Vet Job News: Microsoft Training, New Laws

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The Week in Veteran Jobs

Microsoft Offers Transition Program

Service members stationed in California and Texas who are transitioning from the military are now eligible for the Microsoft Software & Systems Academy. The 16-week program provides IT training to eligible U.S. active-duty transitioning service members and is now operating at Camp Pendleton in California and Fort Hood in Texas.

The program was first launched in 2013 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington, where a third class is now enrolled in the program. Participants are taught by professors from Saint Martin's University in Washington and Central Texas College, using a customized Microsoft IT Academy curriculum.

Microsoft employees volunteer as mentors by connecting to the class through Lync and Skype. Through interactive lessons and mock interviews, participants receive training to help prepare them for the final step: the opportunity to interview at Microsoft. For eligibility requirements, service members should contact the education centers at participating bases for general guidelines.

Small Business Enhancement Act

On July 31, Reps. Kerry Bentivolio (R-Mich.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) introduced the Veterans Small Business Enhancement Act (H.R. 5231), which allows veteran-owned small businesses to apply for and receive unwanted government surplus or excess property. The Veterans Small Business Enhancement Act of 2014 will allow eligible veteran-owned businesses with a justifiable need to select and receive excess and surplus federal property. They must meet all criteria assigned by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and General Services Administration (GSA).

The veteran-owned small business will not be charged for the surplus or excess property, but it will be responsible for service and handling charges. The bill is similar to the FOR VETS Act, which was signed into law by the president last year and gives veterans service organizations (VSOs) access to surplus property.

Workforce Opportunity Services Helping with Veteran Jobs

The nonprofit organization Workforce Opportunity Services (WOS) has reached out to veterans in Augusta, Georgia, to help connect them with jobs at ADP. So far, WOS has supported eight Augusta-based veterans who have received training through Georgia Tech's professional education program, along with tips on how to find success in the corporate world. These veterans will start work with ADP shortly. WOS plans to continue the program more in the future, and it is also running programs in Texas. For more details, see the WOS website or contact Danny Black at danny.black@wforce.org.

Vet Job Fair in Houston This Week

U.S. Security Associates and other companies will be present at the RecruitMilitary Veteran Job Fair on Aug. 7. The job fair takes place at Houston's Minute Maid Park from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Veterans and their spouses are invited to attend the job fair and learn about employment opportunities in the Houston market and beyond. To see a comprehensive calendar of job fairs around the country, see the Military.com Vet Job Fair page.

New Vet Accreditation Law in Connecticut

A new law in Connecticut, Public Act 14-13, will require state-run agencies and universities to recognize military education and training when hiring. The law, which goes into effect on Oct. 1, aims to erase the problem of "double instruction," in which qualified ex-service members must repeat training they already received in the military to get certification for certain jobs.

Veterans who performed specialized tasks while in the course of duty (driving heavy trucks, working as mechanics, electricians, etc.) will have their experience counted toward accreditation for related civilian jobs. In other words, veterans looking to obtain a trade certificate can skip the classes covering material they already learned in the military. Additionally, colleges and universities in Connecticut will begin awarding academic credit for military education.

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