Supporting U.S. Veterans Return to the Workforce: National Veterans’ Training Institute and Management Concepts Partnership
Recent statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor show that veteran unemployment continues to trend downward. The veteran unemployment rate in December 2018 was 3.2 percent, down from 3.8 percent in December 2017, which puts their unemployment levels below that of the general U.S. population, which stands at 4 percent. It’s a bright moment amidst many dark clouds in current events see an uptick for this deserving segment of our population.
Veterans make excellent employees for many reasons: strong problem-solving skills, a rock-solid work ethic, and the ability to work collaboratively within a team, to name just a few. That said, recent articles show that one of the biggest obstacles for veterans transitioning into the workforce is a lack of skills-based training. To address this issue, the Department of Labor coordinates with the Veterans Administration to provide two types of experts who help guide veterans through their workforce transition:
- Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) Specialists – Responsible for developing job and training opportunities for veterans, with special emphasis on veterans with service-connected disabilities.
- Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives (LVERs) – State employees located in job centers throughout the U.S. who help veterans identify training and employment opportunities, as well as any prosthetics or devices needed to work effectively.
Both types of experts require ongoing training to remain current on the benefits, employment requirements, and anti-discrimination changes that are an ongoing part of the landscape. Coordinating the continuing education of existing specialists and training newly-hired specialists in the complexities of veterans’ benefits was a daunting task, so the Department of Labor decided to seek outside support just over three decades ago.
Since 1986, the National Veterans’ Training Institute (NVTI), has provided training to develop and enhance the professional skills of VETS (Veterans’ Employment and Training Service)-funded service providers throughout the United States. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor/Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (DOL VETS), and administered by Management Concepts, with training conducted in Dallas, Texas and at select regional sites.
“Our program is highly tailored to the people who counsel transitioning veterans,” says Richard Lashford, the Management Concepts employee who provides support for NVTI. “The JVSG Core Courses we offer are required for DVOP Specialists and LVERs within their first 18 months on the job. “
NVTI training focuses on improving the quality of employment services provided to veterans through a professional skills development curriculum that includes Case Management, Advanced Case Management, and specialized information on how to deal with Chapter 31 veterans.
So, how effective is the NVTI program? In the past year, more than 2,000 veteran service providers from 2,400 American Job Centers nationwide were trained to serve the needs of veterans preparing for workforce re-entry. What’s more, the NVTI students are taken care of at every touch point – from the beginning to the end of service. That includes the management of travel arrangements, lodging accommodations, meals, technical support during online courses, and also special services (e.g. accommodations for dietary restrictions and refrigerators provided in hotel rooms for medication storage as needed).
The average annual average unemployment rate for veterans is the lowest it has been since 2000 – which means thousands of veterans are returning to the workforce every day. Management Concepts is honored to play a role in the efforts to support U.S. veterans in their workforce transition by meeting the needs of JVSG and DVOP Specialists through the NVTI program. Our veterans deserve the right to secure meaningful employment, and it is our sincere belief that our partnership with NVTI continues to make their return to the workforce as seamless as possible.
Roy Kyles is a Management Concepts Program Manager who heads up the NVTI partnership. For more information, visit NVTI.org to learn more about the efforts to assist our nation’s veterans secure quality, long-term employment.