National Workforce Development Month
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This year especially, it is important that the recognition and support of workforce development professionals continue beyond the month of September. Over the years, the U.S. Department of Labor has partnered with state governors, local and state workforce boards, and various national associations (such as the National Association of State Workforce Agencies [NASWA] and the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals [NAWDP]) in order to provide on-going support to workforce professionals. As a system of dedicated and highly-skilled professionals, these entities provide critical services and leadership in our communities, and help to facilitate the connection between businesses and job seekers.
Veterans Communities can assist with supporting unemployed veterans by calling attention to such programs as the Jobs for Veterans State Grant (JVSG) program. The JVSG program provides federal funding, through a formula grant, to State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) to hire dedicated staff to provide individualized career and training-related services to veterans and eligible persons with significant barriers to employment and to assist employers fill their workforce needs with job-seeking veterans.
Additionally, communities can spread the word about veteran-to-veteran job assistance programs provided by Disabled Veteran Outreach Program (DVOP) specialists and Local Veteran Employment Representative (LVER) staff at American Job Centers (AJCs) across the country. The DVOP specialist works directly with veterans and eligible persons who have significant barriers to employment, as identified in 38 USC 4103A(a)(1). The services provided by a DVOP specialist are referred to as individualized career services but were once called intensive services. LVER staff perform a wide range of duties on behalf of our veterans specifically related to outreach to the employer community and facilitation within the state’s employment service delivery system. These duties are outlined in 38 U.S.C. 4104(b). LVERs promote the advantages of hiring veterans to employers, employer associations, and business groups.
Even if your community missed National Workforce Development Month this year, it is never too early to start planning for next September! Workforce professionals might consider visiting the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals’ website at https://www.nawdp.org to make use of their Workforce Development Professionals Month Toolkit. Among other things, the Toolkit provides communication tips via various media platforms in order to assist individuals and programs in getting their messages out to the intended audiences to highlight significant workforce program and activities.
In short, thank you to all workforce professionals for everything they do to help job seekers and employers each and every day – during the month of September and beyond.