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 (DOL) 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. This puts veteran unemployment levels below that of the general U.S. population; 4 percent.
The numbers hint that employers understand 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, one of the biggest obstacles for veterans transitioning into the workforce is a lack of skills-based training. To address this issue, the DOL Veterans’ Employment and Training Services (DOL-VETS) provides funds for two types of experts who help guide veterans through their workforce transition:
- Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) Specialists – These individuals are responsible for working directly with veterans with service-connected disabilities to help them become job-ready. They identify training and employment opportunities, as well as provide assistance to veterans in finding housing and in meeting other critical needs.
- Local l Veterans’ Employment Representatives (LVERs) – These state employees work directly with employers in job centers located throughout the United States. LVERs are responsible for working with DVOP Specialists to promote veteran hiring and find potential employers.
Both types of experts require ongoing training to remain current on the benefits, employment requirements, and legal and regulatory guidance, which are constantly-changing components of the landscape. Coordinating the continuing education of existing and training newly-hired specialists in the complexities of veterans’ support services is a daunting task. To rise to the occasion, DOL-VETS established the National Veterans’ Training Institute (NVTI).
Since 1986, the National Veterans’ Training Institute has provided training to develop and enhance the professional skills of VETS-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. Training is conducted in Dallas, Texas and at select regional sites across the country.
“Our program is highly tailored to the people who counsel transitioning veterans,” says Richard Lashford, Deputy Program Manager of NVTI. “The Jobs for Veterans State Grants (JVSG) Core Courses we offer are required for DVOP Specialists and LVERs within their first 18 months on the job. “
NVTI training further focuses on improving the quality of employment services provided to veterans through a professional skills development curriculum that is constantly improving – including Advanced Case Management, Advanced Business Services, servicing veterans enrolled in Chapter 31 programs, and many other legal, regulatory, and critical soft-skills topics.
In 2018, 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. These valued NVTI students are taken care of at every touch point – from the beginning to the end of their learning experience. This includes the management of travel arrangements, lodging accommodations, meals, technical support during online courses, and 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 our United States veterans in their workforce transition through the NVTI program. Our veterans deserve the right to secure meaningful employment, and it is our sincere belief that our partnership with DOL-VETS continues to make their return to the workforce as seamless as possible.
Roy Kyles has been employed with Management Concepts for the past seven years and currently serves as NVTI Program Manager. For more information, visit NVTI.org.