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The Buzz Archive


Previous Buzz Items: 2016

    June

  • 6/2 Lifting Burdens One Pound Cake at a Time
    After serving eight years in the Army in a logistics role, Steven returned home to Milwaukee in the 1980s but struggled to maintain steady employment, housing and the means to support his young family.

    In the 1990s, with the support of his wife and daughter, he began “Kitchen Sweets,” a part-time business baking and selling pound cakes. “I baked as a hobby using my grandmother’s recipe and my motto is ‘When grandma hasn’t got time,’” Steven said.

    Read more at DoL Blog.

  • 6/2 Ending Veteran Homelessness: A Team Effort
    Partners from all over the federal government, advocacy groups and the private sector work to combat veterans’ homelessness. At this year’s opening plenary session of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, I had the opportunity to speak with a remarkable group of people who support our nation’s veterans and help folks like Cliff get back on the right track.

    The challenges that face veterans don’t exist in a vacuum, so neither can the solutions. Health, housing, education, transportation and job opportunities are all links in the chain, and we must fortify every link by working together.

    Read more at DoL Blog.

    May

  • 5/20 VETS May 2016 Newsletter
    I truly believe workers perform best when they have the training and skills needed for the work they do. In fact, I’m proof of it. I got my start as an apprentice in a paper mill in my home state, Maine. Through the program I learned valuable trade and soft skills that I’ve carried with me from the mill to The Hill. So when a Veteran — who comes to the civilian workforce already equipped with a variety of skills — seeks opportunities to grow their job skills, one of the best, most effective ways to do so is through a Registered Apprenticeship. The Labor Department’s ApprenticeshipUSA program offers workers opportunities to earn a salary while learning new skills necessary to succeed in high-demand careers. The program helps employers recruit and develop a highly skilled workforce while providing opportunities for tax credits and employee tuition benefits in some states.

    Read more: DoL Newsletter.

  • 5/19 Middle Class Work Deserves Middle Class Wages
    Today, the Department of Labor announced a significant change to the overtime rule that simply hasn’t been working for working people. In the process, we’re making it simpler for employers to identify which white-collar workers are covered and owed time-and-a-half for work beyond 40 hours in a week.

    For decades, the salary threshold under which all white-collar, salaried workers qualify for overtime has failed to keep up with the rising cost of living. In 1975, 62 percent of full-time salaried workers were eligible for overtime protection based on their pay. Today, only 7 percent are eligible under the outdated salary level. The current salary level is so low that it does not effectively identify which white-collar workers are entitled to overtime protection. That is an economy out of balance.

    So we’re fixing it. We have more than doubled the salary threshold—lifting it from $23,660 to $47,476 per year. That means some 35 percent of full-time salaried workers, based on their pay, will now be eligible for overtime.

    Read more at DoL Blog.

  • 5/13 The Key for Successful Veterans: Michael Michaud believes strongly that building better relationships is the key to improving job placement, training, housing and other issues facing America’s veterans. Traveling to Chicago and Milwaukee recently, the assistant secretary of labor for veterans’ employment and training met with veterans, employers and nonprofits, as well as federal, state and local government officials who serve former members of the armed forces. “We need to continue to build relationships with veterans and services agencies and improve the services we provide in our outreach to veterans,” Michaud said. “As unemployment rates drop, we want to continue to emphasize placing veterans and their spouses in career jobs and coordinating our efforts.” While in the Midwest, Michaud hosted listening roundtables with stakeholders, toured the Southeast Wisconsin Comprehensive Job Center and spoke at the 2nd Annual Muster at the Bunker in Chicago, where veterans collaborate on entrepreneurship. He also visited the Center for Veterans Issues in Milwaukee and National Able Network in Chicago, which are providing assistance to homeless and at-risk veterans through department-sponsored Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program grants.

    Via DoL in Action.

  • 5/9 ASVET Mike Michaud visited NVTI!
    On Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016, Assistant Secretary of Labor for VETS, Mike Michaud, stopped by the NVTI offices in Denver to meet with participants and staff. He had a meeting with NVTI staff and leadership, met with all of the classes in session, and then rounded off his visit by hosting a town hall style meeting with all NVTI participants present at the time. Thank you to all participants for taking part in the meeting and for helping to make Mr. Michaud's visit a constructive and successful one.

    Please enjoy this slideshow of photos from the town hall meeting.

  • 5/6 NVTI News Flash: VETS Monthly Employment Overview – April 2016
    The Veterans' Employment & Training Service's (VETS) has released its monthly Veteran Employment Update, which is a review of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' monthly Economic News Release.  The update includes unemployment information by veteran status, gender, and post-9/11 Era service, as well as state-by-state data and growth of industry sectors nationwide.  Also included are graphs showing unemployment trends over the last 24 months.

    Good News for Veterans!
    In April, the veteran unemployment rate decreased from last month’s result of 4.5% to 3.9%, once again maintaining a lower level than the overall unemployment rate.  This continues a 24-month trend with a single exception, when veteran unemployment was 0.1% higher than overall unemployment in December 2015.  Additionally, the unemployment rate for veterans 18-24 years of age decreased from the April 2015 result of 15.8% to 6.3%.

    A Cautionary Note on Sample Size
    As we state in the document, some of these figures do not meet the Bureau of Labor Statistics' standards for publishing.  This is due to the relatively small sample size of subpopulations of veterans, most notably female veterans and veterans ages 18-24.  As a result of the small sample size, there is volatility in the monthly numbers.  As opposed to generalizing monthly results to the overall population, BLS recommends reviewing employment trends over several months to gain a better understanding of the employment situation for veterans.

    If you have any questions, you may contact Nancy Michelle Chevalier.  

    We hope you find this information helpful.
    Read the full report.

  • 5/2 The Veterans Employment Resources You Need
    Assistant Secretary of Labor for VETS, Mike Michaud, has announced a one-stop hub for resources available to veterans for employment needs.

    "Five months ago when I joined the Labor Department’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service, I vowed to work every day to make sure our veterans have the resources they need to get good jobs. That includes fostering strong relationships with our government and private sector partners to build better networks of services for our veterans.

    ...Today, I am pleased to share with you the best starting point to build a better network of resources: our virtual, one-stop online employment services website, Veterans.gov. The site brings together job banks, state employment offices, American Job Centers, opportunities in top trending industry sectors and tools for employers."

    Read more at DoL Blog.

    April

  • 4/21 Talking Veterans' Preference on the Hill
    While the employment situation for many veterans continues to improve, the department understands that there is still more we can do to help veterans find meaningful civilian employment. On April 21, Mike Michaud, the assistant secretary of labor who heads the Veterans’ Employment and Training Servicetestified in front of his former colleagues at the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity. Michaud discussed the department’s performance with a responsibility to veterans’ preference in federal government hiring, highlighting the increase in its veteran workforce from 20.6 percent to 21.4 percent during the past fiscal year. “Veterans are some of our strongest and most capable employees in the public workforce, and we are committed to making sure that they have a place at the Department of Labor and that their preference rights are not violated,” Michaud said.

    Via DoL in Action.

  • 4/15 VETS April 2016 Newsletter
    All of us at the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service take great pride in the positive overall employment trends for veterans. But, we know that as long as one veteran hasn’t found a meaningful civilian career, we still have work to do. That is why we continue to refine our services and resources for veterans, transitioning service members, and their families. That is also why we are dedicated to fostering strong relationships with our government and private sector partners to help build better networks of services for our veterans.

    Read more: DoL Newsletter.

  • 4/14 Veterans' Employment Discussion on the Hill
    The department is constantly working with Congress to ensure that veterans have the resources they need to successfully compete in the civilian workforce. On April 13, Veterans’ Employment and Training Service’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Operations and Management Sam Shellenberger testified before the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.  Shellenberger appeared before its Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity regarding a collection of pending legislation and proposals impacting veterans’ employment. “The improving employment situation for veterans is a resounding testament to the impact of our federal programs and the nationwide response from public and private stakeholders acting nationally and within local communities,” Shellenberger said.

    Via DoL in Action.

    4/8 On the Road to Promote Our Veterans
    Spreading the message of the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service is important to fulfilling its mission to help American veterans find meaningful civilian employment. With that in mind, Assistant Secretary of Labor for VETS Mike Michaud traveled to Missouri, Illinois and Kentucky recently to visit three American Job Centers and Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program grantee St. Patrick’s Center. Michaud also made a joint appearance with acting Secretary of the Army Patrick Murphy at the Mid-America Trucking Show and delivered remarks at a meeting of the Veterans Affairs Committee of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies. “I see the state workforce agencies as a key partner in the VETS mission,” Michaud said at the conference. “I’m encouraged by what we have been able to accomplish together and what we can do in the future on behalf of our service members, veterans and their families.”

    Via DoL in Action.

  • 4/1 NVTI News Flash: VETS Monthly Employment Overview – March 2016
    Attached, please find the Veterans' Employment & Training Service's (VETS) monthly Veteran Employment Update, which is a review of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' monthly Economic News Release.  The update includes unemployment information by veteran status, gender, and post-9/11 Era service, as well as state-by-state data and growth of industry sectors nationwide.  Also included are graphs showing unemployment trends over the last 24 months.

    Good News for Veterans!
    In March, the veteran unemployment rate maintained a lower level than the overall unemployment rate.  This continues a 24-month trend with a single exception, when veteran unemployment was 0.1% higher than overall unemployment in December 2015.

    A Cautionary Note on Sample Size
    As we state in the document, some of these figures do not meet the Bureau of Labor Statistics' standards for publishing.  This is due to the relatively small sample size of subpopulations of veterans, most notably female veterans and veterans ages 18-24.  As a result of the small sample size, there is volatility in the monthly numbers.  As opposed to generalizing monthly results to the overall population, BLS recommends reviewing employment trends over several months to gain a better understanding of the employment situation for veterans.

    If you have any questions, you may contact Nancy Michelle Chevalier.

    We hope you find this information helpful.
    Read the full report.

    March

  • 3/23 Another Year of Progress for Veterans
    The department’s commitment to serving transitioning service members, veterans and families is evident in the release of the Employment Situation of Veterans by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here are some of the highlights from the 2015 data:

    1. The unemployment rate for all veterans has consistently been below the unemployment rate for non-veterans. The total veteran unemployment rate was 4.6 percent, compared to the nonveteran unemployment rate (for individuals 18 years and older) of 5.2 percent.

    2. The unemployment rate for veterans age 24 and younger was 6.0 percent, compared to the 9.7 percent unemployment rate for non-veterans of the same age.

    3. The national unemployment rate for male veterans declined to 4.5 percent in 2015. The national unemployment rate for women veterans has been statistically equivalent to that of non-veteran women for the last three years.

    4. The labor force participation rate for Gulf War II veterans is just above 80 percent, compared to a non-veteran labor force participation rate of 65.4 percent

    Read more: DoL Blog.

  • 3/23 VETS March 2016 Newsletter
    The month of March is an exciting time for us at the Veterans' Employment & Training Service (VETS). March is a time for honoring and commemorating Women’s History Month and VETS is pleased to highlight the service of women veterans, as part of the national theme “Women of Service.” We began our celebration with a special social media campaign to honor and highlight women who served and it continues until the end of the month.

    Read more: DoL Newsletter.

  • 3/22 The Unemployment Rate for Veterans is the Lowest in Seven Years
    The unemployment rate for American veterans fell to the lowest level in seven years in 2015, a reflection of an improving jobs market alongside programs to put servicemen and women to work.

    The unemployment rate for all veterans was 4.6% last year, the Labor Department said Tuesday, matching the rate in 2008. By comparison, the figure was 5.2% for nonveterans ages 20 and over.

    Read More: Wall Street Journal.

  • 3/18 Valuing Women Veterans
    The department is committed to expanding opportunities for all veterans, including women who have served our country. To commemorate Women’s History Month, Terry Gerton, deputy assistant secretary of labor for veterans’ employment and training, joined a panel discussion sponsored by the U.S. Army Women’s Foundation. The organization’s 8th annual summit was held on March 15 at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, D.C. During the discussion, Gerton noted the positive statistics surrounding the employment of women veterans, highlighted department programs and resources, and offered tips on where to find local in-person resources to help with career networking, interviewing and resume-writing.  “Helping women veterans be more successful in the workplace requires helping all women be successful in the workplace,” Gerton said. “That means implementing programs like equal pay, minimum wage increases, family leave and affordable child care.”

    Via DoL in Action.

  • 3/15 Vet 'Lives Out Dream' of Serving Others in New Career
    It might sound strange, but Edwin Sostre will tell you that losing his job led him to his professional passion and purpose. In January 2008, the former Air Force sergeant and newly single father of two boys moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, after accepting a position as a technician for Comcast Cable. Four years later, a reduction in force at the company left him unemployed and feeling hopeless.

    After nine years of military service that included tours in Grenada, Panama and Operation Desert Storm, Edwin found himself in unfamiliar territory – unable to pay rent and in danger of losing their home. Having sole responsibility for his children added more stress to the situation.

    Read More: DOL Blog.

  • 3/11 Giving Veterans a Lift
    During a visit to Columbia, S.C., on March 8, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans’ Employment and Training Mike Michaud toured Fast Forward, a non profit corporation that helps homeless veterans obtain useful technology and business skills to re-enter the workforce. Fast Forward is a grantee of the department’s Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program, which provides services to assist homeless veterans seeking employment. Michaud toured the facility with Columbia Mayor Stephen Benjamin and Police Chief Skip Holbrook. After meeting with local veterans and discussing issues surrounding veterans’ employment, bicycles donated by the Columbia Police Department – for transportation to and from work – were presented to two newly hired veterans.

    Via DoL in Action.

  • 3/4 Partnerships Pay Off in Effort to End Veteran Homelessness
    On any given night, an estimated 50,000 Veterans are living on the streets.   Veterans who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless can call or visit their local VA Medical Center or Community Resource and Referral Center where VA staff and community partners are ready to help.

    Randy got help when a coordinator from the homeless outreach program came to where he was staying and asked if there were any Veterans.

    “I raised my hand, and that changed my whole life. They starting looking for us, for a place to live,” he recalled.  “They just did a whole bunch of stuff that I couldn’t have done.”

    Read More: VAntage Point (VA Blog).

  • 3/4: NVTI News Flash: VETS Monthly Employment Overview – February 2016
    The Veterans' Employment & Training Service's (VETS) has released its monthly Veteran Employment Update, which is a review of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' monthly Economic News Release.  The update includes unemployment information by veteran status, gender, and post-9/11 Era service, as well as state-by-state data and growth of industry sectors nationwide.  Also included are graphs showing unemployment trends over the last 24 months.

    Good News for Veterans!
    In February, the veteran unemployment rate maintained a lower level than the overall unemployment rate.  This continues a 24-month trend with a single exception, when veteran unemployment was 0.1% higher than overall unemployment in December 2015.

    Special Note Regarding State Data (Table 3)
    Each month, we report the Local Area Unemployment Statistics data by state.  For this release, we would typically release the January 2016 data.  However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has announced a delay in the release of January data until March 14, 2016.  For today’s overview, we are re-releasing the December state data.  Next month, we anticipate releasing the February state data.  More information on this data set can be found here.

    A Cautionary Note on Sample Size
    As we state in the document, some of these figures do not meet the Bureau of Labor Statistics' standards for publishing.  This is due to the relatively small sample size of subpopulations of veterans, most notably female veterans and veterans ages 18-24.  As a result of the small sample size, there is volatility in the monthly numbers.  As opposed to generalizing monthly results to the overall population, BLS recommends reviewing employment trends over several months to gain a better understanding of the employment situation for veterans.

    If you have any questions, you may contact Dennis Johnson

    We hope you find this information helpful.
    Read the full report.

  • 3/4 Jumping at the Chance to Help Our Veterans
    Recently, in partnership with the U.S. Army Parachute Team, also known as the Golden Knights, and the Soldier For Life program, I jumped out of an airplane as a demonstration of my commitment to assisting transitioning service members and their families prepare for and find meaningful civilian employment following military service. I trusted the Army training of the Golden Knights to get us safely to the landing zone, just as I hope they’ll trust the Department of Labor when it comes time for them to transition out of the military into civilian employment.

    The entire team at VETS is equally committed to serving our veterans, transitioning service members and their families, especially when they need to focus on the next phase of their career within the civilian sector.

    Read More: Department of Labor Blog.

    February

  • 2/26 Check Out NVTI's Homeless Veteran Webinars
    NVTI has created a series of seven webinars that focus on helping veterans to overcome homelessness and find sustainable employment. Topics range from engaging with employers to assisting veterans who are ex offenders. Don't miss out on this free, valuable resource that will help you to assist the unemployed veteran population in your agency.

    NVTI Homeless Veteran Webinars

  • 2/22 Department Announces the Availability of $13M in Grants to Help Thousands of Veterans Overcome Homelessness, Secure Employment
    The U.S. Department of Labor announces the availability of Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program funding of $13 million to provide an estimated 6,000 veterans with job-driven training for in-demand jobs to help them successfully transition from homelessness to sustainable housing and good civilian jobs. Homeless veterans may receive occupational, classroom and on-the-job training, as well as job search and placement assistance, including follow-up services.

    Read More: Department of Labor News Brief.

  • 2/19 Connecting Veterans with Good Jobs
    The American Job Center network is a valuable resource for job-seeking veterans looking to gain access to key federal programs and local resources. To highlight these important centers and engage with local veterans, elected officials, service providers and business leaders, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans’ Employment and Training Mike Michaud recently traveled to Nevada and California. On Feb. 16, Michaud joined Rep. Dina Titus for a tour and roundtable discussion at Nevada JobConnect, an American Job Center in Las Vegas. The following day, he visited the Riverside Workforce Development Center, an American Job Center in Riverside, Calif., for another tour and roundtable discussion with Rep. Mark Takano.

    Via DoL in Action.

  • 2/12 Help for Transitioning Service Members
    American Job Centers are vital to helping veterans find meaningful civilian employment. On Feb. 8, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans’ Employment and Training Mike Michaud joined New York Rep. Kathleen Rice for a tour of HempsteadWorks, an American Job Center in Hempstead, N.Y. “American Job Centers like HempsteadWorks are a vital resource when it comes to finding meaningful employment for our veterans and their families,” Michaud told government officials and veterans’ advocates during a roundtable discussion. “The employment picture for a vast majority of our veterans is extremely positive, but there’s always more work to do.”

    Via DoL in Action.

  • 2/5: NVTI News Flash: VETS Monthly Employment Overview – January 2016
    The Veterans' Employment & Training Service's (VETS) has released their monthly Veteran Employment Update, which is a review of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' monthly Economic News Release.  The update includes unemployment information by veteran status, gender, and post-9/11 Era service, as well as state-by-state data and growth of industry sectors nationwide.  Also included are graphs showing unemployment trends over the last 24 months.

    Good News for Veterans!
    In January, the veteran unemployment rate returned to a lower level than the overall unemployment rate.  This continues a 24-month trend with a single exception, when veteran unemployment was 0.1% higher than overall unemployment in December 2015.

    A Cautionary Note on Sample Size
    As we state in the document, some of these figures do not meet the Bureau of Labor Statistics' standards for publishing.  This is due to the relatively small sample size of subpopulations of veterans, most notably female veterans and veterans ages 18-24.  As a result of the small sample size, there is volatility in the monthly numbers.  As opposed to generalizing monthly results to the overall population, BLS recommends reviewing employment trends over several months to gain a better understanding of the employment situation for veterans.

    If you have any questions, you may contact Dennis Johnson

    We hope you find this information helpful.
    Read the full report.

    January

  • 1/22: TAP Gives Veterans a Lift
    Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans’ Employment and Training Mike Michaud visited Marine Corps Headquarters Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on Jan. 15 for the department’s Employment Workshop portion of a Transition Assistance Program class. Made up of service members from the Marine Corps, Army, Navy and Air Force, the class provided useful information about using veterans preference to apply for jobs, writing resumes, interviewing and developing a professional image. Michaud reminded participants of the resources available at Veterans.gov and emphasized the role of the American Job Center for employment assistance.

    Via DoL in Action.

  • 1/19: Highlights from the VETS January newsletter
    As we begin 2016, I am pleased to report that the employment situation for veterans continues to improve. The annual veteran unemployment rate, reported this month for 2015, remained lower than the rate for non-veterans for the fifth consecutive year!

    2015 saw significant improvement in the employment picture for particular groups of veterans, including Post 9/11 veterans who ended the year with an unemployment rate of 5.7%, and female veterans who ended the year with an unemployment rate of 2.9%. We recognize the significance of our ongoing commitment to serving transitioning military members, veterans and their families, and the difference it makes.

    Read the full newsletter: VETS January Newsletter.

  • 1/14: New VETS’ Chief Tours Job Center, Homeless Shelter
    Mike Michaud, who took office in December as assistant secretary of labor to head the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service, recently hit the road and headed to Florida’s eastern coast. Along with Rep. Corrine Brown, Michaud visited Gateway CareerSource, an American Job Center facility in Jacksonville. After participating in a roundtable discussion with federal, state and local veterans employment stakeholders, he moved on to the Sulzbacher Center, an emergency shelter for homeless individuals and families, including veterans. Michaud’s last stop featured a tour of Jacksonville’s Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program and Florida Department of Military Affairs as well as a meeting with Mayor Lenny Curry. Jacksonville is a past award recipient of the department’s HVRP funding, and has worked with VETS since 2007.

    Via DoL in Action.

  • 1/14: When the Wounded Warrior Comes Home
    How is the disabled veterans issue shaping laws and policymaking? That was one of the key questions explored by legal scholars, teachers and administrators who gathered recently for the Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting in New York City. Jennifer Sheehy, deputy assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy, was among the event’s presenters. She spoke about several relevant department policy initiatives, including the 2014 updates to the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act. “One of the most — if not the most — important ways we as a nation can express appreciation for our veterans is to make sure they can put their hard-earned skills and real-world experience to work once they enter civilian life,” said Sheehy.

    Via DoL in Action.

  • 1/8: NVTI News Flash:VETS Monthly Employment Overview – December 2015
    The Veterans' Employment & Training Service (VETS) has released the monthly Veteran Employment Update, which is a review of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' monthly Economic News Release.  The update includes unemployment information by veteran status, gender, and post-9/11 Era service, as well as state-by-state data and growth of industry sectors nationwide.  Also included are graphs showing unemployment trends over the last 24 months.

    A Cautionary Note on Sample Size
    As we state in the document, some of these figures do not meet the Bureau of Labor Statistics' standards for publishing.  This is due to the relatively small sample size of subpopulations of veterans, most notably female veterans and veterans ages 18-24.  As a result of the small sample size, there is volatility in the monthly numbers.  As opposed to generalizing monthly results to the overall population, BLS recommends reviewing employment trends over several months to gain a better understanding of the employment situation for veterans.

    If you have any questions, you may contact Dennis Johnson

    We hope you find this information helpful.
    Read the full report.

 
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