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Veteran Career Readiness:Improve career readiness of veterans. By September 30, 2013, increase the percent of eligible servicemembers who will be served by career readiness and preparedness programs from 50 percent to 90 percent in order to improve their competitiveness in the job market.

Goal Leader: Rosye Cloud, White House Policy Director of Veteran and Wounded Warriors and Military Families, National Security Staff/Domestic Policy Council

Having successfully served and defended our nation, our veterans are well-trained, highly skilled, and ready to enter the general workforce.  With the experience and skills they gained in the service, they are a tremendous source of value to any workplace, school, or community they choose to join.

Data on separating service members shows that less than 50 percent participate in transition programs geared toward preparing them for civilian careers. The Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) Act of 2011 requires that 100 percent of eligible separating service members receive transition assistance.  The updated job-seeking tools will assist separating service members in the often difficult task of translating their military specialties into comparable private sector parlance.  Also, veterans should be able to capitalize on the educational opportunities provided by the GI Bill to build or enter careers of their choosing.  Measuring progress is a challenge as there is no standardized system to track separating veterans that would allow a deeper understanding of the problems they might face in the labor market.  

This goal focuses on implementing the President’s commitment to improve career readiness, reduce veteran unemployment, and put veterans to work.  To create conditions for success, the White House economic and domestic policy teams have partnered with the Departments of Defense (DOD), Veterans Affairs (VA), and Labor to form a task force to design and implement strategies to increase the career readiness of all service members.

The Veterans Career Readiness Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) Goal seeks to improve the career readiness of veterans through the following four key strategies:

1.Ensuring service members are prepared for separation.  Ensuring service members are fully prepared for separation requires a dual approach.  First, we need to focus on the individual service member by bolstering and standardizing the career counseling services they receive prior to, during, and post-separation.  Through focused attention on key issues such as financial counseling, personal goal setting, and strong information sharing and referral, we will bolster the readiness of our transitioning service members.  Additionally, before final departure from the military, each servicemember will participate in a standalone CAPSTONE event which will validate and verify that standard transition objectives have been met as well as execute a warm-handover to federal and local services that can continue to assist the individual or their family pre- and post-transition. 

2. Maximizing Veterans’ career development potential.  To ensure that veterans and their families have the high quality resources necessary to maximize their career potential, we will transform the approach to education, licensing, and credentialing opportunities. 

3.Partnering with public/private industry to employ the unique skills of veterans.  Veterans have received the best military training in the world.  Through partnerships, we are promoting the hiring of veterans by working to translate their skills and experiences into marketable resources for public and private sectors.

4. Fostering Veteran entrepreneurship.  By working closely with the Small business Administration (SBA) and its resource partners, we can equip service members with the knowledge, tools, and resources they need to leverage opportunities and become successful entrepreneurs.