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Posts Tagged ‘Military Families’

Veterans Still Face Hurdles when Entering the Civilian Workforce

  • May 7, 2015
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Service members entering the civilian world continue to face challenges obtaining licenses and certifications for skills they used during their service. Combat medics, for example, typically will not qualify for basic health care jobs despite being highly trained. At a two-day American Legion conference last week, leaders from business and government looked for ways to smooth the transition for personnel seeking to enter the civilian workforce. Labor Secretary Tom Perez said the government has overhauled DOD’s job readiness program for service members leaving the military over the past two years, but said “unnecessary licensing barriers” still exist …

State Efforts to Improve License Portability for Spouses Miss Mark

  • May 4, 2015
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State lawmakers have begun to take aim at the hurdles facing military spouses striving to maintain a career as they move across the country, but so far legislation addressing the portability of professional certifications and licenses has been uneven, according to a panel discussion last week. After moving to Virginia, one spouse, a hairdresser, had to spend four months satisfying state requirements calling for her to obtain notarized copies of the licenses she previously earned in five others states. “Who’s your advocate when you’re that one spouse trying to get a governing body to expedite?” Eddy Mentzer, DOD’s program manager for spouse education and career opportunities, said April 28 at the American Legion’s National Credentialing Summit in Washington. “Many spouses don’t have the resources …

Veterans Strengthen Communities’ Civic Fabric, Survey Finds

  • May 3, 2015
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Contrary to the prevailing stereotype of veterans as having difficulty coping when they re-enter civilian society, a new survey reveals that veterans have greater civic involvement than non-veterans. Veterans are three times as likely as non-veterans to be involved in civic groups, and are more likely to vote, contact public officials and help neighbors than their counterparts who did not serve in the military, according to the study. “It’s important for all of us to provide counterpoints to the misconceptions we have been told for years and years,” said Army veteran Chris Marvin, managing director of nonprofit Got Your Six …

Joining Forces Receives Industry Pledge to Hire, Train 90,000 Veterans, Spouses

  • April 27, 2015
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A group of technology and energy companies have committed to hire or train 90,000 veterans and military spouses in the next five years, First Lady Michelle Obama announced last week during an event marking the fourth anniversary of the Joining Forces initiative. When the effort to raise awareness among all Americans about the service, sacrifice and needs of military families initially was launched, President Obama challenged the private sector to hire 100,000 veterans and spouses. Now, less than four years later, “America’s businesses have continued to race past my husband’s initial goal, and together, those businesses who answered the president’s call have hired or trained more than 850,000 veterans and military spouses,” the first lady said …

With Fewer Casualties, Army Plans to Close 40 Percent of Warrior Transition Units

  • April 19, 2015
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The Army will close 10 of its 25 warrior transition units by summer 2016 as the number of war-related casualties declines, officials announced Friday. Most of the closing locations serve 50 or fewer soldiers. The transition units will remain on installations where there are large concentrations of soldiers, and they will continue to be co-located with major Army medical centers. “We addressed the need at the height of conflict, and we are addressing the need as we come back down,” said Col. Chris Toner, commander of Warrior Transition Command …

‘Greater Collective Purpose’ Needed to Leverage Contributions of Veterans Groups, Report Says

  • April 9, 2015
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A new study points to a “lack of collaboration, coordination and collective purpose” among public, private, and nonprofit organizations serving veterans and military families as a significant factor in the nation’s failure to ensure veterans receive needed medical, social and financial assistance. “Notwithstanding the combined goodwill and determination across all sectors of our economy, collective efforts remain largely fragmented in addressing veteran and military family challenges,” states the report from the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University. Researchers found that nearly 45,000 nongovernmental, nonprofit groups nationwide focus on veterans and military issues, with many “largely going it alone in their efforts” to provide services …

Feds Expand Initiative to Train Service Members for Jobs in Solar Industry

  • April 7, 2015
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Hill Air Force Base will be one of 10 installations to participate in a partnership between the defense and veterans affairs departments to train transitioning service members for jobs in the solar industry, President Obama announced on Friday during a visit to the base located north of Salt Lake City. The Solar Ready Vets initiative will train service members how to size and install solar panels, connect electricity to the grid, and interpret and comply with local building codes, according to a White House fact sheet. The intensive, six-week course will prepare participants for careers as installers, sales representatives, system inspectors and other solar-related occupations …

Higher Prices Won’t Offset Cuts in Commissary Subsidies, RAND Concludes

  • March 31, 2015
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The administration’s plan to offset cuts in subsidies to military grocery stores through higher prices likely won’t be successful, according to a new RAND study. Raising prices at commissaries can be expected to result in a drop in unit sales and total revenue as shoppers are likely to be relatively responsive to changes in price. As a result, the authors conclude that “raising overall price levels will likely not be a successful strategy to cover shortfalls in costs caused by the elimination of the annual U.S. Department of Defense appropriation.” And while military families who shop at commissaries would see their grocery bills increase, their extra expenses likely would be offset somewhat as they shopped elsewhere for some groceries and other items …

Carter Outlines DOD’s Latest Updates to Transition Programs

  • March 31, 2015
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Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Tuesday rolled out the Pentagon’s newest revision to its effort to prepare service members for life after the military. The military life cycle model, a new component of the DOD Transition Assistance Program, will help service members start preparing for transition early in their military careers. Personnel will have key “touch points” throughout their military careers that will allow them to align their military experience with their civilian goals, reported DOD News. The program will be implemented forcewide shortly …

White House Endorses Recommendations to Overhaul Military Compensation

  • March 30, 2015
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President Obama said Monday he will support the broad package of reforms to military pay and benefits proposed earlier this year by a congressionally chartered panel. “I believe the recommendations are an important step forward in protecting the long-term viability of the all-volunteer force, improving quality-of-life for service members and their families, and ensuring the fiscal sustainability of the military compensation and retirement systems,” Obama wrote in a letter to Congress. The president said the administration will send Congress by April 30 a set of legislative proposals based on the recommendations of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission …

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