key part of the federal application process. In a future article, we’ll talk about federal resumes and how they are different from a private sector resume and why.

With more than 2 million jobs, the federal government can be a rich source of employment for your veteran clients.

 

October 2017
VA’s New, Increased Compensation Claims Process

In case you have not heard, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced a new process on September 7, 2017 that promises to "deliver faster claims decisions to Veterans and their families." The process aims to deliver decisions within 30 days from the time the VA receives the claim. It is known as the Decision Ready Claims (DRC) initiative. The initial implementation of DRC is limited to those claims that seek an increase in the veteran’s compensation.

VA is working with certain veteran service organizations (VSO) to be sure that the VSOs have the training and tools to ensure that requests for increased compensation claims are complete before the claims are submitted to the VA. The VSOs will confirm that medical exams, military service records, DD 214 (or equivalent), VA Form 21-526EZ -Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits and other forms and supporting documents are complete and ready to send to the VA.

Once the complete package is sent to the VA, a veteran can expect a decision within 30 days from the time VA receives the claim. Because the VSO ensures each package is complete, the VA can assign the claim to a processor for a decision within a month.

If you are working with a veteran who is already receiving compensation from the VA and it appears that the veteran may be eligible for an increase in their compensation, you can connect the veteran with a VSO that is collaborating with the VA on the DRC. To find a participating VSO, go to VA’s directory of VSOs at https://www.va.gov/vso/VSO-Directory.pdf and check Part 1, which lists VSOs that are "certified" to help veterans process claims.

 

August 2017
Did you know that the highest unemployment rates for women veterans are found among those enrolled in school?

A Message to veterans service providers from the DOL VETS Women Veteran Program Manager, Dr. Nancy A. Glowacki
In 2016, the highest unemployment rates, particularly for women veterans, were among 18-54 year olds currently enrolled in school. Among those enrolled in school, the unemployment rate of women veterans was significantly higher than that of women nonveterans (8% vs. 5.6%, respectively). Meanwhile, in 2016, the annual average unemployment rate of women veterans not enrolled in school and of women nonveterans not enrolled in school was the same (4.9%).

Veterans tend to attend school at older ages than nonveterans, particularly among women. In 2016, among 18-24 year olds, women nonveterans were over twice as likely as women veterans to be enrolled in school, but among 25-34 year olds, 35-44 year olds, and 45-54 year olds, women veterans were over twice as likely as women nonveterans to be enrolled in school. The likelihood to attend school at an older age impacts their financial and family responsibilities, and many must work while attending school.

This perhaps describes about a crucial need for employment support for women veterans enrolled in school. Some of the best resources out there can be found at Veterans.gov and at the U.S. Dept. of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service. Employers looking to hire veterans should look no further than the Dept. of Labor’s resources for hiring veterans or even creating an apprenticeship program.

For more information, view the 2016 Employment, Unemployment, and Education Webinar on the Women Veterans page at dol.gov/vets.
Data used in the figures above comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016 Current Population Survey, Annual Averages.

 

June 2017
HIRE Vets: News from the Monthly DOL VETS and VSOs Meeting

At the latest monthly meeting between U.S. Department of Labor, Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (DOL VETS) and personnel and leaders from Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) around the country, one of the main topics of discussion was expanding opportunities and incentives for employers looking to hire veterans.

The Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans Act, or HIRE Vets Act of 2017, signed into law in May by President Trump, establishes the Department of Labor’s HIRE Vets Medallion Program, which recognizes employers who recruit, retain, and employ veterans, and who provide charitable support to veteran communities. For more information on this DOL program, click here.

“The Department of Labor looks forward to shining a spotlight on employers who make hiring veterans a priority and encouraging other employers to hire our nation’s heroes,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta.

And here’s a brief roundup of VSOs offering services and resources, shared at this month’s VETS and VSOs meeting, to help veterans find employment:

  • Military Officers Association of America (MOAA)Transition and Career services, including upcoming career events, tools and resources, networking community, mentorship, and more.
  • Wounded Warrior Project (WWP)Warriors to Work provides transition resources for veterans wounded during their service. Resources include a financial guide for transitioning veterans, and a free Career Boot Camp for veterans and their families. Additionally, WWP provides resources for employers looking to hire veterans.
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) – The nonprofit IAVA features a Careers Program for service veterans from war in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as an emphasis in 2017 on women veterans support and advocacy.

As always, visit dol.gov/vets and veterans.gov for more employment, transition, and training resources, and news. And for something to celebrate: DOL VETS announced in June that veterans unemployment is  at 3.4%—the lowest rate in ten years!

 

May 2017
A New Labor Secretary, and a Roundup of Jobs Resources for Veterans

On April 28, 2017, R. Alexander Acosta was officially sworn in as the 27th United States Secretary of Labor. In late May, Acosta delivered remarks at the G-20 Labor and Employment Ministers’ Meeting in Germany, where he advocated for growth in apprenticeships for current and emerging generations in the workforce.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers state-by-state resources and funding opportunities for veterans seeking apprenticeships. Their resources include a comprehensive list of employers and schools providing apprenticeship programs, as well as financial assistance information. To learn more at Career OneStop’s apprenticeships resource page, click here.

And here’s a roundup of other employment opportunities promoted this past month by the U.S. Department of Labor, Veterans Employment Training Service (DOL VETS), and Career OneStop:

  • Veteran workers who have been laid off can find resources for re-employment at the DOL-affiliated website, careeronestop.org/workerreemployment
  • In honor of Military Appreciation Month, DOL VETS has resources for employers seeking to hire veterans, here
  • Career OneStop offers self-assessments to help veterans start their job search by identifying careers matched to the skills they have, or discover a new direction for their existing careers

To stay current with Veterans’ Employment opportunities and issues, check back here for more monthly employment news updates and resources. On Twitter, be sure to follow @VETS_DOL for frequent updates featuring links to resources and information for employers and veterans. And lastly, visit https://www.dol.gov/vets/ for the latest and greatest from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans Employment and Training Service.

 

May 2017
How Do You Find a Woman Veteran?
A Message to veterans service providers from the DOL VETS Women Veteran Program Manager, Dr. Nancy A. Glowacki

You may know that one in every ten veterans is a woman.

Women veterans are 10% of the overall veteran population.

But did you know that only one in every 63 women is a veteran?

Women veterans are 1.6% of the overall women population—1 in 63 women is a veteran.

Comparatively, one in every six adult men in America is a veteran.

Male veterans are 16% of the overall male population—1 in 6 men is a veteran.

Why are these numbers important? Because they show how easy it is to overlook a woman veteran – something that we must never do as service providers and fellow citizens.
Among younger women, we see an even more extreme divide between veterans, non-veterans, and the general population.

Veterans are 1.0% of the under-35 women population—1 in 100 women under 35 is a veteran.

So what does this actually look like in the general population? Let's consider a group of 100 people. Among 100 people of all ages, 52 will be women and 48 will be men. Nine people will be veterans. Only one of the nine veterans will be a woman, and she will look just like the other 51 women.

Of 100 adults in the overall population: 8 are male veterans, 40 are male nonveterans; 1 is a woman, 51 are women nonveterans.

So, how do you find a woman veteran?
You ask – and you keep asking, no matter how many women non-veterans you must ask before finding one woman veteran.
If you don't ask, you won't know.

As service providers, it is critical that we ask each and every person, “Have you ever served in the military?” to ensure that women veterans are not overlooked, are connected to the appropriate veteran services, and are never left behind!
Your diligence as service providers is greatly appreciated!

For resources, information, employment assistance, and more, visit the Women Veterans page at dol.gov/vets.

Data used in the figures above comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016
Current Population Survey, Annual Averages.

 

March 2017
From the Bureau of Labor Statistics: The Employment Situation of Veterans

On March 31, the U.S. Department of Labor, Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS), hosted its monthly meeting with representatives from various Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs).

This month’s meeting featured presentations from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and from DOL VETS’ Women Veteran Program (WVP) using data from the BLS’s 2016 Current Population Survey (CPS), a joint program between the BLS and the Census Bureau. The data was presented by labor economists James Borbely and Karen Kosanovich of the BLS, and Nancy Glowacki, program manager of the WVP.

Standout data covered everything from good news (a continued trend of lower unemployment rates) and areas for concern (older veterans, and in some cases women, too, could use more support). The results arguably shine light on specific areas and demographics where veterans employment thrives, as well as areas where more targeted attention (more support from state and Federal organizations, as well as from both public and private employers) could perhaps achieve more progress.

Experts and representatives from VSOs in attendance at the meeting brought up a number of related topics: the increased desire for more entrepreneurial skills training for older veterans, more occupational skills training for veterans aged 35 and older, expanded G.I. Bill coverage, and increased awareness and advocacy for programs that help businesses develop opportunities to hire veterans.

Here’s a look at some of the most striking numbers from the BLS’s report:

  • Unemployment rates of both veterans and nonveterans continue a decade-long decrease. After peaking in 2010 and 2011 (unemployment above 10%), veterans are now experiencing the lowest unemployment rate in 10 years, which at 4.3% is even lower than the unemployment rate of nonveterans.

  • Aging veterans are most likely to be unemployed. Of 453,000 unemployed veterans in 2016, more than half were age 45 and over—whereas veterans aged 18 to 44 comprise 40% of unemployed veterans, and only 24% of those aged 18 to 34.

VSO representatives and BLS and VETS experts at the meeting discussed how challenging it can be for older veterans to find employment, especially after being out of work longer than six months.

Experts and officials cited the skills mismatch that occurs when the skills required for jobs lost don’t match the skills required in jobs available now, as well as how older veterans are more likely to attempt to start their own business, which brings its own set of challenges.

Younger veterans, those who served between 2001 and the present, are the least likely veterans to remain unemployed for six months of longer.

  • Compared to nonveterans, veterans are much more likely to work for the Federal government. While the vast majority of veterans are employed in the private sector, only 2% of nonveterans work for the Federal government, compared to 10% of veterans (and 16% of veterans from 2001 to present). And the Federal government employs 20% of disabled veterans.

  • Women veterans from 2001 to present are more likely than women non-veterans to work in management and professional occupations. This category of jobs tend to be more high paying, and nearly 50% of women veterans work in this category.

  • The highest unemployment rates for veterans come from veterans aged 18 to 54 who are enrolled in school. Women veterans enrolled in school saw the highest unemployment rate of all, at 8.0%.

And here’s a rundown of further data on women veterans:

  • In 2016, women veterans experienced 5.0% unemployment, compared to 4.2% by male veterans.
  • Women veterans remain unemployed for an average of two weeks fewer than male veterans.
  • Women veterans are more likely than male veterans to enroll in college or graduate.

Visit bls.gov/cps for more information from the survey mentioned above.

The DOL VETS website hosts comprehensive resources for veterans seeking training or employment, for employers seeking to hire veterans, and for women veterans.

We’ll have another report on veterans employment news and trends after DOL VETS hosts its next monthly meeting with VSOs.


Note: All charts used above were created by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, based on data from the Current Population Survey, annual averages 2016.

 

February 2017

Get the Word Out in 2017: Veterans Add Value to the Workforce
On the morning of February 24, 2017, the Department of Labor’s Tim Green and Mika Cross—the Director of the Office of Strategic Outreach and the Strategic Communications Lead, respectively, from the DOL’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS)—conducted a meeting with representatives and partners from Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) and private-sector organizations.

The meeting was multipurpose, and key questions were answered. The longest and most important question: In 2017, how are VSOs (at Federal, state, and local levels) positioning themselves and their work in order to have the greatest impact on veterans seeking employment and career development, before, during, and after their initial transition from military service? The shortest and most important answer: Every day, in so many ways.

Whether you’re a veteran yourself, someone who knows or works with veterans, or can simply help spread the word, there’s a lot you can accomplish just from sharing free online content with your own networks.

So what are some new or ongoing opportunities out there for veterans and potential employers?

Programs, services, and career aids for veterans and employers:

There’s so much information, support, and content out there already, but veterans service orgs and communities can always use more help getting their message out. As Mika Cross put it at the beginning of the meeting, “Communications is vitally important to what we do.”

Get the word out to employers looking for their next great hire, share resources with the veterans in your community, and connect with VSOs on social media (and follow @DOL_VETS on Twitter!).

National Veterans' Training Institute

8230 Leesburg Pike, Tysons Corner, VA 22182

Lyndon B Johnson Fwy, Dallas, TX 75240

844.423.8872

 

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