By Devon L. SuitsJune 8, 2018
WASHINGTON -- For their continued contributions to veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey is expected to honor the U.S. Department of Labor for its steadfast commitment to ensuring all Americans have access to family-sustaining jobs.
Service members transitioning out of the military often possess a wealth of technical knowledge and leadership experience that can make them valuable team members for potential employers, according to the DOL.
The Veterans Employment and Training Service, or DOL-VETS, has been hard at work to ensure those valuable transitioning service members, or TSMs, and veterans are prepared to be successful in the workforce. Furthermore, the DOL's efforts have played a crucial role in reducing the veteran unemployment rate, which reached a record low of 3.7 percent in 2017.
"The professionals at DOL-VETS have helped the Army deliver the career skills necessary for our transitioning soldiers, their spouses and our veterans to be competitive in the civilian workforce," Dailey said. "Their tremendous support and unwavering commitment to America's veterans has been beneficial to the entire nation and our economy."
Dailey is slated to recognize the DOL for its support of TSMs and veterans during a Twilight Tattoo, June 13, at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Virginia.
The tattoo will acknowledge DOL Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Matt Miller, on behalf of DOL-VETS, for their efforts, alongside the U.S. Army's Soldier for Life Program Transition Assistance Program, or SFL-TAP, in assisting transitioning service members with a number of programs designed to prepare America's veterans for meaningful careers, provide employment resources and expertise, and protect their employment rights.
To accomplish this, DOL-VETS and SFL-TAP work closely together to deliver employment workshops and the career exploration and planning track. DOL-VETS also refers employers and training providers to the Army's Career Skills Program. Additionally, DOL's Office of Apprenticeship has worked with the Army to move forward with the United Services Military Apprenticeship Program. The two programs also work closely on employer outreach.
"VETS is honored and humbled by the SMA recognizing our work on behalf of America's veterans," said Miller. "This highlights the important and close relationship between the Army and DOL-VETS, focused on the employment and training support of our tremendous Soldiers, veterans, and spouses."
Miller said that helping transitioning Soldiers, veterans and other service members find meaningful employment after their time in uniform does more than just help the vets themselves -- it helps the nation as well.
"Positive employment outcomes for TSMs, veterans, and their spouses support the readiness and resiliency of the all-volunteer force," Miller said because when young Americans are confident that joining the military can lead to meaningful post-military employment, they will be more apt to enlist.
Throughout the transition process, service members connected to the DOL-VETS program are evaluated by a designated career representative within their respective service. If an individual does not meet one or more of the "career readiness standards," the individual's designee connects the service member to the public workforce system for a review of the employment services available through American Job Centers, as well as to facilitate access to individualized career services, according to the DOL.
DOL-VETS also oversees a three-day employment workshop that centers on interviewing, résumé writing, and networking skills as a partner in the Defense Department's Transition Assistance Program. In 2017, the DOL provided over 6,300 employment workshops to 165,000 TSMs and spouses at 206 locations worldwide, according to sources.
In addition to the employment workshop, DOL-VETS offers a companion two-day career technical training track course. This elective training allows TSMs to explore careers with tools that match personal aptitude and interests with potential career fields and apprenticeship opportunities.
"The Army-DOL partnership balances our obligation to help prepare our soldiers and their families for post-military life with the needs of American employers for highly trained, skilled professionals," Dailey said. "We look forward to recognizing their remarkable work during the Army's Birthday Week twilight tattoo celebration."
Aside from helping TSMs and veterans, the DOL has been actively working to support military spouses, according to sources.
Recently, President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order to help increase employment opportunities for military spouses. This order also included improvements to occupational licensing portability.
DOL-VETS is a DOD Military Spouse Employment Partnership ambassador or MSEP. The program seeks to strengthen the education and career opportunities of military spouses by providing career exploration opportunities, education and training, employment readiness assistance, and employment connections. MSEP currently has more than 335 partners who have hired over 100,000 military spouses.
Further, the DOL has been collaborating with outside organizations like the USO, Hiring Our Heroes, LinkedIn, and others to help spouses find meaningful employment. Moreover, the DOL has been working with states to reduce excessive occupational licensing requirements that make it harder for military spouses to work.
Additionally, the U.S. Secretary of Labor has established the Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing, or HIRE, Vets Medallion Award Program to recognize employer efforts to recruit, employ, and retain veterans.
The goal of the Vets Medallion Award Program is the help TSMs and veterans identify a proven "veteran-ready" employer, validated by hiring and retention data. This DOL initiative is a result of the 2017 HIRE American Military Veterans Act, signed by the president on May 5, 2017.
DOL-VETS will begin accepting applications for the HIRE Vets medallion program in January 2019. Information on this program can be found at HIREVets.gov.
(Note: Master Sgt. Tyrone C. Marshall Jr. contributed to this story.)