September 2019


See more

The Battle after Service: Suicide Prevention for Veterans

For many veterans, long after their service has ended, another battle begins. But this battle isn’t fought with fellow soldiers using military tactics to defeat a common enemy. This is a solitary battle, an internal battle, fought within the mind and heart—making it one of the most challenging battles a veteran can face.

There were more than 6,000 veteran suicides each year from 2008 to 2016. In 2016, the suicide rate was 1.5 times greater for veterans than for non-veterans. According to a Department of Veterans Affairs study, 20 veterans take their own lives each day.

While suicidal thoughts can impact anyone, veterans are especially prone to suicidal ideation and action as a result of the PTS that can accompany military service. A number of factors, including extended times at war, severe combat conditions, brain trauma, and life-lasting physical injuries, contribute to the high number of veteran suicides. While this tragedy is still pervasive among veterans, there have been strides in providing resources and support for veterans struggling with suicide.  

In 2007, Congress passed the Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act (JOVSPA) of 2007. This law supported the creation of a comprehensive program to combat suicide among veterans. The law, which was named for a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom who died by suicide in 2005, directed the Department of Veterans Affairs to implement a comprehensive suicide prevention program for veterans, which includes staff education, mental health assessments, a suicide prevention coordinator at each VA medical facility, 24-hour mental health care, and other resources and services.

One of the most effective and critical supports that veterans can have when facing suicidal thoughts is other veterans. Veteran support groups, such as the Road Home Program in Chicago, provide individualized care and navigation of services to help heal the invisible wounds of war. Peer support groups sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs also provide outlets for veterans to share their emotions with others who have had similar experiences.

Other, less traditional forms of connecting and sharing are also becoming more prevalent. StoryCorps, whose mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world, has an entire collection devoted to military voices. Watching and listening to these stories can help veterans feel less alone in their experiences. Additionally, Make the Connection, a website devoted to capturing and sharing stories of recovery from veterans, allows you to filter by era, branch, combat experience, and many other categories, enabling those who visit the site to find the stories and testimonials that are most relevant to them.

Because of their strong rapport and meaningful relationships with veterans, LVERs and DVOP specialists are in the unique position to observe a veteran’s demeanor and mood. If you recognize any of the following signs of suicide, you should reach out to the resources listed below. Veterans who are contemplating suicide can feel hopeless, trapped, or agitated; have persistent trouble sleeping or eating; feel rage or anger; engage in risky activities without thinking of the consequence; increase their drug or alcohol use; withdraw from family and friends; or feel like there is no reason to live.

These men and women have served our country; it’s up to the entire community to serve as part of their support system.

Resources for Veterans in Crisis:

  • US Department of Veterans Affairs, Mental Health Website: Https:// – This website connects veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring VA responders through a confidential toll-free hotline and online chat, regardless of enrollment in VA care. If you are thinking about death or suicide, call the Veterans Crisis Line now at 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, use the Veterans Crisis Line online chat, or send a text message to the Veterans Crisis Line at 838255. The Veterans Crisis Line offers free, confidential support, 24/7/365.
  • Mission 22: Https:// – Mission 22 is a non-profit that combats the ever-rising veteran suicide rate. Mission 22 has three main programs; veteran treatment programs, memorials, and national awareness. Mission 22 provides treatment programs to veterans for Post-Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury and other issues they might be facing.
  • National Center for PTSD, Peer Support Group: – This resource sets up veterans with peer support groups. Peer support groups are led by veterans for veterans. Groups often meet in person, but many groups also provide online support.

If you are aware of any other resources, please share them with the community at the Making Careers Happen Community of Practice, on NVTI Student Central.
Source: Https://

August 2019


See more

Veteran Unemployment Rate Hits New Lows

Good news! The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a new report on the employment status of veterans. In a report surveying 60,000 American households, the BLS concluded the unemployment rate of veterans has maintained its 18-year-low of 3.5%, with the peak unemployment rate being 9.9% in 2011. The rate of jobless veterans from September 2001 until now, referred to as Gulf War-era II veterans, has dropped from 4.5% in 2017 to 3.5% in 2018, a 10-year low.

This is in no small part due to the hard work of LVERs and DVOP specialists who work day in and day out to help veterans prepare for and find meaningful work. Thank you for your contributions toward improving the quality of life for those who serve our nation.

Read the full report here:
DOL Announces $48.1 million in Grants for Homeless Veteran Reintegration

The Department of Labor (DOL) awarded 149 Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program (HVRP) grants to various community services and agencies totaling over $48.1. Over 20,000 veterans experiencing homelessness or who are highly at risk of homelessness will receive employment and training assistance. Since the inception of HVRP in 1987, the program has steadily increased the numbers served with grant funds and expanded the geographical coverage of these grants. HVRP is the only federal grant program focused exclusively on competitive employment for homeless veterans.

The 12-month grants range from $100,000 to $500,000. California has the most recipients with 30 grants awarded. Texas has the second highest recipients with eight grants awarded.

DOL has a full press release outlining the grants and a list of grant recipients. Read it here:
Growing Opportunities: How Farming and the USDA Have Helped Veterans in the Job Market

Three-point-two-percent of United States veterans are unemployed according to the Department of Labor ( While this may seem like a small percentage with a steady decline over the past few years, it still means that hundreds of thousands of veterans are without a job. According to, ( there are currently 20.8 million veterans in the United States. Using the Department of Labor’s statistic, we can calculate that around 665,600 veterans are unemployed. However, agencies, like the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA), are providing beneficial tools and programs for former service members, so that unemployment rate can continue its steady decline. The USDA works with organizations like the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to generate ample employment opportunities.

The USDA grants large loans to veterans to help them grow their respective businesses. Steven Clipp, a Navy veteran who writes for VAntage Point, states in his VA blog post, Veterans Have Opportunity to Grow with USDA and Farming Resources, “In 2018, USDA’s Farm Service Agency provided $64.5 million in direct and guaranteed farm operating loans to Veterans.“ Based on the millions of dollars issued to this particular population, the USDA is committed to jumpstarting agricultural sector careers. Clipp reinforces this idea by writing, “USDA is committed to assisting Veterans across the country to keep America’s food supply safe and secure.” The USDA seeks to leverage the qualities and characteristics inherent in service members and the skills gained during their service, by identifying, attracting, and ensuring veterans are successful.

Veterans and farmers share many common characteristics and values such as: dedication, fortitude, and resilience. The similarities in these career fields offer an easier transition for veterans into a new employment opportunity, such as agriculture.

With over 40 programs and various financial tools such as: cost-share assistance, funding preferences for engaging in conservation efforts, as well as loan and grant assistance programs, the USDA is committed to extending a financial helping hand to former military personnel in their pursuit of a post-service career. Steven Clipp writes, “Veterans looking to return home or start a new career on a farm or in a rural community have the tools and opportunities needed for success.” Clipp understands that the USDA’s implementation of these programs is a way to not only incentivize veterans to join the agriculture business but to take care of those who have served.

Bi-lateral success is the selling point. The USDA’s initiative to engage and support former military personnel in agri-business via loans and other programs is based on a win-win model. The more success the veterans have in farming, the more revenue and recognition will be generated for the agriculture industry. The USDA also perceives a major opportunity with restoring communities and the engagement of the veteran demographic. Clipp quotes USDA Military Veteran Agricultural Liaison Bill Ashton, in his article saying;

“Nearly one quarter of veterans, approximately 5 million, live in rural areas. They (veterans) can be a positive force for our communities. USDA is committed to making our programs accessible to help veterans start or grow a career and maximize the potential talent of this population.”

Contrary to common perception, the USDA doesn’t just recognize this talent in rural areas, but they also understand there are plenty of qualified veterans in urban areas. Veterans who live in a metropolitan area can access cutting edge technology that can make their transition into agriculture smoother. For example, new urban-based technologies such as rooftop farming and aquaculture farms (indoor hydroponic farms) are potential resources that the USDA can provide to veterans. These resources, along with several others, are detailed within USDA’s Urban toolkit.

This toolkit provides information regarding cost estimation, business planning, and risk management, as well as the technology needed to successfully farm in the city. This resource is just another example of the USDA’s commitment toward ensuring veterans are in the best possible position to achieve success no matter where they live.

Farming and agriculture are about giving back to the community, a value understood by former military members. According to, agriculture is listed as a 2.4 trillion-dollar industry. Former service members should consider agriculture as a new career path through which they can leverage existing skills to seek out opportunities and grow their futures.

To learn more about the USDA’s veteran programs, visit

To learn more about the opportunity of farming in the city and the Urban toolkit, visit:

To access Steven Clipp’s VA blog post, visit:

June 2019


See more

NVTI CoP – Know Your Community!

When you take an NVTI class, you don’t just complete your training and call it a day. Think of an NVTI class as a formal invitation into the NVTI learning community. Through NVTI Student Central, you have access to a variety of resources. One great resource is the NVTI Community of Practice, Making Careers Happen for Veterans. You can navigate to the Community of Practice through the NVTI Student Central homepage.

The Community of Practice is a fantastic opportunity to network with other professionals in your field, stay in contact with them, and expand your own professional knowledge, all through a dynamic and engaged community in NVTI Student Central where members share their own experiences and lessons learned.

In Making Careers Happen for Veterans, the main page is set up for easy navigation with recent posts and links to various resources. The bulk of the community is under the topics tab. Every folder on this page has information regarding the specific topic it’s named after. You can create your own posts and discussions in any topic—you have full access.

One of the best tools you can use through the Community of Practice is the ability to contact Department of Labor employees directly through “Ask a Fed.” If you have any questions about laws or regulations, you can post your questions there and a DOL representative will answer them, and even possibly expand upon it or create a new topic in the Community of Practice.

Communities of Practice are a unique opportunity to connect with people in your profession. Through Making Careers Happen for Veterans, you’re already connected to thousands of people—now it’s just a matter of joining in the conversation!

If you cannot access Making Careers Happen for Veterans, contact for permission. You may also submit any questions you have about the Community of Practice and someone will assist you.

Employment Challenges for Military Spouses

VETS’ work revolves entirely around veterans, in mission and practice. However, it’s not just veterans you serve; it’s also their families, specifically their spouses. Military service often requires relocation, which can result in less-than-ideal career opportunities for those married to active service members. Gaps in employment, inconsistent career paths, and preconceived notions about veteran families often prevent them from gaining meaningful, long-term employment.

Veteran spouse employment is yet another factor to consider when speaking about veterans’ financial situations and helping to provide services. It’s important to account for a veteran’s full situation—what is their familial situation? Do they have a spouse? How was that spouse impacted by the veteran’s deployment? Can their spouse also benefit from services? What can veterans learn from VETS to share with their spouses?

In a survey of over 10,000 veterans and active service members conducted by Blue Star Families, 62% of respondents reported having stress due to their financial situation; 52% reported that their spouse being unable to find employment was the greatest financial obstacle they faced; and 37% reported feeling insecure about their financial future.

The main problem is relocation. Companies are often unwilling to hire military spouses because of the chances a military spouse may have to move after being hired. If there’s no possibility for remote work, hiring a military spouse is seen as high risk.

Other problems can occur with military families abroad, where military spouses encounter language and cultural barriers. Employee marketability can only go so far if a spouse cannot guarantee long-term commitment or language fluency. Unsurprisingly, the problem primarily affects women—9 out 10 active military spouses are women—who are already disadvantaged with wage gaps and the motherhood penalty, a statistic that shows that after having their first child, a mother’s wage will not increase at anywhere close to the rate of a first time father’s wage.

Julie Bogen discusses these issues and more in her recent Defense One article, which includes not only an analysis of the challenges military spouses face searching for jobs, but also many eye-opening statistics from credible sources regarding what she refers to as “the dismal career opportunities.”

The issue has gained enough attention that some programs are starting to cater to military spouses exclusively. For example, licensed occupations are now widely accepted across the country for military spouses. If an insurance agent licensed in Virginia had to move to Florida, an exception could be made that allows her to keep her license, instead of getting a Florida license. WorkforceGPS has an excellent resource for military spouses seeking to carry licenses across state borders.

By understanding the barriers around employability, the challenges in job seeking, and the frustrations that are linked to these roadblocks, we can find ways to mitigate these issues, better serve veterans and their families, and even help change employers’ perceptions around veteran employability.

May 2019


See more

How do your veterans choose their career or occupational pathway? Some of us adhere to what might be called the Drift Theory of Vocational Choice. For a variety of reasons, some people approach job searching with the idea that, “Any job is a good job,” without concern for whether the job will be satisfying or not. Others take a more analytical look at their career choices and make intentional decisions about employment based on their interests, aptitudes and skills.

Vocational interests are the likes and dislikes regarding different occupations or types of work. One job seeker may like working with people, while another may prefer to work with information or data over people. We all have our own preferences about work activities we enjoy or don’t. As military service members, we may have liked our jobs or grown to dislike them. Employment we enjoy contributes to our desire to learn more on the job and retain our positions, if not advance.  
Job dissatisfaction is more often about how much we like job activities instead of how much we earn. When drawn to certain types of jobs, it’s logical to think that other job seekers are drawn to the same types, because they share your job interests. Like-minded people are drawn to similar occupations.

When we talk about a good job match, it means that job tasks complement a person’s interests and coworkers share the same work passion. Studies show that people flourish in their work environment when there is a good fit between their personality traits and the likes and dislikes from previous experiences. Lack of congruence between personality and environment leads to dissatisfaction, unstable career paths, and lowered performanceNet Interest Profiler helpful to find out what their interests are and how those interests relate to the world of work. The Profiler uses Holland Codes to identify occupations that might be of interest to the test taker.
If a veteran, service member or dependent qualifies for or is already receiving VA education benefits, they may be interested in using CareerScope, an assessment tool that measures  interests and skill levels and helps an individual figure out their best career path.

Holland, John L. (1997). Making Vocational Choices, A theory of vocational personalities and work environments, (3rd ed.). Odessa, FL, US: Psychological Assessment Resources.
The First Step Act – A New Step in Helping Incarcerated Veterans

The nation’s veterans have sacrificed a great deal to ensure Americans’ safety and security. But what happens when a veteran gets entangled in the criminal justice system? Unfortunately, veterans are not immune to criminal activity, making up around 8% of all inmates. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 855 per 100,000 veterans commit a crime, compared to 965 out of 100,000 nonveterans. While they may have statistically lower incarceration rates than nonveterans, the fact that nearly 1 in 10 inmates in the prison system have served our country is disheartening—and a testament to the need for more services and resources for veterans.

The Department of Labor is rolling out new grant opportunities to help individuals transitioning from the criminal justice system, including veterans, find jobs. Originally passed by Congress in late 2018, the First Step Act is a measure aimed at helping former federal inmates find meaningful employment after exiting federal prison. The grants, totaled at just over $7 million, will be awarded to agencies that start rehabilitative services for formerly-incarcerated men and women exiting the federal justice system.

A panel of several experts from rehabilitation groups discussed the importance of inmate rehabilitation. The panel consisted of Jackie Davis of the Virginia Career Works Bay Consortium in Virginia, Kerri Pruitt of the Dannon Project in Alabama and South Carolina, Denise Robinson of the Alvis agency in Ohio, and Jon Ponder of Hope For Prisoners in Nevada.

The panelists all praised the act as a great step in looking at federal inmates not as criminals, but as people seeking to get a fresh start and contribute to their communities. The U.S. has high recidivism rates; many inmates cite an inability to get jobs and reintegrate into society as a major factor for why they become repeat offenders. For veterans, reintegrating into society after military service can be challenging. For veterans who have been incarcerated, the challenge can seem almost insurmountable.

Pruitt emphasized that most of her clients often suffer from mental illness, the most common being PTS—a struggle that is all too real for as much as 30% of the veteran population (statistics vary depending on service era). Many inmates often have undiagnosed mental health issues that go unnoticed during their conviction. Pruitt expressed that while reforming former inmates is an easy bipartisan issue, the stigma of mental health and the partisan nature of drug control often present challenges when helping individuals who struggle with substance use or mental illness.

This is the story of many veterans who have been through traumatic war experiences. For veterans in the prison system, compounding effects can lead to unrecognized, negative factors for reentry to society. The panelists all agreed that effective methods to help a person move past their incarceration include developing relationships, treating their clients like family, and encouraging them to view themselves as more than just a criminal record.

While the First Step Act is one of the first far-reaching federal programs to help inmates, there are plenty of public and private organizations that have partnered with mental health organizations, businesses, and coalitions to help former inmates transition back into society. Pruitt said she kickstarted a rehabilitation partnership with Stepping Up in Alabama to help formerly incarcerated individuals with mental illness and histories of substance use get help and find jobs. All the panelists remarked that partnering with as many organizations as possible is critical, especially when it comes to supporting the nation’s veterans.

April 2019


See more

March 2019 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 March 22, 2019.
The meeting highlighted two key reports—one from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and one from the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF). BLS presented the Employment Situations of Veterans for 2018. Some key highlights from the report are:

  • The unemployment rate for female veterans declined to 3.0 percent in 2018, and the rate for male veterans (3.5 percent) changed little over the year. The unemployment rate for male veterans was not statistically different from the rate for female veterans.
  • Among the 326,000 unemployed veterans in 2018, 54 percent were age 25 to 54, 40 percent were age 55 and over, and 6 percent were age 18 to 24.
  • Veterans with a service-connected disability had an unemployment rate of 5.2 percent in August 2018, higher than the rate for veterans with no disability (3.5 percent).
  • About 1 in 3 employed veterans with a service-connected disability worked in the public sector in August 2018, compared with about 1 in 5 veterans with no disability.
  • In 2018, the unemployment rate of veterans varied across the country, ranging from 1.4 percent in Iowa to 6.5 percent in the District of Columbia.

Find the report, along with other data, at this link
The discussion then turned to the IVMF report on Enhancing Veterans’ Access to STEM Education and Careers: A Labor Market Analysis of Veterans in the STEM Workforce. Some key highlights from this report were:

  • Overall Participation in STEM: The majority of those in the labor force are not in STEM occupations (6% compared to 94%). Veterans, however, represent a larger proportion in STEM occupations compared to nonveterans (8% compared to 6%).
  • Veteran Participation in STEM fields: Veterans are 1.47 times more likely to be in a STEM occupation compared to nonveterans.
  • Veteran Trends in STEM fields: Veterans entered into STEM occupations at an increasing annual rate of 0.232 percentage points between 2012 and 2016.
  • Largest Region Concentration of STEM workforce: The South Atlantic region (District of Columbia, Delaware, West Virginia, South Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida) exhibited the largest concentration of veterans in the STEM workforce.
  • Top STEM Clusters for Veterans: The top two STEM occupation clusters for veterans were the information technology and computer science cluster (43%), followed by the engineering STEM cluster (38%).
  • STEM Occupations with Growing Veteran Participation: Of the 49 STEM occupations, nearly half (19) exhibited a positive trend of increased veteran participation from 2012 to 2016. Information Security Analysts occupation exhibits the highest odds ratio; veterans are 2.64 times more likely to be in the Information Security Analysts occupation compared to non-veterans. The Information Security Analysts has a positive yearly increase of 0.17 percentage points a year.
  • Top States for STEM Earnings Growth: Thirty-six (36) of the 51 states (including District of Columbia) exhibited positive trends in the average total annual personal income for veteran STEM workers (in nominal dollars) from 2012 to 2016. The states with the highest positive growth were North Dakota, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Maine, West Virginia, Rhode Island, Nevada, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and South Carolina.
  • Veteran Earnings in STEM Careers: On average, veterans in STEM occupations earn slightly over 8 percent more than their nonveteran peers ($93,833 compared to $86,676, respectively). Veterans in STEM occupations also tend to out-earn, at even higher rates, both their veteran and non-veteran counterparts in non-STEM fields.
  • Veteran Unemployment in STEM fields: Veterans in STEM fields tend to experience lower overall unemployment than those in other occupations, although unemployment was slightly higher for veterans in STEM compared to nonveterans in STEM.

Find the report, along with other data, at this link
The meeting ended with a brief discussion on events and resources from various VSOs:

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

March 2019


See more

Military Spouse Interstate License Recognition Options

The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to increasing employment opportunities for military spouses. The Department recently released an interactive map to determine what options military spouses have in terms of obtaining temporary licenses or transferring their occupational licenses when relocating with their spouses. Access the tool here: Search parameters include occupation, job title, license name, or state agency.
How a ‘New’ GI Bill Will Shape Tomorrow’s Education-to-Employment Pipeline

First passed in 1944, the GI Bill transformed U.S. postsecondary education and the course of the nation’s economic development in the late 20th century. Seventy-three years later, the latest revision of the law is poised to mark another turning point for the education and workforce landscape.
The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, better known as the GI Bill, kicked off a college enrollment boom. By 1947, more than 50 percent of higher-education students were beneficiaries and, in some institutions, up to 60 percent of the entire student body were GI Bill veterans. These graduates began their careers in an uncertain postwar economy, but their education and training helped to fuel the nation’s phenomenal economic growth, what many call the “Golden Age of Capitalism.”
Seventy-three years later, the “Golden Age” may be behind us. Technology is ushering a new economic era where the jobs of yesterday are evolving—or eroding—with the emergence of the “gig economy.” Automation and artificial intelligence will shape what skills future workers will need.
As it turns out, a rare bipartisan effort on Capitol Hill has positioned the GI Bill to extend its role in equipping veterans for what’s next in their careers. This August, Congress passed the “Forever GI Bill” and made two critical changes to the program designed to help veterans to forge tomorrow’s education to employment pathways. (The program currently serves about one million veterans annually.)
First, as the title indicates, veterans will no longer lose their benefits after 15 years—as was the case under the original GI Bill. This is important because it recognizes that the path from education to employment is not as linear or sequential as in the past. Education, competencies, and skills training is more likely to happen in fits and start, as life allows.
Second, the providers and methods of education and job training programs are becoming more diverse. While traditional colleges and universities still do the lion’s share of the work, more and more programs are available by non-accredited education providers that focus on rapidly-changing skills and competencies that employers need now. Congress dedicated $75 million ($15 million per year over five years) to nontraditional providers for these new opportunities through the High Technology Pilot Program.
The program authorizes the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) to enter into contracts with providers to offer educational programs to eligible veterans. The pilot is remarkable for at least three reasons:Federal funding to new institutions

Eligible high-tech programs, as defined by the new law, must be related to technology subjects but do not have to be offered by a higher-ed institution or lead to a degree. Providers must have also been in existence for two years and offer the program for one year.
This definition aligns with the rise of “bootcamps” or other non-accredited educational programs such as General Assembly, Skill Distillery, and other providers that have emerged in recent years. The law reflects Congressional confidence that short-term, intensive training can produce tangible employment outcomes.New pathways to government dollars

The Forever GI Bill provides the VA Secretary with wide-ranging ability to develop “approval criteria” to define more specifics on which providers are eligible, how the funds will be awarded, and to weed out fraud. That process is underway since contracts with the high-technology programs must be in place by the end of next year, or sooner if possible.
Interestingly, non-accredited providers that cannot access Title IV Federal Student Aid can already become eligible for students to use GI Bill funding, but the process is laborious and time consuming. For example, the entity has to wait to apply for two years after they receive state licensure and approval to be in operation. At that time, providers must then fill out a new application and go through a separate process to get approval for GI Bill funding eligibility, working through a State Approving Agency, which then must also get approval from the VA.
This pilot program could cut begin to cut through that red tape and dramatically simplify access to federal funding by creating a whole new approval process.Employment outcome matters

Higher-education funding has traditionally required student financial eligibility and enrollment at eligible institutions. Yet in recent years, states are increasingly adopting performance-based funding formulas based on degree attainment, course completion by underserved students, and responsiveness to workforce needs.
In Ohio, for example, the funding formula contains “success points” that are used to allocate funding associated with student success as measured by credit accumulation and “developmental” completion. However, these programs are still largely experimental. With the exception of Ohio and Tennessee, states typically only dedicate a small percentage of their funding formulas to the program and implementation is cautiously carried out over a long period of time.
This pilot forges ahead with outcomes-based funding. The statute establishes payments to approved education providers in three parts: 25 percent of the cost of tuition and other program fees is upon the enrollment of the veteran; 25 percent of the costs is paid upon the completion of the program; and 50 percent of the cost is upon the employment of the veteran in the field of study of the program. Simply put, the employment outcome matters.
The first GI Bill set the course for the nation’s prosperity during a time of postwar economic uncertainty. Congress has, again, utilized the GI Bill to help veterans navigate new economic uncertainties and shifting postsecondary education and job training opportunities.
There is hope that the High Technology Pilot Program can help better align postsecondary education (in its many forms) with the needs of our economy. In three years, the Secretary submits the first interim assessment of the program. The final report will come out two years later, in 2023. By then the pilot program will likely look like something we should have done long ago.

February 2019


See more

Resources to Assist Services in Rural Areas

Organizational Author(s): WorkforceGPS Team
Every state has rural areas. And providing workforce services to these areas is challenging due to long distances and in many cases, a lack of support services and infrastructure like broadband and affordable transportation.
This month, we are highlighting successful practices, programs and services in rural areas.  We have created a resource page that provides you with quick access to these resources.  We will continue to add links to this page as we hear about more materials that showcase services to customers in rural areas.
We are also pleased to share with you several new reports and resources that have been posted on the global site and various WorkforceGPS Communities.

Relevant WFGPS Communities:



Apply to the HIRE Vets Medallion Program Award Today!

Did you know that employers of all sizes can receive an Award from the U.S. Department of Labor for their efforts to recruit, employ, and retain America’s Veterans?

The 2019 HIRE Vets Medallion Program is now accepting applications! Learn more and apply online at

  • The Award highlights companies and organizations committed to hiring and retaining America’s veterans in good, family-sustaining careers
  • The HIRE Vets Medallion Award is the only federal-level veterans’ employment award that recognizes job creators
  • The application deadline is April 30, 2019
  • Award recipients will receive a certificate and digital images of the medallion for use as part of their marketing and promotional activities

For more information, visit, follow @VETS_DOL, and join the conversation using #HireVets Are You New to the Jobs for Veterans State Grants (JVSG) Staff? This Primer Will Prepare You for the Job

As announced in Veterans Program Letter (No. 01-19), Training Requirements and Reference Tool for Newly Hired Jobs for Veterans State Grant (JVSG) Staff, the National Veterans’ Training Institute (NVTI), in collaboration with Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) and state grantee employees, produced a Jobs for Veterans State Grants (JVSG) Primer to provide newly hired Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program (DVOP) specialists and Local Veterans’ Employment Representative (LVER) staff the essential information on the basic Federal requirements associated with their jobs. This desk aid was designed to provide commonly used job resources for DVOP specialists and LVER staff. 

All newly hired DVOP specialists and LVER staff must satisfactorily complete the required JVSG courses delivered by NVTI within 18 months of employment. Consolidated Position staff who serve a dual role as a DVOP specialist and LVER staff must satisfactorily complete five JVSG courses. This desk aid will give newly hired JVSG staff an easy tool to reference as they learn and apply the Federal requirements of the job before they begin to complete the mandatory training.The standard content of the JVSG Primer is organized around seven major areas, including:

  1. What is the Department of Labor, Veterans’ Employment and Training Service?
  2. What are the Jobs for Veterans State Grants?
  3. What is it like to work in an American Job Center?
  4. What legal and regulatory guidance affects my work?
  5. What additional guidance exists to help me get started?
  6. What is the National Veterans Training Institute?

What Resources Might I Find Useful to Reference? The JVSG Primer is available in two electronic document formats and may be accessed by going to The Adobe Acrobat version of the JVSG Primer is a high-quality, professional document that cannot be edited or customized for other purposes. The JVSG Primer is also available as a Microsoft Word version that can be customized for state or local use to include additional guidance like standard operating procedures. NVTI will update both versions annually with current information.Recent VA Resources

Below are some resources that may be of interest to Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program (DVOP) Specialists and Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives (LVER).

  1. The National Veterans Outreach Office is holding a Facebook Live event on February 12th at 2 p.m. EST to promote VA Programs to End Homelessness. Visit this page for more information.
  2. The Veterans Business Administration (VBA) Education Line of Business (LOB) is interested in partnering with groups to present information on the Education GI Bill Benefits. Contact Tammy Hurley at for more information.
  3. The VA Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization is holding two events in the upcoming months:

Event: 2019 Government Procurement Conference
Date: April 19, 2019
Location: Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt. Vernon Place NW, Washington, DC 20001
Purpose: To foster business partnerships between the federal Government, its prime contractors, and small, minority, SDVOSB, VOSB, HubZone, and WOSBs.
POC: Bob Jefers (301) 535-4230
Event: 14th Annual Veterans Business Conference
Date: March 19th, 2019
Location: Army Navy Country Club, 1700 Army Navy Drive, Arlington, VA 22202
Purpose: To provide education, networking, and business opportunities for the military community who continue to serve and strengthen our country with their small business endeavors and entrepreneurial spirit.
POC: Charles McCaffey (703) -4569-9890

  1. The VA Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiative is holding an Informational Roundtable on February 26th, 2019 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 810 Vermont Avenue NW, Washington DC. Contact Trulesta J Pauling at for more information.
  2. The Veterans Employment Services Office (VESO) is holding a few events in the upcoming months. Contact Zelda Davis at for more information.
    1. February 14th, 2019: Recruit Military Veteran Job Fair, Richmond, VA
    2. February 19th, 2019: DoD Operation Warfighter Internship Fair, Fort Belvoir, VA
    3. February 21st, 2019: Recruit Military Veteran Job Fair, Baltimore, MD
    4. March 11th, 2019: VESO Facebook Chat with the EEOC (Reasonable Accommodations Part II)
  3. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Office of Rural Health (ORH) released new fact sheets, a brochure, and videos at
  4. The VA Privacy Service will be holding Speaker Series events on March 27th and May 22nd, 2019. Contact for more information.

Veterans at Work Certificate Program by SHRM

A new certification program released by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) provides Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives (LVER) with more resources when advocating for the hiring and retention of veterans. The program, called Veterans at Work Certificate Program, was released in November 2018 and is targeted at HR professionals, hiring managers, and front-line supervisors.

LVERs can also promote this certification to the organizations they work with, empowering their HR professionals with knowledge of the value of hiring veterans and how to engage and integrate veterans into their organizations. The program’s content is based in part on The Recruitment, Hiring, Retention & Engagement of Military Veterans by Deborah Bradbard, PhD and James Schmeling, JD (SHRM Foundation, 2018), a new guidebook that makes the business case for hiring veteran candidates.

To earn the Veterans at Work certificate, participants must complete several program components, including content review, online training, brief quizzes, and pre- and post-participation surveys. Ten professional development credits (PDCs) toward recertification are available to SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP credential-holders.

The program is free and open to all HR professionals. To find out more and register for the program, visit

January 2019


See more

Resources to Assist Veterans

Veterans deserve the full attention and support of the workforce system as the transition back into the civilian workforce. For some, the transition is quick and seamless, but for others, it takes additional time and support. The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has compiled a number of resources to assist veterans in their employment needs, including the job finder tool that matches the veterans’ military job with civilian careers that use similar skills. In addition, ETA has pulled together a number of workplace resources to increase awareness about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to help increase awareness to support our veterans and others with this disability.