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.
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 Today, only 7 percent are eligible under the outdated salary level.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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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 Service, testified 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.