UPDATED: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 1:10pm
WASHINGTON — The states of Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina and Texas will receive grants totaling $3 million to develop strategies aimed at helping returning Army veterans find employment more quickly through the public workforce system, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis announced today. This funding represents an initiative of the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Army under the Unemployment Compensation for Ex-service Members program.
“The Labor Department is deeply committed to providing employment services and benefits that best support the men and women who have served our country, and the grants announced today are an example of that commitment,” said Secretary Solis. “Ensuring Army veterans have expedited access to job training and job placement services is one way our nation honors their sacrifices.”
This initiative will provide each of the four states with $750,000 to develop new strategies to enhance outreach and re-employment services for Army unemployment compensation claimants. Examples of strategies include improved tracking of claimants across federal programs to better link unemployed veterans to potential job opportunities; increasing staff capacity to help claimants understand which military skills can be transferred to civilian careers; expanding service delivery through agency partnerships, such as opening employment service satellite offices in U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs locations; and expanding outreach activities to better connect these veterans to American Job Centers, job fairs and other services that can expedite their return to work.
“These grants are an important step toward ensuring that the soldiers who so valiantly and selflessly served our nation get the help they need transitioning back to civilian life,” said Secretary of the Army John McHugh. “By sharing information, improving access to re-employment services and increasing outreach opportunities, we can help Army veterans get better access to and information about job opportunities. I’m grateful to
Secretary Solis and the Department of Labor for their support. This is great news for the Army and its veterans.”
The four states selected have large populations of Army veterans who are unemployment compensation claimants and have been actively collaborating with both the Labor Department and the Army to improve veterans’ access to the public workforce system. These grants will be implemented over the next two years, and the promising practices developed with these investments will be shared with other states and expanded to include other branches of the military.