Labor Department Grants to Aid Veteran Job Placement
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2004 More than 1,600 veterans in 17 communities in 15 states will be placed in new jobs, thanks to $3.78 million in Labor Department grants awarded Dec. 14.
Another 600 veterans are expected to receive employment and training services as a result of these grants, which are awarded under the Workforce Investment Act, officials said.
"The Workforce Investment Act has expanded the eligibility criteria for veterans who might not be covered by other programs," said Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao. "This again demonstrates President Bush's commitment and resolve to help America's veterans who have so honorably served our nation."
The assistant secretary of labor for veterans' employment and training explained eligibility requirements. "We can now offer services to any honorably discharged veteran that served on active duty during a war or received a campaign or expedition badge," said Frederico Juarbe Jr., "in addition to those with service-connected disabilities or who have recently separated or faced other significant barriers to employment."
The grants, which are being awarded in California, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming, make possible a range of services for veterans. They include assessing job skills, career counseling, current labor-market information, classroom or on-the-job training, skills upgrading or retraining, and job-placement assistance.
Applicants this year have been asked to focus their training efforts on career fields where the lack of a license or a certification has become a barrier to employment. The grants are administered by public agencies and nonprofit organizations the secretary of labor determines have an understanding of veterans' unemployment problems.
Authorized by Section 168 of the WIA, the grants are being awarded on a competitive basis by the department's Veterans' Employment and Training Service. At the end of these six-month, first-year grants, VETS will award second-year funding to the grantees who meet or exceed the performance criteria set forth in their original award.
(Based on a Department of Labor news release.)