State funding. Department of Veterans Affairs eBenefits Employment Center. This joint venture of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, Department of Labor, Office of Personnel Management and Small Business Administration provides veterans with a career/occupation assessment tool, military skill translator and resume builder. Employers can set up an account at the eBenefits site. The website provides a virtual transition and employment resource center that can connect registered users directly to registered employers. Registered users also can browse job listings, create and post resumes, and apply for jobs directly on the site. Registered employers have the ability to post jobs, accept applications, search a database of almost 40,000 posted resumes and connect with career seekers at no cost.
Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs). These groups, together with state, county and local veteran service representatives, help veterans and their families understand and navigate veteran-focused programs for free. VSOs serve as strong advocates and avenues for veterans seeking employment and employers seeking veterans. To locate these service partners, click here or log in to your eBenefits online account to find and select an accredited VSO representative.
Veterans Job Bank (VJB). This job bank on the eBenefits Employment Center is powered by the National Labor Exchange (NLX). It’s a searchable jobs database with more than 1 million job openings at any given time. Users can easily search and apply for positions. Employers can post their vacancies on NLX for free by visiting US.jobs. By listing there, you’ll also contribute to another tool for veterans: the Fast Track tool developed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative. Using this tool, veterans can learn more about a particular industry and see a geographic representation of the fastest-growing job markets. Read more about Fast Track and other Hiring Our Heroes resources here.
National Resource Directory (NRD). The Departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs partnered to create the NRD, a website that connects veterans (including those who have been wounded) and their families with those who support them. Through the website, the government aims to provide access to services at the national, state and local levels to support recovery, rehabilitation and community reintegration. It provides information about employment; education and training; health; and homeless assistance. Find out more at NRD.gov.
CareerOneStop. This tool sponsored by the Department of Labor is designed to help businesses as well as job seekers, students and career professionals. It includes a Veterans Re-employment Portal that provides information on employment, training and financial assistance after military service. The site also features a military-to-civilian job search tool where veterans can search for jobs based on the skills and experiences they gained in the military. Veterans will also find tips for searching and links to veteran-specific national, state and local resources. Go to CareerOneStop.org/vets.
American Job Centers (AJC). The Department of Labor also sponsors nearly 2,600 of these job centers throughout the country. They are staffed to help businesses hire, train and retain veterans, as well as deal with any workplace issues. Through each AJC, the Department of Labor’s Gold Card initiative provides unemployed post-9/11 veterans with the intensive and follow-up services they need for success in today’s job market. Consulting one of these centers can help your business as it begins trying to find veterans. You can find the nearest AJC at ServiceLocator.org.
Department of Labor Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS).This site offers guidance to both veterans and employers on a wide range of topics. One suggestion: Learn more about the department’s Veterans’ Employment and Training program and contact your state’s Director of Veterans’ Employment and Training (DVET). This individual will have knowledge of veterans looking for work in your state. They could also help you by prescreening candidates. For more information, go here.
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). This office of the Department of Defense is dedicated to helping employers understand, hire and support veterans in their workforce. It offers employer briefings and hiring fairs. To learn how to contact a local representative of ESGR, go to ESGR.mil.
Other options for posting jobs are your state Workforce Development Board and the National Labor Exchange.
JOB OPPORTUNITIES WITH TRAINING
Several government programs that combine hiring resources with training are derived from the Veterans Opportunity to Work to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 (the VOW Act). Here are a few offerings:
Apprenticeships and on-the-job training (OJT) programs. These programs provide a way for an employer to hire a veteran at an apprentice wage, and the VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program supplements the salary of the journeyman wage (up to the maximum allowable under the OJT program). As the veteran progresses through training, the employer begins to pay more of the salary until the veteran reaches journeyman level and the employer is paying the entire salary. VR&E will pay for any necessary tools.
The employer is also eligible for a federal tax credit for hiring an individual who participated in a vocational rehabilitation program.
Benefits for employers:
- Employers hiring veterans with a service-connected disability who are approved for VR&E services may be eligible for reimbursements of up to 50 percent of the veteran's salary for six months to offset training costs. Learn more here.
- Possible eligibility for federal tax credit
- Employee is on-site being trained with tools funded by VA
Benefits for veterans:
- Earn a salary while in an apprentice status
- Learn a skill with potential long-term benefit/employment
For more information, click here.
State Approving Agencies (SAAs) are responsible for approving OJT and apprenticeship programs for VA use. Employers interested in setting one up should use this link to find their local SAA. Additional information on registered apprenticeships is available through the Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship.
Employment Coordinators (ECs). Your hiring managers should also consult with these officials in the VR&E program, who work with veteran job seekers and might be able to assist you in finding workers. There are over 80 Employment Coordinators located at the VA's 56 nationwide regional offices and the National Capital Region Benefits Office. Many of these ECs reach out to veterans, as well as businesses and other organizations, to ensure they are aware of employment services available to them. The ECs provide a wide array of employment assistance through the VR&E program. Call 800-827-1000 and ask to speak to the VR&E officer, or contact an EC in your region at the VA for Vets website.
The Non-Paid Work Experience program allows a veteran to be placed in a local, state or federal government office. The placement does not count against the agency's full-time employment (FTE), and the agency does not pay the veteran. The program is administered by the VR&E, which pays the veteran a monthly subsistence allowance while the veteran is participating in the program. During the placement, the veteran works toward gaining and/or strengthening particular skill sets. Though the office is under no obligation to hire the veteran, the goal of this program is for the veteran to obtain full-time, permanent employment in the office where they are placed, or in a similar office. Interested employers should contact their local Employment Coordinator at 800-827-1000 and ask to speak to the VR&E officer. For more information on all of the VR&E programs, go to Benefits.VA.gov/vocrehab/.
Benefit for employers:
- No salary obligation while adding a team member to your workforce
Benefit for veterans:
- Earn a skill while receiving a monthly allowance
The Special Employer Incentives (SEI) program is available to eligible veterans currently enrolled in the VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program. Veterans approved to participate in the SEI program are hired by participating employers, and employment is expected to continue following successful completion of the program.
Benefits for employers:
- Reimbursement of up to 50 percent of the veteran’s salary during the SEI program (six months or longer) to cover expenses incurred for the cost of instruction, necessary loss of production due to training status, and supplies and equipment necessary to complete training
- Tax credit for hiring an individual who participated in a vocation rehabilitation program
- VA-provided tools, equipment, uniforms and other supplies
- Appropriate accommodations based on the individual needs of the veteran
- Minimal paperwork to participate
- VA support during training and placement follow-up phase to assist with work- or training-related needs
Benefits for veterans:
- Immediate income and benefits as an employee
- Incentive to help veterans overcome barriers to employment
- Valuable skills learned in a practical setting that meets the employer’s specifications
- Permanent employment following successful completion of the SEI program
- One-on-one support from a VA counselor to assist with training- or work-related needs
For more information, go to the VA page online with additional resources; contact a VR&E representative through your local VA regional office; or call 800-827-1000.
Veterans who have been severely wounded, have been seriously ill or have struggled in other ways can be just as effective employees as others—they just need the opportunity. As an employer, you can both help your bottom line and stand out in the business community by examining ways to consider wounded warriors for openings. By doing so, you’ll show that you’re truly committed to supporting our nation’s most cherished veterans. Consider consulting with any of these resources.
Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program. Another VA effort, this helps veterans with service-related disabilities prepare for, find and keep suitable jobs. For those veterans with disabilities so severe that they can’t immediately consider work, this program offers services to improve their ability to live as independently as possible. To find out more, go to VBA.VA.gov/bln/vre. Services that may be provided by the program include:
- Comprehensive rehabilitation evaluation to determine abilities, skills and interest for employment
- Vocational counseling and rehabilitation planning for employment services
- Job training, job-seeking skills, resume development and other work readiness assistance
- Assistance finding and keeping a job, including the use of special employer incentives and job accommodations
- On-the-job training, apprenticeships and nonpaid work experiences
- Postsecondary training at a college, vocational, technical or business school
- Supportive rehabilitation services including case management, counseling and medical referrals
- Independent living services for veterans unable to work because of the severity of their disabilities
Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES). In collaboration with the Department of Defense, the Veterans Benefits Administration is expanding VR&E to wounded, ill and injured active duty service members who are transitioning to civilian life. The program places VR&E counselors at IDES locations on military installations. For more information, call toll-free at 800-827-1000 or click here.
Soldier for Life. Soldier for Life is an Army program that assists soldiers transitioning to civilian life. The program can educate your leaders and human resource specialists on understanding soldiers, and can help connect you with more resources. Go to SoldierForLife.Army.mil.
Marine for Life. Similar to Soldier for Life, Marine for Life is an official Marine program that will help you gain access to quality employees. Go to MarineForLife.org.
Official Wounded Warrior programs. These programs sponsored by military service branches assist individuals who are severely wounded or ill and advocate on their behalf. The programs do this regardless of the individual’s military status or location, typically for as long as it takes. Each program can connect employers with wounded service members or spouses looking for employment. Learn more about partnering with these programs by emailing or calling an official from a specific service branch:
- Army: AW2careerprogram@conus.army.mil; 877-393-9058
- Air Force: firstname.lastname@example.org; 800-581-9437
- Navy/Coast Guard: email@example.com; 877-746-8563
- Marines: firstname.lastname@example.org; 877-4USMCWW (877-487-6299)
Warrior Transition Command. Employers can learn how they can help severely wounded service members who have separated from the Army and are ready to transition to the civilian workplace. Go here.
Homeless Veteran Supported Employment Program (HVSEP). This VA program helps veterans who are currently homeless, formerly homeless or at risk of being homeless with job assistance, development and placement. It also provides ongoing employment support. To inquire about hiring these program participants, contact the VA and ask for either the HVSEP program manager or the Compensated Work Therapy (CWT) manager. For more information, click here.