November 2018


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Job Creators that Hire Veterans

Created as a result of legislation signed by President Donald J. Trump, the HIRE Vets Medallion Program recognizes job creators that recruit, hire, and retain America’s veterans. On November 8th 2018, the Department announced recipients of the 2018 HIRE Vets Medallion Program Demonstration Award. Honorees include small businesses, community-based nonprofits, and national companies.

Watch these videos to hear why it makes sense to hire veterans.

November 2018


The U.S. Department of Labor has developed a number of resources for organizations interested in learning about industry-recognized apprenticeship programs (IRAPs). These programs were established by President Trump’s Executive Order “Expanding Apprenticeships in America.” A Training and Employment Notice was issued on July 27, 2018, to create the framework for the programs. On September 20, 2018, the Department of Labor began soliciting public comments on the IRAP accreditation application. Comments can be submitted via email to by November 19, 2018, to be considered. Learn more at

HIRE Vets Medallion Program Demonstration Award Ceremony

HIRE Vets Medallion Program Demonstration Award Ceremony
The United States Department of Labor recognized organizations that actively recruit, employ, and retain our nation’s veterans with an award ceremony under the Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans Act, or HIRE Vets Act on November 8, 2018. This program demonstration is under the During the ceremony, Department of Labor Secretary Acosta stated that altogether the 239 businesses receiving awards hired 8,230 veterans within the past year alone.
The award categories included two tiers; Gold and Platinum, for large, medium, and small organizations. The program requires that organizations provide an employee veteran organization or resource group to assist new veteran employees with integration into the civilian workforce and a dedicated human resource professional or initiatives to support hiring, training, and retention of veteran employees. Among the recipients, Southwest Airlines runs a Military Ambassador Program that bridges the gap between veteran issues and the resources and tools available to veterans. The Arizona Public Services company has a Veteran Transition and Engagement Network to help service members transition to civilian life. The company Two Marines Moving bases their entire recruitment strategy on hiring veterans and frequents veterans transition seminars to employ service members coming out of the military.

Award recipients with U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Acosta and Congressman Cook
Representatives from each category gave remarks after being presented with the awards by Secretary Acosta. They shared a few best practices in hiring and retaining veteran employees:

  • Nicholas Baucoum of Two Marines Moving shared that connecting veterans to the mission of the company has helped in retaining their veteran employees.
  • Joe Padlo from Veterans Elite Services shared that a best practice was to not just hire veterans, but to work with outside vendors who also hire veterans.
  • Rich Cross of the Independence Fund shared that not only should companies look to hire veterans, but to provide opportunities to veteran spouses and caregivers.

For more information about the HIRE Vets Medallion Program, visit and read more about the ceremony at

After Listening to Veterans, VA Put All Its Services on One Website

Wednesday night, the tech team at the Veterans Affairs Department launched their latest effort to improve the quality of services for former military personnel with the relaunch of

Find out more at

DoD Career Path DECIDE

The Department of Defense (DoD) recently released a tool called Career Path DECIDE that provides Service members with an online advisement tool to support their career exploration and planning. This tool also aids Service members in identifying and making informed decisions about education and professional development opportunities. The graphic below describes the steps for using the tool.

Career Path DECIDE brings together data from trusted Government sources including Department of Labor’s O*NETBureau of Labor StatisticsCareer One StopDepartment of Education (ED)’s College NavigatorDoD’s Defense Manpower Data Center, and Tuition Assistance DECIDE. These sources are updated as each source data system is updated, which varies by source system.

Find out more at Try it out and be sure to share your experience via the Feedback button at the top of the website.

New Resources for Veteran Job-Seekers

A few new resources have been released to assist veterans find jobs or apprenticeships.

  1. The National Labor Exchange (NLx) has designed and released a new search engine especially for veterans. The website can be found at:
  2. The Department of Labor released the website which allows users to search for apprenticeships using keywords and zip code.  
  3. Google has a new search capability to filter jobs based on Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) codes that enables users to search for jobs matching their experience in the military. Simply type “veterans jobs” in the Google search bar and the MOS entry box will appear. The screenshot below displays the MOS entry box on Google.

New Mini-Documentary Highlights How Two Nonprofits Have Partnered to Prepare Veterans for Post-Military Careers

WorkingNation follows Workshops for Warriors and Hire Heroes USA as they equip veterans transitioning into the civilian workforce with advanced manufacturing skills

This is a MUST SEE documentary for all military veterans seeking a sustainable career path after service.

Salute to Skills” is a new mini-documentary from WorkingNation that follows 23-year-old Zachary Pierobello as he makes the transition from military service to a successful career in advanced manufacturing.

The video is available to view here.

The documentary was produced by WorkingNation, a national nonprofit campaign working to expose hard truths about a skills gap crisis in the United States and bring the country together to create and amplify solutions.

In the 5-minute documentary, we learn how Workshops for Warriors is putting transitioning veterans like Pierobello through an intensive 16-week accredited STEM training program, equipping them with skills that make them desirable candidates for the 2.3 million open jobs in advanced manufacturing.

As part of this unique partnership, Hire Heroes USA also works with the veterans on the soft skills they will need – like resume building, networking and interviewing – for a successful civilian job search.

Together, Workshops for Warriors and Hire Heroes USA are putting these qualified U.S. veterans on a path toward sustainable, good-paying post-military employment.

“Veterans often come out of military service with a particular experience that doesn’t immediately translate to a career in the civilian workforce, and are therefore too often overlooked for civilian careers,” said Hernan Luis y Prado, founder and CEO of Workshops for Warriors. “As the only accredited program in the country providing advanced manufacturing training for veterans, we are building off their valuable career experience in the military and fast-tracking them toward a sustainable, good-paying career in in-demand industries.”

“For many military men and women, the civilian job search process is a struggle,” said Christopher Plamp, chief executive officer of Hire Heroes USA and a decorated Air Force combat pilot. “Through this partnership with Workshops for Warriors, Hire Heroes USA is able to supplement the certifications these veterans receive with the employment guidance and tools they need. We help them translate their success in the classroom into a well-paying job.”

The video is part of WorkingNation’s “Do Something Awesome” series, consisting of heartfelt, human mini-docs that shine a light on programs across the country working to prepare Americans for jobs of the future.

Each episode in the “Do Something Awesome” series highlights a different scalable program that is working to create a more sustainable workforce in a rapidly changing U.S. economy.

Collectively, the episodes illuminate a broader and often difficult to understand narrative facing the United States – that the world of work is changing faster than we ever could have predicted, and we are not ready.

By highlighting these corporations, nonprofits and individuals, WorkingNation is providing a wide audience with information on emerging careers, pathways to steady jobs, and successful programs that other organizations can adapt for their respective communities, across multiple industries.

October 2018


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AARP and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service have launched Operation Protect Veterans to help raise awareness of common scams targeting veterans. According to a survey conducted by the National Opinion Research Center, Veterans are victimized by scam artists twice as often as the rest of the public. Further, the Fraud Watch Network’s recent survey showed 16 percent of U.S. Veterans have lost money to fraudsters, compared to 8 percent of non-Veterans. Some of the scams include:

  1. Benefit buyout scams involving disability or pension payments.
  2. Identity theft scams including phishing for personal information or employment offers where the veteran must pay a fee to apply.
  3. GI Bill education marketing scams that encourage veterans to attend an expensive for-profit educational institution.
  4. Special deals on loans and rentals.

This information is helpful to pass along to the veterans you work with to ensure awareness that they are at-risk for being targeted by scammers. These scams can be reported by calling 877-908-3360 or by visiting Click here for more information.APPRENTICESHIPS AND TRAINING FOR VETERANS IN THE AMMONIA REFRIGERATION INDUSTRY

The Ammonia Refrigeration Foundation (ARF) launched an ammonia industry program for refrigeration technicians last year to address the shortage of technicians in the HVAC&R (heating, cooling, air conditioning, and refrigeration) industry. In addition to finding a solution to this shortage, ARF is also targeting transitioning military personnel to fill apprenticeship roles. This program is tied to the national standards for refrigeration industry apprenticeships, which the DOL approved in November 2017.

As part of its focus on the military, ARF has been building up a scholarship fund and working with the federal government to train transitioning military personnel on their bases. The on-base training is designed to make the transition into appropriate technician apprenticeships seamless. Apprentices with military backgrounds may qualify for additional benefits under the GI Bill and qualify for an additional monthly stipend paid by the Department of Veteran Affairs. Find more information here.

In similar news, the Northwest Technical Institute in Arkansas recently announced an expansion of its ammonia accreditation/training center to help fill job openings. The expansion aims to shorten the current length of the training program from 11 months to four or six weeks and increase enrollment capacity from 12 to 14 students to about 75 students. Construction is planned for January 2019. Find more information here.

This information can be helpful for DVOP Specialists with clients who are looking to enter the HVAC&R industry after military service. For LVERs, connections can be made with companies looking to fill roles in this industry.


The organization for Disabled American Veterans (DAV) released a report entitled Women Veterans: The Long Journey Ahead on September 12, 2018. This report is a follow-up to Women Veterans: The Long Journey Home, which DAV published in September 2014. The report findings and recommendations cover a broad range of lifetime needs including health care, mental health, community care, shelter, legal concerns, education, disability benefits, and financial security. The entire report can be downloaded here:
General Findings (p. 9):

  • Women veterans are less likely to have the family support system that married military men generally enjoy.
  • Compared to men who served, women veterans are younger, have a lower median income (or no income), and are more likely to live in poverty and qualify for food stamps.
  • Among homeless or unstably housed veterans, women are more likely to have custody of minor children compared to men.

Findings on Shelter:

  • Women veterans report “couch surfing” (50 percent) and remaining in a violent relationship (43 percent) as a means to maintain a roof over their heads than the alternative of sleeping in their car (30 percent) or on the street (15 percent). (p. 41)
  • Projections provided to the VA homeless program show a 9 percent increase in anticipated demand for homeless services by women veterans between 2015 and 2025 due to their increasing numbers in the overall veteran population. (p. 42)

Findings on Financial Security:

  • Women veterans still had the highest rates of unemployment post-9/11. (p. 43)
  • DOL has noticed a four-year trend showing the highest rates of unemployment for women veterans are for 18- to 54-year-old women currently enrolled in school. In 2016, this group had an 8 percent unemployment rate, higher than both male veterans and women nonveterans. (p. 44)
  • Women veterans are overrepresented in the labor force—they make up 10 percent of veterans and 12 percent of the overall labor force (though much of this may be attributed to the younger age of female veterans compared to male veterans). (p. 45)
  • Thirteen percent of the veterans served by DOL’s Jobs for Veterans State Grant program are women. (p. 45)
  • Women comprise 13 percent of the veterans referred to jobs and 13 percent of those who retain referred jobs after six months. (p. 45)

Findings on Transition:

  • Women and men face similar challenges reintegrating into community and family life after deployments or military service, but women may experience that transition differently than men. Women are transitioning from a male-defined culture of war fighting to a civilian world where cultural expectations cast them as mothers, wives, and family caretakers. Civilians often don’t recognize them as veterans or active-duty military, for instance leaving disparaging notes when women park in spots reserved for military and veterans. (p. 49)

Findings on Education:

  • Like male veterans, but unlike female college students, women veterans are often hesitant to seek out help when they have a problem, whether it concerns mental health or academics. Too many veteran coordinators on campus simply expect veterans to come to them when they need help. (p. 55)

Notable recommendations from the report include:

  • DOL should partner with VA and Veterans Service Organizations to understand the barriers to full employment for women veterans, particularly those in school and those with disabilities, and adjust their employment programs based on these findings. (p. 45)
  • The Transition Assistance Program should collect and publicize outcome and satisfaction data broken down by gender and race. (p 50) [Recommendation is for DOD; DOL not specifically mentioned]

September 2018


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By: NVTI Staff Writer

A Google search of best practices for workforce case management returns12.3 million links. On the first page of the results there is a really “to the point” article that is worth sharing.

The organization behind the article is Mi Casa, a Denver, CO-based organization that started in 1976 as a women-focused non-profit and has grown into a significant organization in the Workforce arena. In her article, (, Stephanie Noll (M.S.W.), addresses four aspects of case management and then provides recommendations for each one. The four aspects and related recommendations (recommendations are direct quotes from the article) are:

1.  Service:  Serve others and address their social problems.  Best practice tips:

  • Conduct comprehensive intake interviews with all participants.  Gather information about their background and any challenges they currently face.
  • Write an Individualized Service Strategy (ISS) for each participant.  Identify action steps that will be taken to resolve the barriers.
  • Meet weekly with each participant to monitor progress toward the ISS.
  • Develop relationships with other service providers to create a network of high-quality resources and referrals.

2.  Importance of Human Relationships:  Relationships are primary agents of change.  Best practice tips:

  • Meet weekly with participants to demonstrate an ongoing commitment to them.  Offering regularly scheduled case management meetings not only allows for follow-up on the ISS but also shows participants that they matter to you.
  • Maintain additional regular contact with all participants, even if for a brief check-in.  Drop by the classroom for daily announcements or quick check-ins with participants.
  • Include relationship and communication skill-building activities in the workforce development curriculum. This provides participants with the opportunity to get to know each other and develop a community of support among themselves.

3.  Dignity and Worth of the Person:  Treat each person with respect and honor differences and diversity.  Best practice tips:

  • Involve participants in the development of the ISS.  Case management is most effective when it is a collaborative process between participant and case manager. 
  • Give participants time to tell their own story.  Everyone has a story to tell and they have the right to tell that story in their own way. Sometimes the most powerful aspect of case management is offering people a chance to feel heard.  Listening nonjudgmentally to someone’s story can be the best way to show someone respect and honor their dignity.

 4.    Social Justice: Pursue social change on issues of poverty, unemployment, discrimination, and other forms of social injustice.  Best practice tips:

  • Recognize any differences in identity and life experience that may exist between the case manager and participants.  Be sensitive to differences in levels of power and privilege and how they might impact case management.
  • Provide space for participants to discuss their experiences of discrimination.  Offer empathy for the challenges that participants have faced.  Acknowledge the resilience, determination, and strength they have shown in overcoming challenges throughout their lives.
  • Speak up about social injustice.  Advocate for services, procedures, and laws that are fair and create more equitable access to opportunity for all people.  Attend community events to stay informed about greater social justice efforts.  Inform participants of opportunities to get involved as well.

As you read over these ideas, they are not much different from what you learned in NVTI courses. So, this may be a refresher for some of you and certainly it’s a validation of the material you learned at the Institute.  

Many of these ideas have applicability beyond case management – they are good practices for leaders. Taking an approach to leadership of serving others (called Servant Leadership), building and maintaining good relationships with your staff, respecting your team members (including their differences), and speaking out when values are not honored are actions that good leaders (and team mates) take.

To close on a high note, Noll reports that at the end of the Mi Casa program, participants feel they have received more than expected. What a great ending!

August 2018


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Home Depot Foundation Commits $50 Million to Skilled Training; Emphasis on Transitioning Service Members

Home Depot announced a $50 million commitment to train 20,000 tradespeople over the next 10 years in order to fill the growing skilled labor gap. In 2017, The Home Depot Foundation launched a pilot trades training program for members separating from the military in partnership with nonprofit Home Builders Institute (HBI) on Ft. Stewart and Ft. Bragg. The program, which has a job placement rate of more than 90 percent, will now roll out on additional bases across the United States. To learn more, read Home Depot’s announcement here.

Welcoming Military Spouses to LinkedIn’s Military and Veterans Programs

LinkedIn recently announced that they are expanding their military and veterans program to include military spouses through a new partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Spouse Education and Career Opportunities program. Through this program, spouses can receive one year of LinkedIn Premium during each of their moves to new installations to help with career transitions, and once again upon conclusion of military service. Read LinkedIn’s announcement here.

Newport News Shipyard Plans to Create 2,000 New Net Jobs over Next Five Years

Newport News Shipbuilding plans to expand its workforce to about 25,000 by creating 2,000 new jobs over the next four years, approximately. Virginia’s Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball will lead a new partnership with the shipyard to aid in the hiring push. It will focus on promoting opportunities at the company via state agencies that deal with employment, veterans, community colleges, and economic development. Read the announcement here.

U.S. Department of Labor Announces Award Of $47,600,000 in Training Grants to Help Homeless Veterans Re-Enter the Workforce

U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced the award of 163 Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program (HVRP) grants totaling $47,600,000. This funding will provide workforce reintegration services to more than 18,000 homeless veterans. Funds are being awarded on a competitive basis to state and local workforce investment boards; local public agencies and nonprofit organizations; tribal governments; and faith-based and community organizations. Homeless veterans may receive occupational skills training, apprenticeship opportunities, and on-the-job training, as well as job search and placement assistance. Read the announcement here.

Veteran Opportunities with Holland

Holland, a regional LTL transportation provider, has partnered with the Department of Labor and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to create a professional truck driver apprenticeship program for veterans. The program offers veterans career training in the trucking industry as they integrate back into civilian life. In addition to paid training, eligible veterans can receive their Post-9/11 G.I. Bill funds while completing the apprenticeship.

In addition to the partnership with the Department of Labor and the VA, Holland has also received grant funds for $40,000 to support the training program. The funds were approved at the end of 2017 when Holland received the Department of Labor Apprenticeship certification. The grant is from FASTPORT, a veteran employment software company with a mission to connect veterans to career opportunities. FASTPORT works with Holland to provide veterans with meaningful careers and to build a pipeline between the military community and the trucking industry.

Information on how to apply for the Holland Veterans program can be found at or by calling 844-617-6410.

After the Army, a New Career in Tech
By Leo Kay

Through hard work and a unique apprenticeship program, Antonio Williams of Louisiana has transitioned from the military to the tech industry after a 22-year career in the U.S. Army as a culinary specialist.

Apprenti is a program of the Washington Technology Industry Association Workforce Institute that addresses the workforce shortage in the tech industry through paid, on-the-job training and education. It began in Washington state and has since expanded nationally through a U.S. Department of Labor apprenticeship intermediary contract.

As a first step, Antonio spent 12 weeks in an intensive training program at Honolulu Community College in Hawaii, where he was located at the time he left military service. This “pre-apprenticeship” phase allowed Antonio to learn foundational skills relating to hardware, networking, software deployment, and troubleshooting. He received certifications in A+, Network+, Linux+, and Server+ before being placed as a data center technician apprentice with a technology company in Portland, Oregon.

As an apprentice, he continues to learn and enhance his skills through hands-on work. Antonio’s salary as an apprentice equals about $50,000 annually and he expects to be hired full-time within a year at a salary roughly double his current earnings.

“The program provided a great avenue to change careers after the military,” said Antonio. “I would recommend this program to anyone.”

June 2018


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June DOL VETS and VSO Meeting

The monthly meeting between the U.S. Department of Labor Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (DOL VETS) and personnel and leaders from Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) around the country was held at the DOL Headquarters in Washington, D.C., on June 8, 2018.
The meeting began with an overview of the new courses offered by the National Veterans Training Institute (NVTI). Some key highlights from the presentation were:

  1. Fifteen (15) core Jobs for Veterans State Grants (JVSG) courses were updated. These courses are required by newly hired Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program (DVOP) specialists and Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives (LVER) within 18 months of being hired.
  2. Three legacy courses have been redesigned into five courses, with three prerequisite eLearning courses focusing on pertinent laws, regulations, and significant barriers to employment (SBEs).
  3. The two in-person classes, one for DVOP specialists and one for LVERs, are now competency based. Other topics include Case Management, Managing Case Management, Leadership, Working with Special Populations, Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act (USERRA) Investigators, and Veteran Benefits.
  4. The primary training location is Dallas, TX, with 26 training locations around the country and opportunities for onsite delivery when requested.
  5. Eligibility has been expanded to Regional Administrator for Veterans’ Employment and Training (RAVETs), Director for Veterans’ Employment and Training (DVETs), American Job Centers, Employment & Training Administration (ETA) grants staff, including Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and Wagner-Peyser Act, as well as competitive grant recipients like the Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program.
  6. New courses being developed include Advanced Employer Outreach/Business Services, Grants Management courses for federal staff and newly funded grant recipients, as well as Career Coaching.
  7. A JVSG instructional guide is also being developed for newly hired JVSG staff which will include basic information about JVSG which will serve as a primer before completing courses at NVTI.

The discussion then turned to employment issues associated with military spouses and disabled veterans. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes representatives began the discussion with information about their program to create Military Spouse Economic Empowerment Zones across various states to address the economic impact of unemployment and underemployment of military spouses. This program grew out of a study conducted by the foundation titled Military Spouses in the Workplace, which found that only 50% of military families polled reported having dual income status. Hiring Our Heroes will be launching this program throughout American cities in 2018. This will be a collaborative effort among the local business, civic, and military communities to establish geographically-focused employment networks to connect military spouses to local career opportunities. Read about the program here.
The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) presented next, speaking about their efforts to create a national dialogue regarding licensure for military spouses and their stay at work/return to work program demonstration RETAIN (Retaining Employment and Talent After Injury/Illness Network). RETAIN Demonstration Projects are a collaborative effort led by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) in partnership with DOL’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and the Social Security Administration (SSA)This program demonstration will test the impact of early intervention strategies that improve stay-at-work/return-to-work (SAW/RTW) outcomes of individuals who experience work disability while employed. Read more about this program here.
ODEP also highlighted their Job Accommodation Network (JAN), which provides free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues including accommodating veterans in the workplace.
In addition, ODEP presented on their Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program, a framework for systems change that centers on the premise that all citizens, including individuals with significant disabilities, are capable of full participation in integrated employment and community life. Issues that this program focuses on include mental health and veterans. Read about the program here.
Finally, ODEP shared two resources that provide information on disability employment and mental health issues. The first,, shares information on state policies, practices, technical assistance initiatives, and outcomes that are focused directly or indirectly on the employment of individuals with disabilities. The second resource, the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC), reports to Congress and federal agencies on issues related to serious mental illness (SMI) and serious emotional disturbance (SED).
The meeting ended with a brief discussion on events and resources from various VSOs:

  • The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) will be hosting a Virtual Career Fair on June 20, 2018 and the Military and Veteran Networking Forum on September 20, 2018 at the National Air and Space museum in Washington, D.C., Click here for more information.
  • The DC Metro Business Leadership Network will be hosting its 7th Annual Wounded Warriors Symposium titled: Building and Maintaining a Culture of Veteran Inclusion on June 27 in Reston, VA. Click here for more information.
  • Disabled American Veterans (DAV) provides a Guide to Hiring & Retaining Veterans with Disabilities on this website
  • The American Legion convened the Employment Innovations Taskforce in February with the purpose of conducting independent surveys and assessments regarding the efficacy of content currently being delivered through the Transition Assistance Program (TAP). The group is also seeking to learn what recruitment efforts private sector employers are using to hire transitioning servicemembers now and in the future. Find more information here.

Finally, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will be hosting their 5th Annual National Veterans Small Business Week from November 5–9, 2018. Find more information here.
As always, visit and for more employment, transition, training resources, and news.


In Part I of Marketing for DVOPS and LVERS, we introduced the concept of marketing and explained how it differs from sales.  We began a market analysis by considering who our customer is and what differentiates one customer from another.   In Part II, we focus on expanding the market analysis around channels of communication and spend some time on the “4 Ps”. 

Once you know your customers and their characteristics, the next step in marketing is to consider how you are going to communicate with your customer.   For most DVOPs, this is relatively straight forward.   Where the DVOP and LVER are in the same location, mostly likely you will talk to each other face-to-face.   Where the DVOP and LVER are not collocated, you will likely use the phone, email, or maybe electronic chat to communicate.

This gets more complicated for LVERs whose customers vary by type of industry, who the contact is (e.g. a human resources person or the company owner/CEO) and the company’s commitment to hiring veterans through the AJC and possible other characteristics that complicate communication including geography, the company’s familiarity with the AJC and the services available, and the number of people the company is hiring on a recurring basis.   Grouping companies with similar characteristics allows the LVER to consider appropriate ways to communicate with the customer.  We suggest you create a matrix to portray the customer and the communication channels that you want to use for each one and how often you plan to communicate with the customer.  An example is at Figure 1.

Figure 1-Sample Customer Communication Matrix

With a communication matrix complete – knowing your customers and knowing how you are going to communicate with each one, we can move on to a discussion about the “4 Ps” – Price, Product, Promotion, and Place.

Pricing:   While it might appear that there is no price related to your “product” (a job ready veteran-client), consider this:  there is a cost for the DVOP to work with the veteran-client and prepare the individual for employment.  You can measure the cost in terms of the number of hours the DVOP spends with the veteran-client, how much money is spent on the veteran-client for training classes, time spent by other AJC staff working to support the veteran-client and the DVOP, as well as the veteran-client’s time.    The LVER does not directly pay the DVOP, but if the veteran-client is not fully job-ready, the LVER will have spent time (money) working with the veteran-client before returning the veteran-client to the DVOP for additional development.  
Likewise, LVER customers look at the cost to hire.   While AJC services are free to the company, the company still must spend time screening and qualifying the candidate.  If candidates are not really job-ready or are not a good match for the job, company culture, etc. then the company spends time and money on a non-viable candidate.  This translates to their cost and to the Pricing of your “product.”
Product:    As a veteran, you know the value that a veteran can bring to any organization.   When you have a job-ready veteran-client who has a top-notch resume, dresses for success, can interview well, and is a close match to a company’s job requirements and culture, no one can beat the “product” you have to offer.   When the DVOP completes their work with the veteran-client and transfers the veteran-client to the LVER in a closely coordinated and well communicated manner, the LVER is best positioned to help the veteran-client take the next steps to employment.   A well-prepared veteran-client allows the LVER to match that veteran-client to a company. 
Promotion:   Because of the way our workforce system works, the DVOP seldom must “promote” their veteran-client to the LVER.   However, there may be circumstances when promotion is still necessary.   An example might be a homeless veteran or a recently incarcerated veteran who was imprisoned for a serious felony.  Between the DVOP, the LVER, and the veteran-client, finding the best way to promote the individual as the veteran-client moves through the workforce system is important and requires a team effort if the process is to end successfully in a sustainable employment opportunity for the veteran-client.

On the other hand, “promotion” is a significant portion of the LVER’s work with hiring organizations.   Not only does the LVER have to promote individual veteran-clients, the LVER must promote the AJC services, the workforce system, and importantly, themselves.   As the spokesperson for the workforce system with hiring organizations, the LVER must look, act, and talk the part to be successful in placing candidates into meaningful jobs.  Giving careful consideration to how to promote all these aspects to prospective employers in a customer-focused, integrated manner will help achieve the ultimate outcome of having veteran-clients become employees in targeted organizations.   LVERs might create a Promotion Matrix such as the one in Figure 2 to help identify the best way to present the veteran-client, AJC, and themselves.

Place:   For DVOP’s “place” is generally easy – it is where the LVER is located.  If the DVOP and LVER are not collocated, the DVOP connects the veteran-client and the LVER by phone, email, or in some other manner.   For LVER’s “place” is generally easy as well – its primarily where the company is located.  It entails bringing the veteran-client to the company.   Other “places” could be job fairs or even the AJC if companies come to these locations to meet the veteran-clients.

In this two-part series we have tried to introduce some marketing concepts as they apply to DVOPs and LVERs.  The tools are as effective as you want to make them, but the tools are all designed to help DVOPs and LVERs successfully match job-ready veteran-clients to hiring organizations.

May 2018


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Did you ever think that your job as a DVOP and LVER is all about marketing?   If you said, “yes,” great!  Then this first in a series of articles on marketing will help you frame your thoughts.  If you said, “no,” then we’re going to introduce you to some new ideas that you might find helpful.

Let’s start by differentiating between selling and marketing.  While they are related, they are not the same.  According to the online Business Dictionary,
“marketing is about the management process through which goods and services move from concept to the customer. It includes the coordination of four elements called the 4 P’s of marketing:

(1) identification, selection and development of a product,
(2) determination of its price,
(3) selection of a distribution channel to reach the customer’s place, and
(4) development and implementation of a promotional strategy.

Marketing is based on thinking about the business in terms of customer needs and their satisfaction.”    
The online Business Dictionary goes on to explain selling:
“Marketing differs from selling because (in the words of Harvard Business School’s retired professor of marketing Theodore C. Levitt) ’Selling concerns itself with the tricks and techniques of getting people to exchange their cash for your product. It is not concerned with the values that the exchange is all about. And it does not, as marketing invariable does, view the entire business process as consisting of a tightly integrated effort to discover, create, arouse and satisfy customer needs.’ In other words, marketing has less to do with getting customers to pay for your product as it does developing a demand for that product and fulfilling the customer’s needs.”

Effective marketing starts with a clear understanding of the customer – who the customer is, where they are, what they need, what they want, what they will pay for the goods or services and any special customer circumstances.   After this “market analysis” is complete, the “4 P’s” are applied.  The outcome of the analysis and the integration of the “4 P’s” is a marketing plan that explains how you are going to market to your customer.

Let’s start by understanding your customer.   You might think that the veteran-client is your customer.  In many ways, that’s true.   For our purposes though, let’s consider that for DVOPs, your customer is the LVER and their counterpart in American Job Center’s Business Development function.   For the LVER, your customers are the businesses that are willing to hire veterans.  And in terms of our marketing approach, the veteran-client is the “product” you are trying to successfully market. 

With the customer in mind, the next step is to segment your market (customer).   For a DVOP this means understanding that each LVER is different.   The question that a DVOP must answer is, “how are LVERs different?”   The answer depends on the LVER.  For example, experience – some LVERs are more experienced than others.   LVER customers might be a differentiator.  For example, if your AJC has more than one LVER, one might be focused on government jobs, the other on for-profit businesses.  Or maybe one LVER has one geographic region and another LVER has a different region.   Other differentiators might be:  is your customer an LVER or a business development specialist; does your customer have experience as a DVOP; does your customer have experience in the business they are trying to recruit to hire veterans; is your customer located near you (e.g. in your immediate area) or geographically separated?   You can brainstorm other criteria for segmenting your market based on your experience and local circumstances.

For LVERs, segmenting your market means understanding the businesses in your community—are they non-profits, are they for-profits, or are they government organizations?   Are they small, medium, or large organizations?   Are they industrial, manufacturing, research, or service (or any other type) organizations?    Are they hiring?  Is the organization closing?  Is the organization losing/gaining market share?  If they are publicly traded organizations, are their share values increasing or decreasing?    Other criteria might be something you brainstorm with your colleagues.

There are several reasons for segmenting your customers and going through this thoughtful process.  First among the reasons – once you have completed this exercise around your customer, you will begin to better understand who they are and what they need for an effective handoff of your veteran-client from DVOP to LVER or from LVER to employer.  Secondly, having a better understanding of your customer will help you better prepare your veteran-client for the handoff.    Here’s an example.   If your LVER is new in the role, has never been a DVOP, and works in a different AJC that’s 60-100 miles away, then what you need to do with your veteran-client might include a slightly different focus on oral communication (because the conversations between the veteran-client and LVER will be by phone), use of video technology (so the veteran-client and LVER can Skype), and ensuring your veteran-client understands that the turnaround time for communication between the veteran-client and the LVER may take longer than if the LVER was co-located in the cubicle next to yours.   

Secretary’s Honor Award

In this article, Part I, we introduced the concept of marketing and explained how it differs from sales.  We began the market analysis by considering who our customer is and what differentiates one customer from another.   In Part II of Marketing for DVOPs and LVERs, we’ll focus on expanding the market analysis around channels of communication and spend some time on the “4 Ps”. 

Customer Communication

By: NVTI Staff Writer

Each of us has countless occasions throughout the day to communicate with our customer, whether that customer is a client, a family member, a co-worker, or a supervisor. We communicate with our customers face-to-face, on the phone, via a text/email exchange, or maybe via sign language. No matter how we communicate or who we are communicating with, it’s valuable to know how to maximize the communication so that we can achieve our goals – and hopefully those of our customer.
Figure 1-Shannon and Weaver Communication Model

The basic communication model was created in 1948 by Claude Elwood Shannon and Warren Weaver of Bell Laboratories. Today this model is taught in classrooms across America including colleges and universities as well as in leadership development programs. The model starts with the sender – the person who initiates communication. The message then goes through a set of filters (the lightning bolts in Figure 1) which represent the Sender’s view of the world. The message is then accepted by the Receiver through the receiver’s filters, or view of the world. After the Receiver processes the message, they provide feedback. This changes the role of the Receiver to a Sender and the original Sender to a Receiver. Sometimes the feedback is verbal, sometimes it’s nonverbal. In this model, the Sender is responsible for ensuring the message is clear, received, and understood.  

Filters for both the Sender and Receiver vary based on the environment of the communication (private office vs. public gathering area), individual biases, and culture.   Potential filters include:  personality, language, culture, time, perception, interest, experience, emotions, internal distractions, message design, and communication channel. 

Language is particularly important for DVOP specialists and LVERs who have customers from all branches of the military who may use Service-specific terms in their communication. Being sure that both parties understand the meaning of acronyms and Service-specific terms can help improve the communication process – when in doubt, ask what a term means. As you work with your customers, keep in mind that you own the communication process, not your customer.

Professor Albert Mehrabian of the University of California-Los Angeles conducted studies of the way people communicate. From his studies, he concluded that verbal communication includes three components: spoken words, voice and tone, and non-verbal communication (body language). Dr. Mehrabian’s studies led him to believe that 55% of our communication is non-verbal, 38% is voice and tone, and only 7% is spoken words. Practically speaking (pun intended), we have the best chance of successful communication when we are face-to-face with our customers. We not only hear what and how they speak, but we can watch their body language. When we can’t see our customers during the communication process, we only receive 45% of the message – that’s a major filter in the communication process. For example, when you are on the phone with a customer, you can only hear their words and you can get a sense of their voice and tone. This means you must work harder to understand the message you are being sent and that the message you are sending is clearly understood. Asking for feedback, summarizing the conversation as you go, asking for confirmation of your understanding, are all good ways to help ensure the message you sent and the one you received are accurate.

Today, the use of text messages (including emails) grows every day. According to Michael Bentz in an Adobe blog from 25 July 2015, “While the dramatic rise of new communication apps has overtaken SMS, an average of 20 billion text messages are being sent daily this year, translating to 7.3 trillion annually! That’s more than 5.5 million per second!” That’s a lot of communication!  Using Dr Mehrabian’s model, I would suggest that a text or email message is equivalent to the spoken word – or only 7% of the message. Using text/email to communicate with your customer may be easy and fast but crafting the communication so that the full message is understood takes a lot more work than a phone call (which has 45% of the message components included) or face-to-face (with 100% of the message components included).

So, what does this all mean? For DVOP specialists and LVERs, communication with the customer is essential. The best chance of successful communication is face-to-face and the worst chance is using email or text. If you must use text/email, take time to review your email and if it’s a really important communication, test it on someone who can help ensure you crafted a clear message. Seek feedback when you are the Sender and give feedback when you are the Receiver. Remember, only 7% of the communication process is what you say, 93% is how you say it and how your body reacts to the communication.

April 2018


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Academic Credit for Military Experience
By: NVTI Staff Writer

 One of the challenges members of the Uniformed Services face is completing a college degree – whether the degree is a bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree due to the member’s change of duty station. Some states recognize this challenge and provide college credit for the member’s active duty/reserve/guard experience. Information about this subject is available on the Education Commission of the States (ECUS) website at This article summarizes key information from the ECUS website.

The website provides detailed information about each state’s program for academic credit for military service. There is also a comparison tool where you can quickly see how each state compares to other states in giving academic credit for military experience. This comparison tool is built around four topics and the resulting comparison deals only with that specific topic. The four topics are: 

When you select an individual state profile, you can find more information on whether or not the state has a policy to award academic credit for military experience.

The ECUS web site can be a valuable tool for DVOP specialists who have clients interested in earning a college degree.  We recommend you become familiar with the site before you use it with your clients.

Veteran is Firmly Planted in the Working World Again

By Leo Kay on April 11, 2018
Sean McMillen has taken an unorthodox path in the professional world, with stopovers as a soldier in the U.S. Army, an egg inspector for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and an independent nursery owner. Now – thanks to support from a disabled veterans assistance program – he’s enjoying his most satisfying career yet, working as a grain inspector for a company in Oregon.
A self-described city kid, Sean discovered a passion for gardening in his early twenties when a friend gave him an orchid. After a stint in the Army, Sean decided to open his own farm and nursery outside of Portland, Oregon, where he still lives.
Unfortunately, when business took a downturn, Sean had to close his nursery and seek a new career path. By his estimate, he was about six months away from homelessness, with no viable job prospects in sight. He also suffered from the effects of a back injury he incurred during an Army exercise.
That’s when he reached out to a program in Portland, supported by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service, that helps disabled veterans reintegrate into the civilian workforce. He credits the staff with helping him tighten up his resume, navigate the job search process, and, perhaps most importantly, “get motivated again.”
Within a few months, a large company that was opening its first office in his area offered Sean a position as a certified grain inspector, and he accepted. On any given day at his new job, he travels around the Pacific Northwest to collect samples for certification from a grain silo in Yakima, Washington, or even a tanker in Seattle Harbor with a load of wheat bound for international markets. 
He regularly refers other veterans to the program that helped him get back on his feet. “I don’t think a lot of people know these programs are out there,” Sean said.
Veterans can visit or call 1-877-872-5627 to learn about the employment services available near them, including one-on-one assistance at an American Job Center.
Leo Kay is the regional public affairs director for the Labor Department in San Francisco.

Employment Situation of Veterans – 2017

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released their 2017 Employment Situation of Veterans on March 22, 2018. The numbers for last year were positive – a 3.7 percent unemployment rate in 2017, down from 4.3 percent in 2016. This is the lowest veteran unemployment rate in 17 years. Some key highlights from the report were:

  1. The unemployment rate for Gulf War-era II veterans edged down to 4.5 percent in 2017. The jobless rate for all veterans declined to 3.7 percent.
  2. The unemployment rate for male veterans fell to 3.6 percent in 2017, and the rate for female veterans changed little at 4.1 percent.
  3. Among the 370,000 unemployed veterans in 2017, 59 percent were age 25 to 54. About 37 percent were age 55 and over and 4 percent were age 18 to 24.
  4. The unemployment rate of veterans varied across the country, ranging from 1.7 percent in Maine and Vermont to 7.3 percent in Rhode Island.

To access the news release which includes the tabulated data, click here.

March DOL VETS and VSO Meeting

The 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 was held at the DOL Headquarters in Washington D.C. on March 30, 2018.
The meeting primarily focused on the 2017 Employment Situation of Veterans report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, released on March 22, 2018. The numbers for last year were positive – the lowest veteran unemployment rate in 17 years. Some key highlights from the report were:

  • The unemployment rate for Gulf War-era II veterans edged down to 4.5 percent in 2017. The jobless rate for all veterans declined to 3.7 percent.
  • The unemployment rate for male veterans fell to 3.6 percent in 2017, and the rate for female veterans changed little at 4.1 percent.
  • Among the 370,000 unemployed veterans in 2017, 59 percent were age 25 to 54. About 37 percent were age 55 and over and 4 percent were age 18 to 24.
  • The unemployment rate of veterans varied across the country, ranging from 1.7 percent in Maine and Vermont to 7.3 percent in Rhode Island.

To access the news release which includes the tabulated data, click here.
The meeting ended with a brief discussion on services and resources from various VSOs:

  • The DC Metro Business Leadership Network will be hosting its 7th Annual Wounded Warriors Symposium entitled: Building and Maintaining a Culture of Veteran Inclusion on June 27th in Reston, VA. Click here for more information.
  • The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) will be hosting a Military and Veteran Networking Forum on September 20, 2018 at the National Air and Space museum in Washington DC. Click here for more information.
  • Disabled American Veterans (DAV) will be hosting 150 career fairs, 24 of which will be virtual. Click here for more information. In addition, DAV posted a guide on hiring and retaining disabled veterans which can be found here.

As always, visit and for more employment, transition, and training resources, and news.

March 2018


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IVMF – Entrepreneurship Programs, Part II

The Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF) was established in 2011 at Syracuse University in New York with its founding partner JPMorgan Chase & Co. Since its inception, IVMF programs have grown to meet the needs of transitioning service members, veterans, and family members of both groups. There are 12 IVMF programs for entrepreneurship. In this article we’ll focus on entrepreneurship programs that have special eligibility requirements.

IVMF’s entrepreneurship programs are designed to help veterans, transitioning service members, and spouses start their own business. For some of the programs, enrollees must meet eligibility requirements. The first one is the Boots to Business (B2B) program. This program was designed in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration to assist those interested in exploring business ownership or other self-employment opportunities. B2B is a two-day program open to transitioning service members, including Guardsmen and Reservists and their family members, that is offered worldwide. After the two-day program, participants can enroll in follow-on classes. Check out this website for more information:

The second program is the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV), which teaches the steps and stages of creating a business, with a tailored emphasis on the unique challenges and opportunities associated with being a veteran business owner. EBV is open to post 9-11 veterans. Other veterans can enroll, and IVMF will refer them to other similar programs. EBV is an intensive program that starts with a 30-day online session. Then there is a 9-day residential program with 12 months of post-program support. The residential program is offered at ten partner universities across the nation. During the residential portion, all costs are covered including materials, travel, food, and lodging. During the 12-month follow-up period, attendees can access over 36 different partners – everything from financial management to marketing to mentors aimed at small businesses. There is also a specialized version of EBV for veterans’ family members or caregivers that operates in the same way as the traditional EBV. Information on both programs can be found at

The third program is the EBV Growth Track. This recently launched program is a three-phase program that gives veterans with a successful business the tools and coaching to propel their business to the next phase: sustainable growth. Topics include acquiring growth funding, rebranding for expansion, determining a sustainable growth rate, partnerships, managing cash flow, and much more. Veterans of any era who have been in business for three years and have five employees are eligible to apply.

The last program, targeted for women veterans, active duty women, and women spouses, is called V-WISE – Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship. The V-WISE online program is 15 days and the residential program is three days. IVMF pays for lodging for the attendees. The follow-on portion is similar to EBV. An introductory program is also offered called V-WISE IGNITE. This one-day conference covers the basics of starting a business and is held in various locations across the country. Information about both programs is at:

DVOP specialists can help their clients tap into these resources when a client is interested in starting a business. Having a working knowledge of all the IVMF programs and events will provide DVOP specialists with valuable resources. You can find more information about IVMF at

IVMF – Entrepreneurship Programs, Part I

The Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF) was established in 2011 at Syracuse University in New York with its founding partner JPMorgan Chase & Co.  Since its inception, IVMF programs have grown to meet the needs of transitioning service members, veterans, and family members of both groups.  There are 10 IVMF programs for entrepreneurship.  In this article we’ll focus only on those that are open to anyone, while the next article in this series will focus on programs that have special eligibility requirements.

IVMF’s entrepreneurship programs are designed to help veterans, transitioning service members, and spouses start and grow their own business. According to Misty Stutsman, IVMF’s Director, Entrepreneurship & Small Business, “there are nearly a dozen IVMF programs designed to help individuals start their own business and with more than 76,000 individuals having participated in one or more programs.”  

VETNET is an IVMF program that is available to free to anyone. Through VETNET, IVMF offers a series of webinars about careers after military service. Topics range from search techniques, marketing, project management, accounting, research, personal branding, and much more. You can find VETNET at

A second free IVMF resource open to anyone is called the “Center of Excellence for Veteran Entrepreneurship.” According to the Center’s web site, it serves as a resource database to “collect, organize, and share knowledge, resources, and networks to advance entrepreneurial opportunities for transitioning service members, veterans, and their families.” The database is organized into four “buckets.” In the first bucket, users can find information tailored to veterans who are interested in starting or evolving their own business. The second bucket is a storehouse of academic research related to entrepreneurship for veterans, transitioning services members, and their families. Training programs are the third bucket – a resource of academic and other training focused on entrepreneurship including college level courses and degrees. The final bucket provides information about corporations who are interested in working with veterans for whom the Center will serve as a bridge between stakeholders and networks. The Center’s web site is:

The final program is IVMF’s Coalition for Veteran Owned Business (CVOB), with founding partner First Data. This is a network of Fortune 500 companies who are interested in having more veterans within their supply chains. While this resource is free, it does require registration. Through CVOB, veterans and military spouse business owners can connect with a coalition of industry leaders committed to providing innovative solutions, thought leadership, webinars, original publications, networking, and matchmaking events.  Information on CVOB is available at

The remaining IVMF programs require enrollment and enrollees must meet specific eligibility requirements. We’ll cover those in the next article.

DVOP specialists can tap into these IVMF offerings and explore what is available for their clients. Since the programs covered in this article are open to anyone, DVOP specialists and their clients can benefit from exploring the IVMF offerings. Having a working knowledge of all the IVMF programs and events will provide DVOP specialists with valuable resources. You can find more information about IVMF at

February 2018


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IVMF – Career Preparation and Employment and AmericaServes

The Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF) was established in 2011 at Syracuse University in New York with its founding partner JPMorgan Chase & Co.  Since its inception, IVMF programs have grown to meet the needs of transitioning service members, veterans, and family members of both groups.  This article focuses on two IVMF programs: the career preparation and employment program called Onward to Opportunity- Veterans Career Transition Program (O2O-VCTP) and the community services program called “AmericaServes.”

Career Preparation and Employment
IVMF’s career preparation and employment program is called Onward to Opportunity – Veterans Career Transition Program (O2O-VCTP) and is very similar to the work that DVOP specialists and LVERs do to prepare clients for employment and then match clients to companies that hire veterans. The program has a local presence in 14 military communities, but individuals can enroll from anywhere and the program is also available online nationwide for convenience. The program, supported by lead funders JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the Schultz Family Foundation, offers free exams and professional certifications for in-demand industry programs. For example, O2O-VCTP offers certification for project management and the Project Management Institute’s exam. According to Beth Kubala, IVMF Senior Director for Programs and Services, “upon enrollment, a client goes through an intake process to determine what certification meets the client’s need while maintaining a focus on employment.” Once the client enrolls, IVMF staff are available to coach and encourage clients to complete training and certification, after which Hire Heroes USA takes over and works to place the individual with an employer. Program graduates can also take advantage of a host of post-program support offerings. 

According to Ms. Kubala, who is herself a retired Army officer, AmericaServes was designed to “help veterans with the challenge of navigating across multiple organizations in local communities that provide services to veterans and their family members.” The IVMF partners with local service organizations to create a collaborative network of providers using the latest information technology. AmericaServes makes seeking services as easy as one-stop shopping.  Each organization completes a profile of their services which is entered into the referral management system. Clients can contact a central referral management office or work with one of the network providers.  In either case, referral specialists – typically social workers – assess the client’s needs during an intake process and then quickly matches the client to a service provider or providers. A referral is electronically generated and sent to the designated service provider outlining the client’s needs. A client may need the services of several organizations and the referral specialist works with the client to be sure the client receives the needed services. AmericaServes is currently in 16 communities across the United States. Ms. Kubala said the IVMF is planning to expand to other communities as the need grows. The benefit of a nationally-connected service organization supported by technology is vital to ensuring veterans can access the services and help they need quickly and efficiently from wherever they are. 

DVOP specialists can tap into IVMF offerings for their clients by having clients enroll in appropriate IVMF programs. Having a working knowledge of all the IVMF programs and events will provide DVOP specialists with valuable resources. While LVERs cannot tap into IVMF’s employer network directly, having job-ready clients enroll with IVMF through O2O-VCTP allows the clients to access more than 500 employers through IVMF’s partnership with Hire Heroes USA. You can find more information about IVMF at The next article in this series will explore IVMF’s research program.


Editor’s note: This story was adapted from a post by the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Department.

Marine Corps veteran Gregory Lincoln was 59 when word came down that his IT specialist position was being eliminated. Gregory had more than 20 years of professional experience in IT and education-related fields, as well as degrees in business administration, criminal justice, and information technology. Unemployment was devastating.

“My family was facing our darkest moment ever and we had no hope,” Gregory says. “My wife and I just bought a home. I didn’t know where to turn.”

That changed when his local veterans’ center referred him to the High Desert America’s Job Center of California in Victorville. The support, encouragement, and guidance he received from his “angel crew,” as he calls them, put him on the path to success.

“I’d started thinking something was wrong with me. I was on the verge of losing my home and no jobs were coming in,” he says. “They came in and boosted my confidence when it was at its lowest level.”


The Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF) was established in 2011 at Syracuse University in New York with its founding partner JPMorgan Chase & Co.  According to Maureen Casey, IVMF’s Chief Operating Officer, “being associated with the university allows IVMF to take advantage of all the campus resources.” This benefits IVMF and its customers, because IVMF staff can reach across the University for highly qualified advice and assistance.

This article provides an overview of IVMF and is the first in a series of articles which will explore in more detail the four major IVMF programs: Career Preparation and Employment, Entrepreneurship & Small Business, Community Support, and Research. As we review each program, we will highlight ways DVOP specialists and LVERs can tap into IVMF to help clients.

IVMF serves transitioning service members, veterans, and family members of both groups. All of IVMF’s services and programs are offered to these groups for free. Since 2011, IVMF has served more than 90,000 customers. In its efforts to maintain and grow its free programs, IVMF depends on many sources for financial support. Some of these include government grants, non-profit foundation grants, corporate philanthropy, and individual donors.  

To bring the highest quality programs to its customers, IVMF partners with federal, state, and local governments; the Uniformed Services; private and non-profit organizations; and countless veteran service organizations. By coordinating the work of many organizations, IVMF can do more for the thousands of customers it serves every year.

The four major IVMF programs provide a variety of services and support to transitioning service members, veterans, and family members.

  • Career Preparation and Employment:  IVMF offers a career skills program that provides civilian career training, professional certifications, and job placement support to transitioning service members, members of the Reserves or National Guard, veterans, and military spouses. 
  • Entrepreneurship and Small Business: In addition to the Boots to Business program, IVMF offers many programs targeted at helping veterans decide if they want to start their own business as well as programs designed to help customers be successful as entrepreneurs.
  • Community Support: In 14 communities across the U.S., IVMF partners with other organizations to help veterans, transitioning service members, and their families access and navigate resources to meet their individual or family needs quicker and more efficiently by using a technology-based referral platform.
  • Research: The Institute has assembled a multidisciplinary team of social scientists, applied research and evaluation methodologists, subject matter experts, and world-class institutional partners spanning the Syracuse University campus and beyond.  This team conducts actionable research into and evaluation of a variety of programs related to IVMF’s customers.

DVOP specialists can tap into IVMF programs for their clients by having clients enroll in appropriate IVMF programs. Having a working knowledge of all the IVMF programs and events will provide DVOP specialists with valuable resources. While LVERs cannot tap into IVMF’s employer network directly, having job-ready clients enroll with IVMF allows the clients to access more than 500 employers through its proprietary partnership with Hire Heroes USA. You can find more information about IVMF at The next article in this series will explore the Career Preparation and Employment program.

Wisconsin Job Centers Help Employers Recruit Veteran Talent

Marcus Perez faced a common challenge among veterans when he left the US Army in 2014, translating his military experience and education to a successful civilian career. Despite using the Army’s career transition resources and studying resume writing resources, he was unable to land an interview.
Perez had the good fortune of leaving the service from Ft. McCoy, the only base in his home state of Wisconsin. There, he was referred to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development’s Office of Veteran Employment Services – Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program in Lacrosse.
Using OVES’ statewide network, Perez quickly connected with DVOPs in northern Wisconsin where staff helped him select a target career field, tailor his resume and directly connect with employers that were actively seeking his expertise, including West Corporation where he accepted an offer and remains working as the Director of Human Resources.
“Connecting with the Office of Veterans Employment Services was a blessing that most veterans aren’t fortunate enough to have so early in their transition,” said Perez. “All veterans need to visit their Wisconsin Job Center for program assistance. It’s such a game changer.”


February DOL VETS and VSO Meeting

The monthly meeting between the U.S. Department of Labor Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (DOL VETS) and personnel and leaders from Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) around the country was held at the DOL Headquarters in Washington D.C. on February 2, 2018.
The meeting began with a brief overview of the HIRE Vets Medallion Program, where businesses will be recognized for recruiting, retaining, and employing veterans, as well as offering charitable services in support of the veteran community. The Program Demonstration kicked off on February 2, and will allow DOL VETS to initially run applications, raise awareness of the Program, and enable more employers to prepare to successfully garner recognition when the Program launches in 2019. This demonstration will use the same criteria the HIRE Vets Medallion Program will use in 2019.
The meeting then turned to priorities for the year and highlighting efforts in supporting the veteran community. Priorities focused mainly on transitioning service members, homeless veterans, and women veterans. Here are specific priorities from the different VSOs:

  • Vietnam Veterans of America will be focusing on veterans with toxic exposure, homeless veterans, veterans with PTSD and substance abuse, women veterans, veterans in the justice system, minority veterans, and will also advocate for veterans starting their own businesses
  • Paralyzed Veterans of America will be focusing on veterans’ healthcare and partnering with disability advocacy groups
  • Legion will be focusing on homeless veterans, veterans’ small businesses, and transition services for women veterans
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars will be focusing on apprenticeship, homeless veterans, and the Transition Assistance Program (TAP)
  • The Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States will be focusing on data sharing between Veterans Affairs, DoD, Small Business Administration (SBA), and the Department of Labor
  • The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) will be focusing on protecting healthcare and retirement benefits and military pay compatibility with the private sector
  • Disabled Army Veterans will be focusing on TAP, women veterans, and the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program
  • AmeriCorps will be focusing on connecting veterans with AmeriCorps and an apprenticeship program
  • Easter Seals will be focusing on homeless veterans
  • SBA will be focusing on their Veterans Business Outreach Center and Boots to Business training
  • Troops to Education is focused on helping veterans become teachers and teaching support positions and expanding programs to include spouses
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) will be focusing on women veterans, suicide prevention, mental health, TAP, and GI Bill funding for entrepreneurs

Here’s a brief roundup of services and resources shared at this month’s meeting:

  • DOL VETS piloted a revised Career Technical Training Track program in Norfolk, Virginia, which will be rolled out in May. This course will help transitioning service members answer the question “What do I want to do and how do I get there?” It allows transitioning service members to conduct their own personal career exploration (matching interests, aptitude, and values), then research and chart a course to attain the necessary credentials to successfully attain that career. 
  • Vietnam Veterans of America will be holding the Veteran Small Business Forum on April 11, 2018. Find out more here.
  • The Advisory Committee on Veterans’ Employment, Training, and Employer Outreach presented their 2017 Final Report, which included recommendations on ensuring quality employment for veterans after military service. The report focuses on three specific areas: barriers to employment for veterans, transition and training resources, and direct services for veterans and employers. The report will be available soon here.
  • The Military Officers Association of America will be holding career fairs throughout 2018 which are open to all who have served or are currently serving in the U.S. Military, and their spouses. Find more information below:
  • Disabled Army Veterans will be holding national employment fairs and conventions. Find more information here.
  • SBA will be holding its National Small Business Week from April 29 to May 5, 2018. Find more information here. Look out for the 2018 Veterans Small Business Week.

As always, visit and for more employment, transition, and training resources, and news.


This article focuses on several resources that are of interest to LVERs.  Some of the resources in this article may be specific to a state or region.

Using the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to find Veteran Owned Businesses: The VA has a formal certification process for two designations – Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) and Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB). As a result of the certification process, the VA maintains a sizable database of veteran businesses. Anyone can use the database to find veteran businesses without registering with the VA. The web site is Users can scroll down to the search function and enter a state or other criterion to get a list of veteran businesses that meet their criteria. One of the search criterion is “NAICS”. NAICS stands for North American Industry Classification System. These are a series of codes that industry and Government use to identify the capabilities that a company can provide. LVERs can use the NAICS search to find a specific type of company in the local area which can increase chances of matching a client’s skill set to a possible employer. NAICS can be found at  

Chambers of Commerce: Chambers of Commerce exist in almost any community across the country. Chambers of Commerce maintain a list of member companies and individuals and you can use this list to match clients to company needs. In addition, in larger communities, there may be more than one Chamber of Commerce. For example, in Denver CO and Washington DC (and elsewhere), there is a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce that deals primarily with Hispanic-owned businesses. These sector Chambers can be a source of good leads for LVERs.

American Job Center (AJC): Don’t forget that your AJC has access to company profiles. Information may come from companies who advertise openings through your AJC, as well as from local, regional and state economic development organizations.   Where an AJC is co-located with other social service organizations, those organizations may have their own company databases. 

Non-Profits: Non-profits offer a source for matching clients to employers. In larger communities, there may be an association of non-profits. This association, like the Chamber of Commerce, maintains a list of their members and sometimes non-member non-profits. Working with the association can provide LVERs with opportunities to find meaningful employment for clients.

LinkedIn:  LinkedIn is a good source of company information. You can search “Company XXX” and replace XXX with your locality and a list of companies will be generated.

Veteran Service Organizations (VSO) and Veteran Support Organizations: Many veteran-focused organizations maintain job boards for their members or for the public.  These job boards can be a source of company information, as most VSOs also allow companies to post vacancy announcements on the VSO job board. 

State Attorney General’s Office: Each state requires businesses to register with the state – typically with the State Attorney General’s office. LVERs may be able to access the resulting database to obtain a list of companies in the local area.

Tax Records:  While this can vary from state to state, most states maintain public tax records by county. LVERs can access the tax record database to identify companies in the local area.

Company Licenses: Governments at the state, county or local level may require a company to have a license to operate. The resulting database (normally a publicly accessible website) can be an excellent source of information for LVERs. 


While our articles normally cover a single topic, this article covers a number of short items of interest:

Improving Service Delivery at American Job Centers: Check out three articles on the Department of Labor’s WIOA web site that deal with enhancing services across the AJC:  Enhanced Intake for All American Job Center Customers: A Functionally-Aligned Model; Organizing American Job Centers into Networks for the Delivery of Public Workforce Services; and Moving Toward Integrated Job Seeker Services: Collaboration Among American Job Center Programs

2018 Forum-National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB): Registration is open for the March 24-27, 2018 NAWB meeting in Washington D.C.

Analytics Training Program:   SAS, a company focused on analytics, has partnered with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families to offer analytics training to veterans and their families.  

Beginning in January 2018, the IVMF will offer two free SAS programming courses at 14 military installations around the US and also online. Participants can receive vouchers to sit for SAS Certification exams for free, redeemable at any Pearson Vue testing center.

National Resource Directory: The National Resource Directory is a resource website that connects wounded warriors, Service Members, Veterans, their families, and caregivers to programs and services that support them.  Major categories of resources on their web site include:  American Red CrossBenefits & CompensationCommunity of CareEducation & Training  EmploymentFamily & Caregiver SupportHealthHomeless AssistanceHousingMilitary Adaptive Sports ProgramOther Services & ResourcesTransportation & Travel

Arizona State University (ASU) – Global Freshman Academy:   ASU, one of three State of Arizona public universities, has announced a new, innovative way for students to complete their first year of college called the Global Freshman Academy (GFA).  The GFA offers the entire freshman year online.   According to the ASU web site, there is no requirement for a transcript or an application, and students can begin immediately.  The best part of GFA is that students pay $600 per course only after the student is happy with their grade and can retake the class to improve their grade if the student is not happy with the grade they earned.  According to GFA (ASU) staff, veterans can enroll in GFA classes, but cannot use GI Bill (VA education) benefits to pay the $600 course fee.

January 2018