• Uncategorized

Veterans Employment and Training Services (VETS) Institute

VeteransEmployment and Training Services (VETS)

Institute

VeteransEmployment and Training Services (VETS)

TheVeterans Employment and Training Services (VETS) program gets itsgrant funding from the U.S Department of Labor (DOL). Through thegrant, the Department of Career Services (DCS) can provide theDisabled Veteran’s Outreach Program (DVOP) specialists and theLocal Veteran Employment Representatives (LVERs) a career centerknown as the one-stop career centers across the state. This programis run and operates under the Department of Labor.

Themain objective of the VETS grant is to make sure that there is a fullrange of employment and training services provided to U.S veterans.Given that the veterans are first considered among those givenservices as dictated by law, it remains very significant for theLVERs and the DVOPs to link appropriately with the veterans whoregister and get to the Career Centers. Additionally, LVERs and DVOPshelps in maintenance of much-updated information about all theprograms and services that are available to help the veterans at thefederal, state and local level.

Underthis program, there is the Disabled Veteran Outreach Program (DVOP)that provides help to the management as well as the staff to makesure that there is full and easy access to employment opportunitiesin time and training services for the veterans. The DVOP stafffacilitates the rigorous services to the veterans with specialemployment and the training needs while particularly stressing on thedisabled, those who were separated recently and the campaign badgeveterans. There are arrays of services that are offered by DVOP, andthey include a comprehensive evaluation of the existing skills levelsand the needs and guidance and counseling in both career andvocational areas. The services also include coordination of theaccess to and delivery of various supportive services, designing andmaintaining the relationships with employers to help in jobdevelopment purposes and referring the individuals where there is anemployment opportunity.

TheVETS program helps in three distinct ways. First, members areprepared for the easy transition to the civilian workplace throughthe employment workshop. Second, the program ensures that there isplacement assistance given to the veterans through the network ofAmerican job centers as well as the different programs that are meantto assist the homeless and other veterans who are disadvantaged toget the appropriate employment. Once the veterans get the employmentopportunities, the program ensures that employment rights ofindividuals are protected and ensure that there is some preferencethat is given to the veterans as far as Federal hiring is concerned(The WHITE HOUSE, 2016).

Funding

Requested-FY 2017

Forthe Fiscal Year 2017, the VETS is requesting $285, 520, 000. Thefunding that the program is requesting is noted in the table below.

Funding Needs

Amount

Jobs for Veterans State Grants

$175,000,000

Transition Assistance Program

$14,600,000

Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program

$50,000,000

National Veterans’ Training Institute

$3,414,000

Federal Administration – USERRA Enforcement

$42,506,000

TOTAL

128,020,000

Requested-FY 2016

Inthe Fiscal Year 2016, the VETS requested $271,110,000. The fundingthat was requested included different areas. The requested amountsare noted in the table below.

Funding Needs

Amount

Jobs for Veterans State Grants

$175,000,000

Transition Assistance Program

$14,100,000

Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program

$38,109,000

National Veterans’ Training Institute

$3,414,000

Federal Administration – USERRA Enforcement

$40,487,000

TOTAL

271, 110, 000

FY2014-Requested

Inthe FY 2014, the agency requested $300, 518, 000. The amountrequested is segmented as follows.

Funding Needs

Amount

Jobs for Veterans State Grants

$38,000,000

Transition Assistance Program

$5,017,000

Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program

$38,109,000

National Veterans’ Training Institute

$975,000

Federal Administration – USERRA Enforcement

$6,683,000

TOTAL

88, 784, 000

Consolidated

Funding Needs

FY 2014

FY 2016

FY 2017

Jobs for Veterans State Grants

$38,000,000

$175,000,000

$175,000,000

Transition Assistance Program

$5,017,000

$14,100,000

$14,600,000

Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program

$38,109,000

$38,109,000

$50,000,000

National Veterans’ Training Institute

$975,000

$3,414,000

$3,414,000

Federal Administration – USERRA Enforcement

$6,683,000

$40,487,000

$42,506,000

TOTAL

88, 784, 000

271, 110, 000

128,020,000

Comparisons

Jobsfor Veterans State Grants

Inthe FY 2017, the JVSG is requesting $175,000,000 that will supportthe Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program (DVOP) specialists, LocalVeterans’ Employment Representative (LVER) staff and respond to theexigencies. Through the budget request, approximately 1,600 DVOP willbe supported as well as 600 LVER staff. The change in this level offunding though is not anticipated to affect the Common Measures. Thisis because the Common Measures are usually not affected by thechanges that occur in the level of funding given that they are justefficiency measures, which ultimately reflect on the service qualitybut not the workload or even the service output.

Notably,the 2017 funding requested is the same level as the amount, which wasrequested in the FY 2016. Having this amount will ensure that theveterans and eligible spouses who are facing serious employmentbarriers are progressively served.

TransitionAssistance Program (TAP)

Inthe FY 2017, the amount being requested is $14, 600, 000. This amountis to help facilitate TAP employment workshop, which is a consistentand homogenous workshop that takes place in three days to help theveterans to move through to civilian employment. Having this budgetrequest will ensure that there are smooth workshops of TAP workshopsat the different military installations both at the domestic leveland foreign. Staffs on contract expedite the entire process. Withthis request, the workshop will ensure that over 200,000transitioning service members and spouses are delivered.

Thisrequest has seen an increase of $500,000 that will give the agency anopportunity to offer employment services to almost 6,700 employmentworkshops with a planned class size that is making up not more than35 service members or spouses.

Withthis amount, the VETS will be in a position to implement the newlydeveloped mobile application for the online delivery of curricula.Through the mobile application, the DOL will be able to make some ofthe cost-effective updates to the DOLEW participant material, and inthe end, this will result in saving of the cost of printing, storageas well as the distribution of the printed material.

HomelessVeterans’ Reintegration Program (HVRP)

Forthe FY 2017, the amount being requested is $50,000,000. Thegovernment is putting across a motion to increase the investment inthis program at a level that is fully authorized to help in achievingthe goal of the administration of bringing to an end homelessness ofthe veterans. This amount is $11, 891, 000 more compared to the $38,109, 000 for the FY 2016.

Havingthe increase in the funding for HVRP, the number of those enrolledwill increase by over 5,000 from 17,000 participants to approximately22,000 participants.

Theadditional funding that comes in will help in ensuring that there isa rigorous sample size to be used for assessments and evaluations.The detailed evaluation of the program is to help in theidentification of effective strategies and interventions for servingthe population under query.

NationalVeterans’ Training Service Institute (NVTI)

Forthe financial year 2017, the amount that is being requested is $3,414, 000. The NVTI was meant to ensure that there is a high degree ofproficiency and training for the staff that offers the veteransemployment services. Using the requested amount, the NVTI will be ina position to offer training to the veteran service providers to helpmeet the different training needs of the Veterans’ Benefits Act of2010. This Act requires that DVOP specialists and the LVER staff havea complete training within a duration of 18 months of assignment totheir positions. This amount requested for the FY 2017 is same asthat for the FY 2016. This means that in the FY 2017, the NVTI willprogressively help in providing competency-based training to the DVOPspecialists, the LVER staff, federal staff and the other stateworkforce agency staff. Also, at the beginning of the FY 2017, thefive-year contract for NVTI will start.

FederalAdministration- USERRA Enforcement

Inthe financial year 2017, the amount requested to facilitate this is$42, 506, 000. This request will ensure that VETS staffs are funded,and the funding is distributed across every other state, the sixregional offices, and the national office. Given the inflationaryincrease in the cost that is related to the compensation, benefitsand rent, the request that was made in the FY 2016 just included theresources for the various built-ins in the areas required. Fundingfor the various costs was not considered and factored in the FY 2016appropriations (The U.S House of Representatives CommonAppropriations, n.d). Therefore, in the request for FY 2017, some ofthe resources included are the personnel and the rent costs as a formof program increase. This request also includes the $1,000,000 forthe long-term interagency data warehouse system that will amalgamateveteran and service member data across the government to comprehendthe needs of the population properly and assess the effects offederal programs that are meant to serve the people. Having therequested amount will properly fund the compliance investigation thatprotects the employment and reemployment rights of the veterans.Through the provisions of USERRA, VETS can comfortably protect thecivilian reemployment rights of the Reservists and National Guardmembers who are called to active duty.

of President’s Budget Request

The2017 Budget and 2018 Advance Appropriations requests for the VeteransAffairs is ideal in ensuring that the promise of the President tofulfill the requirements of America’s Veterans, their families, andsurvivors (The WHITE HOUSE, 2016). The 2017 Budget request made bythe President has within it $182.3 billion for VA. The amount issegmented in a way such that $78.7 billion is allocated todiscretionary resources and $103.6 billion is for mandatory funding.Notably, in this request, the discretionary budget does not change,and it remains to represent $3.6 billion or rather an approximated4.9 percent above the amount that was enacted in the FY 2016. Therequest made by the President is essential and adequate to help theVeteran increase their access to the benefits and services, ensuresustenance on the claims of disability and help in ending the Veteranhomelessness. The budget as requested by the President supports theMyVA transformation, provides Veterans, the families and survivors toensure that they receive quality benefits, and services Veterans.

ActionTaken by the Congress

Accordingto the VETS Bill that was presented by Appropriation Committee,$285.5 was allotted for the VETS, and this is almost $14.4 millionabove the amount that was released for the FY 2016. It is also sameas the amount requested in the President’s budget. The amountsinclude $11.9 million increase, which is to facilitate the expansionof the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program. By passing the bill,the veterans will be properly reintegrated and assisted towardsending the problem of homelessness. The bill ensures that thehomeless veterans are self-sufficient and are incorporated in therapid rehousing program.

PoliticalEquities Involved

Giventhat the Bill and its requests emanate from the Presidency, there arechances that politics will be at play. The Bill is likely to besupported by the Democrats in a bid to support the President and hisoffice. On the other hand, the Republicans are likely to oppose thebill. One of the reasons why the Republicans are likely to oppose itwill be because of the poor way in which it attempts to address theissue (Beamon, 2014). Given that election has just happened, it isalso likely to be a manner through which the Republicans will showtheir power and influence in the House. Therefore, the Republicanscan block it on a procedural point. Being on a procedural point wouldbe because the bill was not paid for and voting against it will meanthat it will be moved forward (Easley, 2012).

Inone way, the Bill would be strongly opposed by the Republicans asthey would sense politics from the end of the Democrats. According tothe Republicans, the Democrats are not offering any real solutionthat would help the veterans get the jobs (Beamon, 2014). By theDemocrats using the term “veteran” in the bill only means thatthere is a focus to help the unemployed veterans. While this happens,other six job programs are already enrolled for the veterans. A casein point for the program is the VOW to Hire Heroes Act that wassigned in November 2011. According to this Act, businesses taxcredits are provided as an incentive to hire the veterans and alsowill ensure that there is a smooth transition from military to thecivilian workforce. In addition, the Federal government also fundsthe local police and fire departments to hire personnel. This meansthat the Republicans will only see this as politics given theduplication of programs.

Stateany industry, state government, or organization’s possibleconnection to the program

Thisprogram will be of interest to the Democratic states as well as theveterans. The Veterans have a connection to the program as it is intheir interest to have their issues factored in. The veterans arealso interested in this program as it ensures that they have a smoothtransition from their military work into civilian life. The interestof the government is at play as it ensures that its legacy remainsintact and benefits the citizenry who bestow on them theresponsibility to serve the country. The program will also be ofinterest to organizations that assist veterans such as Bergmann andMoore, America Wants You (AWY) and National Gulf War Resource Centeramong others. They will be interested as they champion for the rightsof all the Veterans. They ensure that veterans are treated with honorand any program that aims towards that is fully supported.Organizations such as National Association of American Veterans willbe so much interested as the program will help meet some of theprograms that they provide such as provision of emergency funds,employment and housing assistance.

Lobbying/Advocacy Efforts

TheDemocrats are likely to do more advocacy on this program to ensurethat it passes. The Republicans have been frustrating the passage ofsimilar such programs in the past (Congressional Budget JustificationVeterans’ Employment and Training Service, n.d). Lobbying by theDemocrats is also necessary to ensure that amendments are not madethat will water down the bill when enacted hence coming up with avery poor program. The bill will also be advocated by the VeteransService Organizations (VSOs) who see this program as helping inexpansion of specific-peer supported services.

Recommendation

Thisprogram is appropriate and needs to be implemented in the US.Enacting the new changes due to budgetary adjustments in the programwill ensure that the request made by the President is essential andadequate to help the Veterans increase their access to benefits andservices, ensure sustenance on the claims of disability and help inending the Veteran homelessness. The 2017 Budget and 2018 AdvanceAppropriations requests for the Veterans Affairs is ideal in ensuringthat the promise of the President to fulfill the requirements ofAmerica’s Veterans, their families, and survivors. However, for theprogram to be fully implemented, the government needs to ensure thatproper lobbying is done in the house. The politics side of theprogram should be removed and individuals made to understand that itis more of a policy program.

Eventhough politics will be at play for the both sides of the House(Democrats and Republicans), I strongly recommend that the Bill beadopted given the immense benefits it will have. Also, theRepublicans may consider adopting it as they are now many in theHouse and in charge of the country. They may not want to politicizeit as it is likely to give them advantage when passed in regards tothe legacy of the Trump’s Presidency. The campaign period is overand it will no longer be a worry to the Republicans about passing aBill that they thought was being used for political purposes by theDemocrats. The Republicans may pass the legislation will enthusiasmthat it deserves.

&nbsp

References

Beamon,T. (2014). GOP Slams Dems for Playing Politics With Veterans`Benefits. Newsmax.Retrieved fromhttp://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/veterans-benefits-budget-bill/2014/02/27/id/555258/[Accessed 15/11/2016].

CONGRESSIONALBUDGET JUSTIFICATION VETERANS’ EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING SERVICE.(n.d). Retrieved fromhttps://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files/documents/general/budget/CBJ-2017-V3-05.pdf[Accessed 16/11/2016].

Easley,J. (2012). Meet the 40 Senate Republicans Who Betrayed Veterans ByKilling $1 Billion in Jobs. politicususa.Retrieved fromhttp://www.politicususa.com/2012/09/19/meet-40-senate-republicans-betrayed-veterans-killing-1-billion-jobs.html[Accessed 16/11/2016].

Kempa,D. (2012). Veterans Jobs Bill Shafted: Why Politics, Not the GOP, isto Blame Here. Policy.Mic.Retrieved fromhttps://mic.com/articles/15164/veterans-jobs-bill-shafted-why-politics-not-the-gop-is-to-blame-here#.zKJRvAoLv

TheWHITE HOUSE (February, 2016). FACT SHEET: The President’s FiscalYear 2017 Budget: Overview. Retrieved fromhttps://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/02/09/fact-sheet-presidents-fiscal-year-2017-budget-overview[Accessed 16/11/2016].

TheU.S House of Representatives Common Appropriations. (n.d).Appropriations Committee Releases the Fiscal Year 2017 Labor, Healthand Human Services Funding Bill. Retrieved fromhttp://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=394633[Accessed 16/11/2016].

Year,P. B. O. S. F. 2017 Budget was the first to be published in an opendata format See White House,“Interact with the 2017 Budget,”.