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Posts Tagged ‘Military Families’

Labor’s VETS Director to Step Down

  • March 10, 2015
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Keith Kelly, who has served as the Labor Department’s top official for veterans employment for the past two years, announced last week that he would leave his post at the end of May. Kelly has served as assistant secretary of the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) since January 2013. Previously he had been commissioner of the Montana Department of Labor and Industry. “When I leave VETS, I will be 69½, and that is enough,” he said in a statement. “I am leaving a good organization with every confidence it will keep moving forward. I am going back home to Montana to see how a saddle feels again …

Unemployment Rate for Recent Veterans Reaches Record Low

  • March 9, 2015
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The unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans fell to 6.7 percent in February, a drop of more than one point from January that left the rate at its lowest level on record, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While the unemployment rate for all workers remained lower, falling to 5.5 percent in February, post-9/11 veterans have made marked progress in finding jobs in recent years. The 2014 annual unemployment rate for recent veterans was 7.2 percent, nearly 2 points lower than the 2013 rate and nearly 5 points lower than the 2011 rate, reported Military Times. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for all veterans remained below the average for all workers, falling to 5.3 percent in February …

New Group Intends to Serve as Forum for Existing Veterans Providers

  • March 8, 2015
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A new membership organization intended to serve as a resource for existing veterans groups through information-sharing and increased collaboration formally launched last month. According to the executive director of the National Association of Veteran-Serving Organizations, Chris Ford, the group will serve four primary missions — connecting many of the nation’s 40,000-plus veterans groups, promoting collaboration, enhancing coordination among service providers to eliminate overlap and maximizing the collective impact of the organizations. NAVSO will “have a unique perch to look across the entire country” at who is succeeding and who is failing on different fronts, Ford told the Chronicle of Philanthropy …

Anxiety over Cost-Cutting Reforms Prevalent, Enlisted Leaders Testify

  • February 26, 2015
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Questions about possible changes to compensation, benefits and support services are hurting the morale of service members and their families, the military services’ top enlisted leaders told lawmakers on Wednesday. Soldiers “see the future. They see it on the news every day, and they see uncertainty and it bothers them,” Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel Dailey told the House Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee. “What I really need is them focused on the mission and saving their fellow soldiers’ lives,” Dailey said. The hearing comes as stringent budget caps are forcing DOD to consider cost-cutting reforms to benefits, including housing allowances and commissary discounts, as well as programs supporting military families …

Ohio Law Requires Public Colleges to Recognize Military Experience

  • February 24, 2015
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A new Ohio law will require state universities to count veterans’ military experience toward earning college credit, a critical step in helping veterans obtain a degree. Under the legislation, the state will create standards for awarding credit for military experience. It also requires the schools to award the credit for free, reports More significantly, the measure will make it easier for veterans to connect with colleges in Ohio, according to Jeff Robinson, spokesman for the Ohio Board of Regents. “In some cases, a veteran may not know the first point of contact on a campus for help, or that there is even help available specifically for them …

New York Lawmakers Push to Ease Transition for Military Spouses

  • February 23, 2015
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Legislation introduced in the New York State Assembly would streamline the process for military spouses to transfer professional licenses and certifications when moving to the state. “When a family is stationed in a new state, the hosting state should streamline the licensing process in order to make their lives as easy as possible. Similar legislation has previously passed the state Senate; we have to get this bill to the floor as soon as possible to make New York more suitable for veterans and all New Yorkers,” said Assemblyman David DiPietro (R), one of the cosponsors of Assembly Bill 2590 …

Finding Consensus on Best Approach to Reforming Commissary Benefit Proves Elusive

  • February 22, 2015
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Neither the Pentagon’s plan for slashing the federal subsidy for military grocery stores nor a congressional commission’s recommendations for gaining efficiencies in the commissary system will prove successful, according to two recent analyses. Last month, the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission called for consolidating DOD’s three exchange services with the Defense Commissary Agency as a way to maintain the benefits of all base stores. Consolidating those four organizations into a new Defense Resale Activity, though, would cost $466 million and take from six to nine years to carry out, according to a position paper from the Army and Air Force Exchange Service. The upfront costs wouldn’t be recouped through efficiencies for 85 years, AAFES concluded …

Post-9/11 Veterans in the O.C. Unprepared for Transition

  • February 22, 2015
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A new survey of post-9/11 veterans in Orange County, Calif., revealed a population that is not prepared for life after the military, with health issues, and problems finding a job and housing all contributing to that assessment. Sixty-one percent of post-9/11 veterans are having difficulties adjusting to civilian life, according to the survey of 1,227 veterans conducted by researchers at the University of Southern California School of Social Work’s Center for Innovation and Research. Forty-four percent of post-9/11 respondents screened positive for post-traumatic stress disorder …

DOE Initiative Preparing Service Members for Solar Industry Jobs prior to Separation

  • February 19, 2015
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Transitioning service members at three military installations are receiving training for jobs in the solar industry through a pilot program run by the Department of Energy (DOE). This pilot is enabled by DOD’s SkillBridge initiative, which allows exiting military personnel to pursue civilian job training, employment skills training, apprenticeships and internships up to six months prior to their separation date. Service members who graduate from the solar training program will gain the skills to size and install solar panels, safely connect electricity to the grid, and interpret and comply with local building codes …

New Rules to Streamline Procedures for Support Organizations to Gain Access to Installations

  • February 18, 2015
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The Army plans to issue new rules shortly to streamline the process for nonprofits providing support to military personnel and their families to gain access to its installations. The executive order the Army plans to release stems from two memos recently issued by the defense secretary directing senior military leaders and installation commanders to implement uniform procedures to ease access for military support organizations and veterans service organizations. The new rules will expedite much of the paperwork that accompanies a written request from military support organizations for access to an installation, said Carla Coulson, director of Army Installation Services …

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