VA Announces 46 Grants for Homeless Programs and Marks 20 Years Serving Homeless Veterans - As the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) marks the 20th anniversary of its homeless program, VA has awarded 46 grants worth over $16 million to public and private non-profit groups to assist homeless Veterans.
"For the last 20 years, VA has worked with its community partners to
lift Veterans out of homelessness," said Gordon H. Mansfield, Acting
Secretary of Veterans Affairs. "We are making progress by expanding
treatment, rehabilitation and safe transitional housing for our homeless
Veterans, though more remains to be done."
Based on VA's national estimates, progress is being made for homeless
Veterans. The number of homeless Veterans on any night has decreased 20 percent during the last six years, and Veterans as a percent of the
adult homeless population has decreased 10 percent.
More information about VA's homeless programs is available on the
Internet at http://www.va.gov/homeless. A complete list of grants is
also available on the Internet at
State Veterans Benefits - Do you get lots of questions asking about Veterans benefits for your state? The Military.com site has a very helpful section on this very subject! Check it out at http://www.military.com/Veterans-report/state-Veteran-benefits-oct-22?ESRC=vr.nl.
Operation Real Transition Seeks Wounded Veterans - Operation Real Transition (ORT) is designed to help service disabled Veteran’s transition into the civilian world. This five-day holistic mentorship program brings hiring managers, subject matter experts and other industry professionals, as well as other resources, to the retreat to help these Veterans gain the necessary tools to find and keep meaningful employment. This is an all expenses paid trip. Are you working with a Veteran who may be interested in this amazing opportunity? Check out the site for qualifications and the application.
TAP Resume Tutorial Training - VETS recently updated the TAP workshop's Section 3.10 - Create an Effective Resume of the Transition Assistance Program curriculum so that every TAP Participant will leave the TAP Workshop with a draft, handwritten resume. A web based training tool has been created to help familiarize facilitators with the new curriculum and provide training to help deliver a powerful and effective seminar. Register at http://www.vetstaptraining.com. If you need help on the site, contact email@example.com.
Cost of Job Hunt - A survey from Experience Inc., a career web site, said that 95 percent of job seekers spend $100 to $500 to find new employment. Fifteen percent of those responding spent $1000-4000. Most of the interview costs stemmed from interview expenses, like clothes, travel and lodging.
Resume Honesty - In a survey of more than 350 businesses (conducted by the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations), up to two thirds uncover lies during the interview process. One company reported that 6 percent of background checks they perform, reveal something negative in the applicant's past. Tip: Don't lie! And order The Ultimate Job Search for the 21st Century for more ideas on answering difficult questions.
Latest VETS NET Available - It's that time again--time for reading the next edition of VETS NET! For the latest copy, go to and check it out. Don't forget to fill out the evaluation and let us know how we're doing.
Free Financial Planning for Injured Service Members - The Project for Financial Independence recently offered to assist a DOD program created to help severely injured military members, Heroes to Hometowns, by providing pro bono financial planning assistance. To learn more about the Project for Financial Indepence, log on to www.consultaplanner.org.
Resume Smarts - Here's a reminder for job seekers: spell check your resume before submitting it to employers. In a survey by the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations, up to two-thirds of small businesses report finding misspellings in half of the resumes they receive. Not a good way to make a positive impression! Spell check, proofread, then do it again.
$24 Million in Grants for Homeless Programs - Homeless Veterans in 37 states will get more assistance, thanks to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) selection of 92 community organizations to receive funds for transitional housing this year.
"Only through a dedicated partnership with community and faith-based organizations can we hope to reduce homelessness among Veterans," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson. "These partnerships provide safe, comfortable housing in caring communities for Veterans who need a helping hand." A list of recipients is available at www1.va.gov/opa/vadocs/Homeless-Grants.asp
TurboTAP Up and Running - TurboTAP, the official transition program website is now available for use. This valuable portal is available to servicemembers before, during and after their transition. It provides services that may be personalized for the individual user. TurboTAP.org is intended to supplement the services offered by the Transition Assistance Offices and other groups.
America's Job Bank is No More - Have you entered the URL, www.ajb.org, the former America's Job Bank link lately? If so, you'll notice you are redirected to www.jobbankinfo.org which is part of the Career OneStop system. Check out the new link for helpful information for job seekers.
HVRP, VWIP Grants Announced - Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao announced 94 grants, totaling nearly $27 million, to provide approximately 17,000 Veterans with job training to help them succeed in civilian careers. The grants are being awarded under the U.S. Department of Labor's Veterans' Workforce Investment Program (VWIP) and Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP).
"These $27 million in grants will help more than 16,000 Veterans access the resources they need to find good jobs and build a bright future for themselves and their families," said Secretary Chao.
More than $6.7 million will support 12 VWIP grants to help Veterans from targeted groups overcome employment barriers and ease their transition into unsubsidized jobs.
The HVRP grants include two cooperative agreements that will assist in developing the HVRP National Technical Assistance Center. The center will provide technical assistance to current grantees, potential applicants and the public; gather grantee best practices, conduct employment-related research on homeless Veterans; conduct regional grantee training sessions and self-employment boot camps; and perform outreach to the employer community to increase job opportunities for Veterans.
Grantees under both programs network and coordinate their efforts with various local, state and federal social service providers.
View the list of VWIP grants.
View the list of HVRP grants.
Resume Blunders - Hiring managers were surveyed to find out the wackiest resume blunders they'd encountered lately. Some of the responses were as follow below:
* Attached a letter from her mother.
* Used pale blue paper with a teddy bears printed border.
* Explained a three-month gap in employment by saying he wa getting over the death of his cat.
* Specified that his availability to work Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays was limited because the weekends are "drinking time."
* Listed hobbies that included sitting on a levee at night watching alligators.
* Explained an arrest record by stating, "We stole a pig, but it was a really small pig."
Source: Harris Interactive for CareerBuilder.com
AnySoldier.com - Have you wanted to do something for our soldiers, but weren't sure where or what to send? Or maybe you don't have a specific service member to send something? You'll be glad to learn more about the AnySoldier.com site. Find a soldier contacts on the 'Where to Send' page. Click through the names and select the one(s) you wish to support. They list what is wanted and needed.
Worldwide Top Ten Wanted Employees - According to a recent BusinessWeek article, employees are in shortage in the following areas.
* Sales representatives
* Plumbers, electricians, and other manual trades
* Lab workers and other technicians
* Accountants and finance experts
* Laborers and factory hands
* Skilled manufacturing workers
* Bus, truck, and taxi drivers
* Senior management
* Machinists and equipment operators
The New UJS Facilitator’s Guide - The Ultimate Job Search for the 21st Century is celebrating its one-year anniversary. With this event, we are announcing the release of the new Facilitator's Guide that now accompanies the series and interactive workbook. If you are using the series in your workshops, in TAP or in small groups, this is the perfect resource for you! The guide comes with session layouts, classroom ideas, necessary material and a wide variety of training modalities which can be used to enhance your Ultimate Job Search workshops. “Our goal with this series is to continue to provide updates and modifications to this series,” Interactive Learning Technology team lead Greg Davis states. “This on-line site allows us to always have the capability to make the series truly updatable and contemporary.”
If you haven’t had the opportunity to utilize the UJS series in your office, now is the time to take advantage of this multiple-award winning series. If you have your UJS already, go to the interactive workbook on-line and you'll see the workbook link on the left side.
Wounded Service Member Newsletter - The Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program Wounded Service Members (CAPWSM) newsletter is available with lots of helpful information and resources. CAP works closely with service members across the nation to ensure they receive appropriate assistive technology for their needs. Accommodations are available for service members with vision or hearing loss, dexterity impairments, including upper-extremity amputees, and communication and cognitive difficulties, including Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI).
*Alert* - FYI, NVTI was notified that the assistive technology help is available only to active duty members or federal civil service employees. Those conducting TAP workshops should notify attendees to use utilize CAPWSM services before they separate. Public Law 109-364 allows wounded service members to retain assistive technology provided by CAP upon separation from active service.
Adding to the List - Last Buzz we asked if anyone had any other resources for federal contractor job listings shown below. Mike Morrow an LVER in Anderson, Indiana tipped us off to the Central Contract Registration site and it's search engine. There are many ways to search, but he recommends doing so by city and state. Thanks, Mike!
Federal Register: www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html
Federal Contractor Program Info: www.dol.gov/vets/contractor/main.htm
VETS 100/Contracting Program Reporting: http://vets.dol.gov/vets100
Veterans' Benefits Online Filling Fast - Want to take NVTI's popular VB Online course? Hurry and get your e-mail sent to Larry Guerrero to indicate your interest and that you have permission to participate. The courses with slots still available are August 13-24 and September 10-21. It is possible that some participants desiring a spot in the course may be wait-listed for future courses.
Latest VETS NET is ready! And it's chock full of great information you can use now. Check it out and let us know how you liked it.
Contractor Job Listings - We've had several requests recently for information or links to federal contractor job listings. The ones we've come across are listed below. If you have other good sites, please let us know.
Federal Register: www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html
Federal Contractor Program Info: www.dol.gov/vets/contractor/main.htm
VETS 100/Contracting Program Reporting: http://vets.dol.gov/vets100
Resumes--One page or two? - Conventional wisdom has said that a one-page resume trumps a two (or more) pager, but is that still true? A recent survey by Accountemps said that 44 percent of executives prefer two-page resumes, up from 25 percent a decade ago. Fifty-two percent still prefer a single-page resume, but that is down from 73 percent 10 years ago. So the take-away lesson? Use your judgement. If you are a recent military separatee, who has not held positions outside the military--a two-page resume is probably not needed. On the other hand, if you are an executive with a 20-year work history, a two-page resume may be more appropriate.
See the tip below, excerpted from the Ultimate Job Search for the 21st Century Interactive Workbook:
Do try to keep your resume to an appropriate page length. In some situations, for instance if you have an enormous amount of pertinent experience, more than one page may be appropriate. In general, employers do not want to read more than one page of concise information.
Keeping Great Employees - What are some of the things employees wish their boss would do for them?
Respect! Why should an employee keep working for a boss that insults or belittles their work? Employees want to be treated with the same basic respect everyone deserves.
Listen! If employers ask for their workers opinions, they should give the opportunity to express their views and actually listen and respond to them. A sure-fire way to kill morale is to ask for opinions and then never discuss them. It's as if they were never solicited at all.
Appreciate! Employees feel more inclined to do better work if they know their work is appreciated and valued by their boss. Good employees make the company look good. Remember and acknowledge those contributions.
Trust! Employers should do what they can to maintain an atmosphere of trust with their workers. When employers say they will do something, they should do it. If a boss says what an employee tells them is confidential, it should remain so. Employers shouldn't play favorites.
Clarifying USERRA 101 - NVTI announced the release of a new interactive e-learning course called "USERRA 101" recently. Many questions have arisen about the site and its use. Below are some answers to the most frequently asked questions:
Do I have to take this course? No. USERRA 101 is a basic introduction to the rules and regulations of USERRA law. ESGR Ombudsman and VETS staff will use the course to learn basic information about USERRA. DVOP and LVER staff may take the course to learn the same information and also learn the referral chain. DVOP and LVER staff do not handle USERRA issues themselves and should encourage the Veteran to contact VETS.
I already took an NVTI e-learning course, but my password and user name are not accepted. This course is not tied in to any other NVTI e-learning course. All users will have to register as a new student to access the material. After the initial registration, users will be able to log in from that point on when they access the site.
I don't handle USERRA cases. Why did I receive this e-mail? USERRA 101 is provided to DVOP and LVER staff as a courtesy. It's an opportunity to learn more about this important law, especially as so many service members return from duty to their civilian lives. Please treat USERRA 101 as a chance to gather more knowledge to enable you to provide referral information to your clients who are Veterans.
Do I get a certificate for completing the course? Yes. After you have successfully completed all assignments, you will have access to a certificate link on the site (under the assignment folder). You can print to your home or office printer. We recommend printing on a nice bond or certificate paper, rather than white.
We hope this clears up some of the confusion. Please contact NVTI if you need further assistance in this matter. Take the e-learning course at USERRA 101. Thanks for all the great feedback we've received so far!
(NOTE: The text version of the Welcome script from Chick Ciccolella and Bob Hollingsworth is now available on the USERRA 101 site.)
Supporting USOs - It seems we think often of how to support our troops around the holidays, but don't forget they need help year-round. From the USO site: "The USO is a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide morale, welfare and recreation-type services to our men and women in uniform. The original intent of Congress — and enduring style of USO delivery — is to represent the American people by extending a touch of home to the military. The USO currently operates more than 130 centers worldwide, including ten mobile canteens located in the continental United States and overseas." Go to the USO site to see the different ways you can help.
Stand Down Grants - HelpAmerica Foundation, LTD, is ready to "Stand UP; Stand Out; and Stand Down" in support of America's Veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
The HelpAmerica Foundation has just announced a Stand Down Grant program that will provide grants from $2,500 to $7,500 to organizations that are conducting Stand Down programs in 2007. Event coordinators should go to www.helpamericafoundation.org and fill out a Grant Application today. Eligible Stand Down programs must be organized by a community-based service organization with a 501© 3 IRS designation, and must be listed on the National Stand Down Registry maintained by the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (www.nchv.org). Events organized by government agencies are not eligible for this program.
The HelpAmerica Foundation is a nonprofit organization that has a goal to improve the quality of life for those who have uncommonly great needs due to circumstances beyond their control.
UJS is a Winner! The National Learning Center (NLC), a University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center department, was the recipient of a New York Film and Video Festival award for its new Ultimate Job Search (UJS) for the 21st Century video series. The award category was Career Guidance/Training and the festival gala was held February 2, in New York City’s Financial District.
UJS Producer-Director Greg Davis attended the festival and notes that this event is for the production companies that are not typically seen on the Emmys or in the type of film-making for the Oscars. Davis said, “With competition from 26 different countries and numerous major production companies such as HBO, NBC, CBS, TNT, ABC and Universal Pictures, this agency, with its small production team, was very honored with this prestigious honor.”
The UJS series, intended for all job seekers, extends into all aspects of looking for a job, such as creating resumes, refining interview skills, and other critical details of job search. Information is also incorporated on how to keep the job once it’s secured and succeeding in the career. The series comes complete with its companion on-line workbook with fill-in-the-blank applications, interactive scenarios, example resumes, fun exercises and simulations. The interactive workbook also includes information for special groups of job seekers, such as Veterans, people with disabilities and people who are homeless.
Nearly 2,000 UJS programs have been distributed to a worldwide audience ranging from Career One Stop centers, Department of Defense facilitators and to schools and universities. The feedback from users has been overwhelmingly positive.
The National Learning Center is home to the highly regarded National Veterans’ Training Institute (NVTI), a contract program from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment & Training Service. NVTI was the producer of the first UJS series in 1995.
Addressing UJS Workbook Questions - The issue of how to access the UJS interactive workbook seems to be a common one. When you received your UJS set, you should have also received a half-sheet page with general information about the series, including the URL for the on-line workbook. If you did not receive the information sheet, call 303-315-2200 and ask for Amanda.
Another common question of UJS users involves giving the workbook address out. When you are presenting a UJS workshop, it is perfectly legitimate to give workshop attendees the workbook address. They may access it during the workshop, if you have computer access, or they may access the site from their homes. The workbook has many interactive exercises that are personalized for the users. Giving the address to workshop attendees is strongly encouraged!
Update Your Information - We've heard from you that the DVOP/LVER Locator is out-of-date. You are our partners in keeping it current, so please take a moment to make sure your information is correct and those of your co-workers. Some extra-helpful states have even sent us lists of their entire current vet reps and we're thankful for that help. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen often enough, so please update us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
DJS - Don't Forget - As part of the successful Ultimate Job Search for the 21st Century, the program Job Search for People with Disabilities (or DJS) was made available on DVD. While this is not an updated release, it is so important that we want to make sure you have a copy as part of your UJS series. Your job seeking clients with disabilities will surely thank you! See the order form for ordering information at nlc.ucdenver.edu/ujs/UJS21_OrderForm2.pdf
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