In addition to the pensions and benefits to which you may be entitled because of both public and private employment, you may also be eligible for certain benefits based on your military service.
If you are a veteran looking for assistance in transitioning into civilian life, finding a job or getting the training needed to get a job, then you need to learn more about the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) program. The following is a summary of what you need to know about this program:
VETS is an independent agency within the Department of Labor create specifically to assist veterans in making the transition from military to civilian life, train for and find good jobs, and to protect the employment and reemployment rights of veterans, Reservists and National Guard Members.
In partnership with other federal agencies, state and local governments, veterans service organizations, business and community groups, and professional associations, VETS provides services to both employers and veterans. VETS is committed to providing every veteran with the opportunity to participate fully in the 21st Century's expanding economy and to grow with the nation.
VETS offers employment and training services through cooperative working arrangements and provides funds to the states under specific grant agreements to maintain staffing grants to support two national programs the Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program (DVOP) and the Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVER) Program.
DVOP specialists provide a case-management approach that individually tailors training and job placement opportunities for veterans with service-connected disabilities or other severe employability barriers. As employees of the state, DVOPs are generally stationed in state employment service offices, but they may be found at regional offices, medical centers, or veterans' outreach centers of the Department of Veterans' Affairs, state or county veterans' service offices, and military installations.
LVERs conduct active outreach programs with employers, community and veterans organizations, unions, and local counseling and social services agencies to ensure that veterans know about and receive the services for which they are eligible. They work with veterans to place them in federally-funded employment and training programs. They also assist veterans in developing job interviewing and resume writing skills. They help veterans conduct a productive job search and access job listings through electronic data bases, including Americas Job Bank.
VETS helps meet the employment and training needs of disabled, Vietnam-era and recently discharged veterans through Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) grants. Most of the funds are awarded through a competitive solicitation process and are available to state and local governments, non-profit organizations and educational institutions. Organizations receiving these grants provide classroom and on-the-job training, remedial education, and other services to enhance the employability of veterans such as career counseling, aptitude testing, and job placement assistance.
In cooperation with the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, VETS conducts three-day Transition Assistance Program (TAP) workshops at military installations across the country that provide employment and training information and assistance to armed forces members and their families within 180 days of separation or retirement. Conducted by trained facilitators, the workshops teach participants how to conduct job searches, write resumes, and take job interviews. Participants also receive current labor market information, an assessment of their individual job skills, information about training and retraining opportunities and other veterans benefits. Additional hours of individual instruction are available to service members leaving the military with service-connected disabilities. Surveys and focus group responses indicate that service members participating in TAP workshops found their first post-military job three weeks sooner, on average, than those who did not attend the workshops.
The virtual TAP program is designed to provide servicemembers who are unable to attend TAP workshops in person the ability to access the full TAP presentation online. This information is available to anyone who might benefit from it. Click here to be directed to the Department of Labor's TAP webpage.
VETS is also responsible for providing assistance to veterans and members of the National Guard and Reserve called to active duty or training have the right to return to their civilian jobs -- in both the private and public sectors -- with all the benefits they would have accrued if not for their military service. Under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) of 1994, VETS investigates complaints from protected individuals who believe these rights have been violated. When merited, VETS attempts to negotiate voluntary settlements of USERRA issues. VETS may recommend legal action in cases where adjudication seems warranted. Technical assistance is provided to employers, veterans service organizations and reserve units to assist them in understanding and complying with the law.
Certain veterans are accorded preference in preference in hiring for jobs with the federal government. VETS investigates complaints from veterans who believe they have been denied their rights. Complaints which have merit are referred to the Office of Personnel Management for enforcement.
VETS is also responsible for ensuring that those veterans eligible for priority job referrals or special consideration in hiring are not discriminated against by federal contractors and subcontractors. Federal contractors and subcontractors must list most job openings with the state employment service so that qualified Vietnam-era and special disabled veterans can receive priority referrals for those jobs. These employers must file an annual report with VETS showing the number of Vietnam-era and special disabled veterans in their work forces.
VETS maintains a network of State Directors of Veterans' Employment and Training Service (DVETs). Veterans, employers, and others seeking additional information about any of the programs or laws administered by the Veterans' Employment and Training Service should contact their nearest VETS representative. Information may also be obtained through contact with LVERs or DVOPs at state employment service delivery points.
Click here to visit the Official Dept. of Labor VETS website.