Public-Private Partnerships for Veteran Job Training: “Bridging the Gap: How Public-Private Collaborations Are Advancing Veteran Job Training” 


Understanding How Public-Private Partnerships Support Veteran Job Training

Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) are crucial in assisting veterans as they transition from military service to civilian employment. For those seeking to advance veteran job training, these collaborations bring together education, training, job opportunities, technology integration, financial resources, and more to support veterans and their service providers. The multifaceted approach of PPPs helps veterans secure meaningful employment while addressing the current needs of the job market. [1]

Additionally, PPPs in veteran job training merge public policy with private innovation to support veterans transitioning to civilian life. This collaboration not only meets veterans’ employment needs but also plays a significant economic role by filling gaps in the job market and enhancing national productivity. Through PPPs, veterans gain access to tailored educational programs, job opportunities that leverage their skills, and modern job search tools, strengthening the overall workforce. [2]

Real-Life Examples of PPP Success

One notable example of a successful PPP is the collaboration between the Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board (EWIB) and Electric Boat through the Manufacturing Pipeline Initiative (MPI). This PPP focuses on workforce training in manufacturing for submarine construction, utilizing funds from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Leveraging a partnership with Three Rivers Community College, this program offers no-cost, targeted training to equip unemployed and underemployed workers with vital manufacturing skills needed at Electric Boat and its supply chain. This partnership addresses Electric Boat’s expansion needs and the demand for skilled labor, at the same time, driving economic growth in the area. [8]

Additional Groundbreaking Initiatives in Action

  • Working Models in Action: In October 2023, the VA’s National Academic Affiliations Council convened in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to enhance the largest public-private partnership in its history.[3]
  • The Digital Bridge: The US Army’s P3O Digital platforms connect veterans to jobs, showcasing technology’s role in modernizing job searches.[4]
  • Transformative Education and Training: Programs like Hire Heroes USA match veterans’ skills with market needs, ensuring their pivotal role in industries.[5]
  • Registered Apprenticeships and Diverse Employment Opportunities: Registered apprenticeships and partnerships between veterans’ groups and corporations offer a wide range of job opportunities, developing and valuing veterans’ unique skills.[6]
  • Investment and Expertise: Private sector involvement enhances veteran services and taps into a skilled workforce, benefiting the economy and veterans alike.[7]

The Role of WIOA Operators in PPP Development

The WIOA Operator plays a crucial role in developing PPPs by coordinating WIOA-funded programs in a workforce region. This strategic position involves coordinating with service providers, employers, and other partners to design and implement systems that provide job seekers tailored access to employment, education, training, and support services. These efforts are aligned with the specific needs of the local labor market, ensuring that workforce development initiatives bridge the gap between job seekers and employment opportunities. Selected through a competitive bidding process, WIOA operators streamline services across the region, enhancing the reach and impact of workforce development programs. The use of the Spoke-Wheel Model (IMAGE 1) showcases an efficient framework for workforce development as recognized by a recent Harvard University Project on WIOA[9]

IMAGE 1: Workforce Hub Model

Where to Start!

To enhance veteran job training through Public-Private Partnerships, connecting with your local workforce board and WIOA American Job Center (AJC) partner network is a strategic first step. These agencies offer valuable resources, expertise, and potential partnerships essential for developing effective training programs. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Locate Your Local Workforce Board: Visit your state’s official Department of Labor (DOL) or Workforce Development Board website. These sites typically have directories or maps listing all workforce boards by region.
  2. Connect with WIOA AJCs: The CareerOneStop website, sponsored by DOL, provides a locator tool for finding your nearest AJC. These centers are hubs for employment and training services, offering direct access to local resources and programs.[10]
  3. Leverage NVTI Resources: The National Veterans’ Training Institute (NVTI) offers courses, webinars, and other materials designed to enhance the skills of those providing services to veterans. NVTI’s offerings can equip you with knowledge and strategies for building and navigating PPP networks in your area. For example, NVTI’s course, 9603: Leadership for the Integration of Veterans’ Services, prepares VSPs with the skills to effectively integrate veteran services within the PPP framework; the NVTI podcast, “Episode 20: Promoting Registered Apprenticeship to Attract Veteran Talent” offers insights into how apprenticeship programs can be a vital component of veteran job training strategies within PPPs; and the NVTI Journey Maps for VSPs, HVRP, and JSVG staff recommend the ideal training path to help those who work with veterans to enhance and improve their skills.

By actively engaging with these resources, veteran service providers (VSPs) and private sector partners can collaboratively support a skilled veteran workforce, driving not just immediate employment solutions but fostering long-term economic and societal growth. This strategic approach highlights the transformational power of PPPs in both improving individual lives and enhancing our collective future.[11]

[1] Defense Business Board. “Public-Private Collaboration in the Department of Defense.” July 19, 2012.

[2] U.S. Department of Education. “Requirements for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) State Plans for Program Years (PY) 2024 – 2027.” October 2023. www.ED.GOV

[3] VA News “Advancing the largest public-private partnership in VA’s history.” October 28, 2023.

[4] U.S. Army Reserve “P3O U.S. Army Reserve Private and Public Partnerships.” 2023. www.USAR.ARMY.MIL

[5] U.S. Department of Labor DOL. “Employment Navigator & Partnership Program (ENPP).” 2023. www.DOL.GOV

[6] DOL Blog “Building an Equitable Workforce Requires Partnerships at All Levels.” January 19, 2023.

[7] Defense Technical Information Center (.mil) Pea, V. “Lessons Learned from Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs).” 2021. Lessons Learned from Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs).

[8] Connecticut State Colleges & Universities. “Eastern CT Manufacturing Pipeline Program.” 2024.

[9] Harvard Project on Workforce. “Navigating Public Job Training.” March 2023.

[10] CareerOneStop “Your source for career exploration, training & jobs.”

[11] National Veterans’ Training Institute (NVTI) Resources. NVTI Resources