Multiple organizations are calling for the creation of a new senior position within the Department of Veterans Affairs which would focus on economic opportunity issues, including education, employment and transition. Student Veterans of America proposed establishing a Veterans Economic Opportunity Administration and a new undersecretary last month during a subcommittee hearing of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Representatives for two veterans groups at the hearing — the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors and the American Legion — supported the idea, reported Stars and Stripes. Education, employment, transition and home ownership programs are now part of the Veterans Benefits Administration.
SVA’s proposal was strengthened by a report released on the day of the hearing by conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute which said that creating a new position within the VA dedicated to transition issues would help raise the profile of assistance programs for veterans. “By placing only these programs under the purview of a designated senior-level leader, VA would officially recognize and provide accountability for the legitimate role that economic opportunity plays in the whole-health model commitment of care it has made to veterans,” stated Rebecca Burgess, the report’s author.
Air Force photo by Mauricio Campino