The plight of Veterans in the workforce has, deservedly, enjoyed a lot of attention in the recent past. One of this group’s most high-profile champions is First Lady, Michelle Obama, whose Joining Forces program states as one of its tenets, “President Obama believes that no veteran should have to fight for a job at home after they fight for our nation overseas.”
Veterans, with their commitment, dedication, training and discipline bring critical skills, both technical and “soft”, to the U.S. workforce. It is why KRA Corporation is heartened to see that the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2013 Employment Situation of Veterans report, released by the US Department of Labor (DOL), shows some promising signs for this important segment of our population.
With overall Veterans’ unemployment dropping from 7 percent in 2012 to 6.6 percent, it offers some hope that the programs and objectives set out by the DOL, and other supporters of Veterans’ employment, are beginning to bear fruit.
Electronic support services, like the website My Next Move for Veterans, offer Veterans a general look at available openings, as well as identifies job opportunities based on similarities to their military career, or their preferred profession.
The commitment by the construction industry to hire some 100,000 Veterans over the course of the next 5 years is also a welcome boost for this group and thanks, in part, to the efforts of the First Lady and Michelle Biden.
Sanctioned changes and updates to existing legislation like the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA) and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, now require quantifiable recruitment and employment metrics for the Veterans by contractors.
Nationwide, American Job Centers (AJC)—in some communities still referred to as One-Stop Career Centers—continue their initiatives by providing priority services to ex-service personnel, and the DOL persists in its efforts to offer older (and more at risk for unemployment) Veterans, the chance to pursue a degree or certificate for employment in high-demand occupations through the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP).
This is one of many programs that are aimed at helping Veterans to receive the training and credentials they need through trades and apprenticeships. The Registered Apprenticeship Program has proven to be another successful means to get Veterans into the workforce by providing the bridge from military to civilian employment—and one that 25,000 Veterans are currently utilizing.
KRA Corporation echoes Secretary Thomas Perez’s sentiments when he said, “The best way to honor our veterans is to hire them.” We believe that the plight of our Veterans is an important priority in public workforce policy.
KRA Corporation applauds the efforts of all agencies that aim to get Veterans back into jobs, and through our AJC/One-Stop and TANF operations, will continue to welcome, assist, and support our Veteran-customers in any way we can to rejoin the workforce.