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Posts Tagged ‘Military Families’

Entrepreneurial Course Helps Separating Service Members Launch Startups

  • March 26, 2014
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“Boots to Business,” an optional supplement to DOD’s newly revised Transition GPS program developed by the Small Business Administration, is providing transitioning service personnel a variety of tools to start their own small businesses. After a two-day introduction, soon-to-be veterans in this track enroll in an eight-week online course through Syracuse University aimed at helping service members prepare a business plan …

Some Commissaries Could Close in U.S., DOD Official Says

  • March 26, 2014
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A loss in business at U.S. commissaries due to cuts in subsidies proposed under the Pentagon’s fiscal 2015 budget request could force some military grocery stores to close, a senior DOD official told lawmakers Wednesday. The department is not proposing to close any commissaries; rather, its latest budget calls for reducing the annual direct subsidy to commissaries by $1 billion over the next three years. At that point, the lower funding would reduce the average discount for military families from 30 percent to 10 percent …

Unemployment Rate for Recent Veterans Improved Last Year

  • March 24, 2014
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The unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans edged down in 2013, dropping to 9.0 percent from 9.9 percent the year before, according to a report last week from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unemployment for all veterans decreased slightly from 7 percent in 2012 to 6.6 percent. The overall unemployment rate in the United States was 7.4 percent in 2013. The youngest veterans, aged 18-24, however, experienced a jobless rate of 21.4 percent. “Those in the youngest group are experiencing unemployment at a higher rate than their nonveteran peers,” Teresa Gerton, deputy assistant secretary for policy for the Labor Department’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service, told the Star-Herald. “But their labor participation rates are higher. Their attachment to the labor force is stronger. They’re out there trying to get a job,” Gerton said.

State Extends Jobs Program from National Guard to all Components

  • March 20, 2014
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South Carolina is expanding a jobs program originally aimed at helping National Guard members find employment to all transitioning service members. Operation Palmetto Employment has helped more than 1,800 National Guard members find work since it was launched in October 2011, cutting the unemployment rate for those service members from 16 percent to 4 percent. The initiative previously received a $750,000 grant from DOD …

Personnel Praise Enhanced Transition Assistance Program

  • March 19, 2014
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Transition GPS, DOD’s new week-long workforce transition curriculum is a marked improvement over the previous program, according to feedback from service members. “We have received very positive reviews from the service members,” Susan Kelly, director of DOD’s Transition to Veterans Program office, told American Forces Press Service last week. “They’re telling us they’ll use the content to prepare for transition, use it after they separate, [and] they know how to access resources they’re going to need before and after they separate …

House Republicans Propose Cutting 115,000 Civilian Defense Jobs

  • March 18, 2014
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A proposal by House Republicans would cut 115,000 civilian jobs from the Department of Defense over the next six years. The Rebalance for an Effective Defense Uniform and Civilian Employees (REDUCE) Act would cut 15 percent of the DoD’s civilian workforce, saving $82.5 billion over the first five years of cuts, the bill’s sponsors argue, the Federal Times reported…

Senators Introduce Bill to Prevent Cuts to Commissaries

  • March 17, 2014
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Several U.S. senators have introduced new legislation to preserve funding for military commissaries, freezing the DOD’s FY 2015 budget proposal to cut funding to the government- subsided grocery stores. The “Military Commissary Sustainment Act,” co-sponsored by Sen. Mark Warner (D)…

Special Court Provides Boston Veterans New Avenue for Treatment

  • March 16, 2014
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Boston’s new Veterans Treatment Court, launched in January, is helping former service members stay out of jail and receive treatment for substance abuse and emotional problems. Three veterans currently take part in the program and 12 are in the pipeline, reported the Boston Globe. Participants receive treatment for substance abuse and mental health issues, emotional disabilities, and academic and vocational training. The court relies on specially trained judges, clinicians, probation officers and attorneys …

‘Florida G.I. Bill’ Aims to Make State More Friendly to DOD, Veterans

  • March 12, 2014
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New legislation approved by the Florida Legislature will offer assistance combating encroachment to the state’s defense communities, out-of-state tuition for public universities to veterans and funds to market the state to veterans. The bill, unanimously passed by the House and Senate, provides $7.5 million to purchase buffer zones to protect three installations from encroachment — MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Mayport Naval Station in Jacksonville and Naval Support Activity Panama City. “It sends a signal to the BRAC commission as well that Florida wants to keep the installations we have and keep the people we have …

DOD Plan Would Turn Commissaries into Business Enterprise

  • March 12, 2014
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The Pentagon’s proposal to drastically reduce federal subsidies for military groceries would force most stateside commissaries to operate as a for-profit enterprise, according to documents released last week in conjunction with DOD’s fiscal 2015 budget request. The Pentagon is proposing to reduce the annual direct subsidy to commissaries by $1 billion over the next three years; the annual subsidy now totals $1.4 billion. After three years, the lower funding would reduce the average discount for military families from 30 percent to 10 percent, according to senior defense officials. At that point, stateside commissaries would need to cover their operating costs to remain viable, reported Stars and Stripes …

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