PULASKI, NY — On Nov. 11, our country will celebrate Veterans Day. This day provides our nation the opportunity to honor all those who served and sacrificed for our country. It also provides an opportunity to acknowledge some of the practical difficulties veterans encounter in transitioning from military life back to civilian. One of the biggest concerns returning veterans face is finding a job back home. Given this, many state and federal resources for returning veterans are focused on job placement and career development. The hope is that providing resources that lead to an occupation and financial stability for veterans will directly benefit the veteran and his or her family members in more ways than one.
In order to assist veterans in gaining employment, New York State Career Centers—which are located in Jefferson, Oswego and Onondaga counties—are staffed with specially trained personnel dedicated to servicing veterans. These trained specialists are known as Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVERs). They are veterans themselves and can easily relate to what it is like to be in the military and the challenges someone has following their service. It is hoped that these LVERs can serve as a bridge between a veteran and an employer which will lead to a fulfilling career that is beneficial to both the veteran and employer.
LVERs are tasked with working with businesses, industry leaders, and community organizations to promote the hiring of veterans. In addition, they provide services such as, job training, job matching, and job placement for veterans, inform Federal contractors of the process to hire qualified veterans, and promote credentialing and licensing opportunities for veterans. To find an LVER, visit www.labor.ny.gov/vets/employspec/veteransemployspec.shtm.
Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program (DVOP) specialists, which are also located at the same career centers, provide more intensive case management services to veterans with disabilities. DVOP specialists themselves are disabled veterans. They provide individual employment plans, job referrals, referrals to training and support services, and resume and interview preparation assistance to disabled veterans. To learn more, visit https://labor.ny.gov/vets/employspec/dvop.shtm.
A degree or course work is sometimes necessary depending on the veteran’s next career pursuit. The state also provides Veterans Tuition Awards for full- or part-time study for eligible veterans. These awards are provided for classes taken at undergraduate or graduate institutions or at an approved vocational training program. Full-time students can receive awards up to the full cost of tuition. For the 2019-20 academic year, the maximum annual full-time award is set at $7,070. More on this award and other tuition awards such as the Military Service Recognition Scholarship and the Regents Award, which are available to veterans’ family members, can be found at www.hesc.ny.gov.
The time of reintegration is critical and often the most difficult for veterans and their families. Career assistance during this period is one way that can help. For broader services, New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs has veteran benefits advisors who work with veterans on a case-by-case basis to connect them with services and benefits they may need. If you are a veteran or a family member of a veteran, a benefits advisor can be reached at 1-888-838-7697 or online at www.veterans.ny.gov.
If you have any questions or comments on this or any other state issue, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, please contact my office. My office can be reached by mail at 200 North Second Street, Fulton, New York 13069, by e-mail at email@example.com or by calling (315) 598-5185. You may also find me, Assemblyman Barclay, on Facebook.