Honoring our Commitment to Provide a Plan that Lowers Veteran Unemployment

Last month, the President announced a new task force, jointly-led by the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs to address veteran unemployment.  The taskforce will develop reforms to ensure that every member of the service receives the training, education, and credentials they need to transition to the civilian workforce or to pursue higher education.  To inform the work of this task force, this past Thursday and Friday, members of my team at the Performance Improvement Council and I travelled to the Norfolk Naval Station to learn and benchmark all the great things the men and women in Norfolk are doing to support our military, veterans, and military families.

Veteran Focus Group at Norfolk Naval Station

A focus group meets to discuss reforms in the education and training of transitioning service members at Norfolk Naval Station.

During our two days on base, we had a chance to participate in several great sessions.  We sat in on a focus group that featured collaborative partnerships between the Department of Labor, the Virginia Employment Commission, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans Affairs, and the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program, as well as participants from various Community Employers and Colleges that are involved in the Transition Assistance Program (TAP).  These great organizations are working together, collaboratively, to help members of our military successfully transition back into the workforce.   We also had the opportunity to meet with several men and women currently participating in the TAP program.  Hearing their personal experiences will directly inform the work of the Veterans Employment Initiative Task Force.

We are looking for opportunities to replicate these collaborative partnerships in other parts of our Nation and to provide our military, veterans, and military families the support they deserve.

Later this month, we will travel to the San Diego Naval Base for a similar visit. Thank you to our wonderful hosts at Norfolk!

Rosye Cloud is the Executive Director of the Performance Improvement Council and is also a member of the White House Veteran, Wounded Warrior, and Military Family Task Force.

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