“As thousands of military veterans return from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom and seek to enter the civilian labor market, providing effective employment and training services to veterans is becoming increasingly [common]. These returning veterans have developed skills and experience in the military that employers outside of the military may not fully understand. Indeed, veterans report that finding a civilian job and explaining their skills to civilian employers are two of their greatest challenges after separating from the military…Many veterans also have service-related physical and mental health disabilities that create employment barriers. Through support provided by the public workforce system in American Job Centers (AJCs, formerly known as ‘One-Stop Career Centers’), returning and long-term veterans can receive assistance in overcoming barriers to obtaining civilian jobs and in translating their skills for these jobs.
This report describes the characteristics of the veterans who accessed services at AJCs, the services they received, and their employment outcomes after receiving those services. It describes the findings from the Veterans’ Supplemental Study, a study conducted as part of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)–funded Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs Gold Standard Evaluation (WIA Gold Standard Evaluation) in 28 randomly selected Local Workforce Investment Areas (local areas). For this study, [the authors] collected qualitative and quantitative data on employment services provided to veterans in all 28 local areas participating in the WIA Gold Standard Evaluation and conducted an in-depth analysis of veterans’ characteristics, service receipt, and outcomes in two study states—Pennsylvania and Texas” (p.xi).
“The Veterans’ Supplemental Study addressed two broad questions:
1. How do AJC staff members provide services to veterans and what challenges do they face in doing so?
2. What are the characteristics, services received, and employment outcomes of veterans served through AJCs?” (xii).
This report is part of the larger WIA Gold Standard Evaluation, which includes a forthcoming impact report.
(Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)Full publication title: Providing Services to Veterans Through the Public Workforce System: Descriptive Findings from the WIA Gold Standard Evaluation: Volume I
Major Findings & Recommendations
“[The authors] found that, according to staff respondents, veterans were not always aware of the services to which they were entitled or their right to priority of service, when they entered an AJC for the first time, but that they were usually informed during intake. AJC staff typically knew how to implement priority of service but did not perceive much benefit to the timing of veterans’ service receipt since activities could generally accommodate all interested customers. Staff, including WIA staff and veterans’ representatives funded by Jobs for Veterans State Grants, reported that a key activity was translating veterans’ military experience to civilian job opportunities. In addition, based on administrative data analyses in [Pennsylvania and Texas], [the authors] found that more than half the veterans served by the AJC system in those states received at least one service, typically a staff-assisted service, through veterans’ representatives. Their receipt of training, referrals to federal contractor jobs, and referrals to jobs were positively correlated with veterans’ average post-program quarterly earnings. [The authors] also found that veterans received services at higher rates than nonveterans; however, on average, they were employed at lower rates after program exit and had higher average post-program earnings than nonveterans” (p.v). (Abstractor: Author)