Hiring Authority for Military Spouses Begins to Take Shape - NOTE: These regulations are proposed and won't be final until after all the comments are in. The Office of Personnel Management on Friday, December 5, 2008, issued draft rules that would provide agencies with special hiring authorities for spouses of military service members. The proposal, published in the Federal Register, would implement an executive order issued by President Bush in September to allow agencies to noncompetitively appoint military spouses to positions in the competitive civil service. Written comments on the proposal are due by January 5, 2009, and can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
VA Suicide Prevention Hotline - It's a sad truth that the holiday season can be an emotionally difficult time for some people, including Veterans. VA launched it's special suicide prevention hotline for Veterans last year and it receives up to 250 calls per day. More than 22,000 Veterans sought counseling from the hotline in its first year, and 1,221 suicides have been averted. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day by calling 800/273-TALK (8255); Veterans should press "1" after being connected.
Gulf War Research Panel Releases Report - From the report: "Gulf War illness, the multisymptom condition resulting from service in the 1990-1991 Gulf War, is the most prominent health issue affecting Gulf War Veterans, but not the only one. The Congressionally mandated Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses has reviewed the extensive evidence now available, including important findings from scientific research and government investigations not considered by earlier panels, to determine what is known about the health consequences of military service in the Gulf War. This evidence identifies the foremost causes of Gulf War illness, describes biological characteristics of this condition, and provides direction for future research urgently needed to improve the health of Gulf War Veterans." Full report available here.
Secretary Chao's Veterans Day Salute Remarks - The Department of Labor held their annual Salute to Veterans celebration on November 6. To review the secretary's remarks, click here.
Treats for Troops - Don't forget our service members around the world who could use some holiday cheer from home. Visit the site Treats for Troops for an easy and safe way to send goodies.
President's Veterans Day Message - On Veterans Day, we pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of the men and women who in defense of our freedom have bravely worn the uniform of the United States....link to full proclamation
VETS NET Newsletter Ready! The latest issue of the VETS NET newsletter is ready for your perusal. It's chock full of great information! Get it here.
New Podcast: Working with Disabilities, Part II - Hosted by NVTI instructors Bret Anderson and Jan Trunce, this second in a two-part series focuses mainly on alternative work proposals. Users will need Internet access and audio capabilities on their computers or to have an MP3 device. See your office's computer support personnel if you need assistance accessing the podcasts. Click here for the podcast site.
SSA Fact Sheet - Wounded Warriors - Check out the Social Security Administration's electronic fact page called "Disability Benefits for Wounded Warriors." It's located at http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10030.html and has information specific to types of benefits and eligibility information.
NVTI Launches New Podcast Site - To help keep our DVOP and LVER audience informed and up-to-date on important issues, NVTI has launched a new podcast website. The first podcast has been uploaded and is ready for your use! Go to http://podcast.nvti.ucdenver.edu/default.aspx and click on the podcast: "Working with Disabilities," the first in a two-part series. Hosts are NVTI instructors Bret Anderson and Jan Trunce. They discuss the needs of Veterans with disabilities and the rise of Veterans with disabilities. Users will need Internet access and audio capabilities on their computers or mp3 device. See your office's computer support personnel if you need assistance accessing the podcasts.
October is National Disability Awareness Month - Each October, Congress has designated the month to be National Disability Awareness Month (NDEAM), in recognition of the contribution of the tremendous contributions people with disabilities make to the American workforce. The 2008 NDEAM theme is "America's People, America's Talent... America's Strength!" For more information, and to read the President's Proclamation, go to the Office of Disability Employment Policy's website.
American Corporate Partners - ACP is a mentoring program that brings transitioning Veterans and corporate partners together. The aim is to help Veterans in their career development paths. ACP is not a job search entity. So far, the program is only available in Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Houston, New York, Norwalk and Philadelphia. If you have clients in these areas, they may be interested in this mentoring program. The application is available at the ACP site.
Cities with the Fastest Wage Growth - Interested in a relocation? What cities offer earnings that at least match the cost of living increase? The CareerBuilder site looked at 200 metropolitan statistical areas in the United States and identified these cities with the fastest wage growth:
College Station-Bryan, Texas
2007 salary growth: 9.5 percent
2007 salary growth: 7.2 percent
New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, Louisiana
2007 salary growth: 6.8 percent
2007 salary growth: 5.9 percent
2007 salary growth: 5.7 percent
Boise City-Nampa, Idaho
2007 salary growth: 5.5 percent
2007 salary growth: 5.4 percent
2007 salary growth: 5.3 percent
2007 salary growth: 5.3 percent
Wilmington, Del.-Md.-New Jersey
2007 salary growth: 5.2 percent
2007 salary growth: 5.2 percent
2007 salary growth: 5.1 percent
Atlantic City, New Jersey
2007 salary growth: 5.1 percent
Santa Rosa-Petaluma, California
2007 salary growth: 5.1 percent
2007 salary growth: 5.1 percent
2007 salary growth: 5.0 percent
America's Heroes at Work Initiative Launches - The U.S. Department of Labor announced a new online resource to help employers in their employment of Veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), two increasingly common battlefield conditions. The new America's Heroes at Work web site provides information about TBI and PTSD as well as tools and guidance on how to implement workplace accommodations and other services that benefit affected individuals. In addition, the web site includes the toll-free phone number of the Job Accommodation Network, which employers can call to receive personal assistance relating to job accommodations for Veterans with disabilities.
America's Heroes at Work website
DOL Press Release
Accessing the ICR for PoS - For more information about the Information Collection Request for Priority of Service, refer to the following pdf from an NVTI Flash email distributed on 8/19/08.
Proposed Rules for Priority of Service - DOL is proposing new regulations to implement priority of service for Veterans and their eligible spouses. The proposed regulations apply to "any workforce preparation, development or delivery program or service that is directly funded, in whole or in part, by the Department of Labor," as provided by the Jobs for Veterans Act (P.L. 107-288), enacted in 2002.
For information and details relating to this subject, see the links below.
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Priority of Service for Veterans and Eligible Spouses - New Regulations
DOL Press Release
Recession-Proof Jobs - Is there such a creature as a recession-proof job? According to BusinessWeek magazine, there are several job fields that seemingly are unaffected by the economic downturn. They are:
Sales representative/business development
Accounting & finance execs
Business analysis (software implementation)
Business analysis (research)
Web Program for Blind Internet Users - Check out the free web-based program for people who are blind. It's called WebAnywhere and makes web surfing accessible on most any computer. Go here to use the web application: webanywhere.cs.washington.edu.
Ruling Expands Veterans' Access to Federal Jobs - A recent decision from the Merit Systems Protection Board could open hundreds of law enforcement and other jobs to Veterans who previously bumped up against age restrictions during the application process [...full article]
VA to Advertise Suicide Hot Line - VA announced a new advertising campaign to target Veterans at risk for suicide. The ads, which will initially only run in the Washington DC area, say, "It takes the courage and strength of a warrior to ask for help," and include the toll-free help line. VA representative Lisette Mondello said that if the program is successful, it will be expanded.
The toll-free Veterans Affairs Department suicide hot line number is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
VETS NET! The latest issue of the e-newsletter is available now. Check it out here and don't forget to let us know what you think of it. We hope it's helpful to you in your important job of serving our Veterans.
Senate Approves Measures for Women Vets - The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee recently approved a plan for improving the care for women Veterans.
"Planning for the wave of new women Veterans is going to be a difficult and complex task, but this bill gets us on the right track," the measure's sponsor, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., told the committee.
Some important aspects of the bill would be to authorize programs to improve care for victims of military sexual trauma, require research studies of the problems unique to women Veterans when seeking VA assistance, and would expand training for service providers.
VA officials previously testified that they'd already taken steps to improve women's health care.
See more about how our women Veterans are faring in the latest VETS NET, "How Are Things for Women Veterans?"
Five Biggest Mistakes - According to a recent survey of recruiting experts by Diversity Inc, here are the five biggest mistakes job applicants make:
-Not researching the company before the interview.
-Inability to articulate needs and desires.
-Being unprofessional in the interview.
-Demonstrating poor communication skills.
-Not keeping personal or negative comments out of the interview.
Pass along these tips to your job-seeking customers!
Job Search Reminders - Using References - One of the most common things that seems to come up in talking to employers about different things job seekes do, relates to references. Specifically--references that don't know they're being used as references!
From the Ultimate Job Search for the 21st Century, comes some good general tips:
General Reference Guidelines
First and foremost, contact your references for permission before listing them. No one wants to receive a call out of the blue, asking to discuss your character or ability. It's a nice touch to contact your references and meet with them in person to discuss the possibility of using them. Don't assume your reference will immediately recall your accomplishments or work style. You may need to remind them in what capacity they have worked or known you.
You might consider keeping in periodic contact with your references. They might be helpful to you in the future.
Print your reference sheet on the same nice, bond paper that your cover letter, resume and salary history (if requested) information is printed on.
List references first and last name, their title (if appropriate), address and telephone number. Add an e-mail address, if your reference feels comfortable giving one.
VA Starts Next Phase in Reaching Out - VA announced recently it has completed making calls to Veterans potentially identified as being ill or injured from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF-OIF), and will immediately begin targeting over 500,000 OEF-OIF Veterans who have been discharged from active duty but have not contacted VA for health care.
"We promised to reach out to every OEF and OIF Veteran to let them know we are here for them -- and we are making real progress in doing so," said Dr. James B. Peake, Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
In the new phase, beginning today, Veterans who have not accessed health care from VA will be called by the contractor-operated "Combat Veteran Call Center" and informed of the benefits and services available to them. Additionally, military personnel received information about VA benefits when they left active duty, and the Department had sent every Veteran a letter with this information after their discharge.
"VA is focused on getting these Veterans the help they need and deserve," said Secretary Peake. "I expect these calls to make a real difference in many Veterans' lives." See the complete press release at www.va.gov.
America's Job Exchange Contractor List - Want to receive a daily list of federal contract job opportunities? Email your address to email@example.com, including the state in which you work and a note that you'd like to recieve this list. So far, this service is only available for statewide lists. And while you're at it, don't forget to check out the AJE site. Looks like a great resource for your customers.
2008 Workforce Innovations Conference - Join your colleagues at Workforce Innovations 2008 in New Orleans, July 15-17. Take the time to engage in a variety of topics ranging from globalization and the innovative economy to leveraging resources for increased impact, as well as many others. Register now at www.workforceinnovations.org and see an informational page here.
Report on Hiring Upper-Level Federal Employees - A survey by the Merit Systems Protection Board, titled, “In Search of Highly Skilled Workers: a Study of the Hiring of Upper Level Employees from Outside the Federal Government,” note that agencies are making more hires from outside the government sector. Check out this 67-page report here.
88% of Companies Planning Cuts - According to a study by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), "88% of companies surveyed plan to implement cost-cutting measures within a year. When asked about how companies are planning to reduce costs, a full 87% of respondents said they are considering improving efficiency to a moderate, high or very high degree. Seventy-one percent said they are considering cutting discretionary spending to the same degree, and 65% are considering seeking lower costs from vendors. By contrast, just 33% said their organizations are planning to reduce head count to the same degree." More info at www.i4cp.com.
2008 Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents - The latest edition of the ultimate handbook for Veterans and those who assist them is available for download from the Department of Veterans Affairs. This is a 153-page document. See it here!
Job Search Tips for People With Disabilities - Are you seeing more service members returning from conflict with disabilities? Then you need to have this exceptional resource in your library! This special video presentation was created by NVTI’s Media Group to address the skills and techniques necessary for job seekers who have disabilities in conducting a successful job search. Subjects discussed are when and how to disclose a disability, accommodation issues, preparing for the interview and answering difficult questions relating to disability concerns. This 17-minute award winning program is available on DVD or VHS and comes with a job seeker workbook. The program cost is just $15. Order this resource using the UJS Order Form.
Jobsaurus - Check out this cool feature from the TAOnline (Transition Assistance Online) site. Type in a job title and Jobsaurus will give job seekers descriptive information to help formulate objective statements. Employers can use the function to help write job descriptions. Try it out here.
TAP Facilitator Slides Changes - NVTI noticed that the slides for use in the TAP workshops looked great, but lacked consistency in layout, title size/color, etc. Check out the TAP Facilitator site to download the updated slides. Remember, only the formatting has been altered on these slides. NO CONTENT changes were made.
Number of Homeless Vets Drops - According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the number of homeless Veterans has dropped from 195,000 to 154,000. That number is still 154,000 too many homeless US Veterans, but it is 21 percent fewer than the reported last year. See VA's press release here.
Handling Stress - A recent survey of employers by Manpower, Inc., indicated a decline in hiring by employers. How do you help your job seeking customers combat stress as they deal with hiring slowdowns? From the Ultimate Job Search for the 21st Century, check out this list of helpful suggestions.
IRS Stimulus Payment Information - The United States Congress passed and President Bush signed into law the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 which provides for economic stimulus payments to be made to over 130 million American households. The payments will begin in May 2008. However, to receive a stimulus payment one must file a 2007 federal income tax return. Check out this Form 1040A pdf for instructions and information.
22nd National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic - More than 450 disabled Veterans, including nearly 120 injured in OIF/OEF, will ski in the rehabilitation clinic at Snowmass Village, Colorado starting March 30. The clinic is open to US military Veterans with certain disabilities. At the clinic, all participants are able to develop winter sports skills and take part in a variety of adaptive workshops, which demonstrate that having a physical or visual disability need not be an obstacle to an active, rewarding life.
For more information go to VA's Winter Sports Clinic page.
VETS NET Newsletter Ready! Check out the latest edition for helpful resources and news you can use. Then be sure to complete the newsletter evaluation and let us know what you thought of it.
Homeless Veterans Coordinator Listing- A 2007 report from the National Alliance to End Homelessness, cited numbers from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the US Census Bureau to assert that Veterans make up one in four homeless people in the US. The problem crosses age lines and impacts Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as earlier conflicts. Get your referral network lined up for working with homeless Veterans from your state and others. Bookmark this helpful coordinator listing.
Tips for a Successful Job Hunt - From the Wall Street Journal, comes some ideas for searching for jobs online:
* Fine-tune your employment objective so you can use niche web resources such as industry-specific job sites.
* Be organized, keeping track of the resources you use and the people with whom you speak.
* Be prepared to talk to recruiters at any moment and keep a copy of your resume handy.
* Don't post anything online, including in blogs and discussion boards, that you wouldn't want an employer to see.
* Don't seek jobs leads or advice from people in your network without also offering yourself as a resource to them.
* Don't stress over the length of resumes, since recruiters typically view them on a computer screen. (NVTI note: This is true, but keep in mind that a recruiter viewing many, many resumes may start to close out of the ones that scroll on and on and on. Take the space you need to get your highlights across, but don't unnecessarily run on just because you can!)
Popular Resource Updated (Revised 1/16/08)- A much downloaded and requested item in NVTI's Resource Library has been updated and is available for your use! This compilation of important, user-friendly and helpful sites will be of great use to you as you help Veterans locate and utilize services. Check out NVTI 2008 Web Sites now. (Word document)
Is UJS in Your Library? 2007 was a great year for the Ultimate Job Search for the 21st Century series. So many of the offices, agencies and departments out there requested and are using this helpful program and interactive workbook. An equally impressive number of you are also utilizing the Job Search Tips for People with Disabilities program. Do you have your copies of these essential tools for Veterans and other job seekers? If not, check out the UJS site and request yours now. It's never too late to kick up your assistance to all job seekers!
New VA Secretary - James B. Peake was recently sworn in as the sixth Secretary of Veterans Affairs. To read Secretary Peake's biography, click here.
Keeping Bad Workers - The CareerBuilder site listed some reasons bad employees may be kept on the job rather than be fired. Some of those reasons are:
The boss doesn't want to go through the hiring process.
The employee has a relationship with someone higher up.
The boss relies on the employee.
The boss thinks it could be worse.
The boss feels sorry for the employee.