Did you know that the U.S. Department of Labor, Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (DOL VETS) provides personalized career assistance that helps prepare transitioning service members and their spouses for career success? The Employment Navigator (EN) and Partnership Pilot (ENPP) provides one-on-one career support to transitioning service members and their spouses at select military installations worldwide. A “navigator” is defined as “a person who directs the route or course of a ship, aircraft, or another form of transportation, especially by using instruments and maps.” Modern organizations have adopted the image of the navigator to exemplify clear direction and transparent processes; in the case of ENPP, the navigators are individualized employment counselors who will work with interested transitioning service members and their spouses one-on-one, either in-person or virtually, to identify and assist with their post-transition employment needs and connect them to relevant partner resources to further expand their employment resources.
Characteristics of the ENPP
Provided outside of the formal DOL Transition Assistance Program (TAP) classroom instruction, Employment Navigators (EN) provide services to assist transitioning service members and their spouses in securing meaningful and lasting post-separation careers. EN services are available to any transitioning service member or spouse, receiving Transition Assistance Program (TAP) services at a host installation.
Modeling Navigation to Deliver Personalized Career Assistance
How can navigation be applied to career assistance? Let’s look at how navigation works for veterans in the healthcare industry. Navigation is a community-based service delivery intervention designed to promote access to a timely diagnosis and the treatment of chronic conditions and diseases by eliminating barriers to care. The individual’s journey through this process begins in the neighborhoods where the veteran lives and transitions to the medical setting where a condition is detected or confirmed, and a diagnosis is made. The journey continues through treatment, rehabilitation, and survivorship to the end of life. The focus of navigators is to actively facilitate the progressive movement of an individual patient through all segments of the healthcare system.
Modeling this process for personalized career assistance for transitioning service members and their spouses is an effective way to achieve the best possible results. By leveraging models of efficiency, such as in the healthcare industry, we can help transitioning service members navigate their transition from service and into the civilian workforce.
Piloting a Comprehensive Solution
Currently, the ENPP aims to provide direct, one-on-one career assistance outside of the formal TAP classroom instruction. Transitioning service members and their spouses will work with Employment Navigators to complete self-assessments, do skills testing, explore career options and identify high-demand occupations and necessary credentials. They will also review detailed labor market information and connect with government and non-government partners to identify other services.
ENPP individualized services include:
- Self-assessments and skills testing
- Career exploration
- Resume reviews
- Identification of high-demand occupations
- Identification of necessary credentials and the review of detailed labor market information
- Referral of transitioning service members, and their spouses to government and non-government partners for additional or continued services.
Partner services include:
- Apprenticeship Opportunities—connecting with registered apprenticeships, and industry-recognized apprenticeship program opportunities.
- Digital Matching—platforms that match the veteran’s skills and experience with potential employment opportunities.
- Employment Mentorship & Networking with mentors willing and available to provide employment and training guidance.
- Hiring Events—accessing employment and networking opportunities, and potentially on-the-spot interviews and hiring.
- Placement Services—identifying employment opportunities and placing the veteran into employment.
- Referrals to Employment Opportunities to organizations committed to hiring and providing other employment, education, and training related services.
- Training Services supporting the veteran’s employment goals and prospects.
- Wrap Around Services—providing a combination of community-based services based upon needs.
In support of the ENPP, VETS is partnering with select high-caliber employment and training organizations from the public and private sectors to improve transitioning service members and their spouses’ employment outcomes. By combining proven navigation best practices and partnering into the next generation of workforce initiatives focused on individualized career assistance, DOL VETS is piloting the ENPP at select military service base locations worldwide. Further evaluation of this program post-pilot will identify successful approaches and strategies to reducing the number of transitioning service members who become veterans with significant barriers to employment (SBE) and improving access to employment services for our transitioning service members and their spouses worldwide.