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Supporting Military Service Members and Their Families in the Workplace

We had the honor of having Mika Cross, Director of Communications for the U.S. Department of Labor’s VETS program on our Mom Corps YOU podcast this month to talk about services available, and how businesses can best support our military service members (current and former) and their family members.

Military members are highly skilled individuals who often face a unique set of challenges when integrating into the civilian workforce. Some of the challenges the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs lists are: relating to people who don’t know what a military member has really gone through, returning to say a desk job just days after leaving the combat zone, living and working in an environment with less structure, providing or choosing basic necessities (from choosing a doctor, where to eat, or even what to wear), or learning new skills. For their family members, they are faced with the challenge of frequent moves and juggling everyday life while handling the stress of having a loved one in the military. You can find the results of Blue Star Families Military Family Lifestyle Survey here. It looks at the biggest challenges faced by military members and their families.

 Blue Star Families Lifestyle Survey 

The mission of the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) program, is to:

Prepare veterans, service members and their spouses for rewarding careers.

Provide employment resources.

Protect their employment rights.

Promote employment opportunities.

They are doing this through providing assistance and education. They’re engaging with them before they begin their transition into civilian life, providing a lifetime of support, mobilizing communities to establish programs, ending homelessness, and addressing the skills gap that exists through classroom, occupational and on-the-job training.

As a result of these efforts (and many others), the unemployment rate for veterans is nearly one third of where it was at in 2011, and one percent below the non-veteran rate (3.4% for veterans vs 4.4% for non-veterans as of May 2016).

 Veteran Unemployment May 2016

Where can one turn for help as a veteran looking for work, as a family member, or as an employer looking to hire a military service member? We have a list of resources on our website, and is a rich resource for all. On you can find a job center near you, a military to civilian skills translator, resources to aid you in writing your resume, training information, support specifically for women veterans through the Women Veteran Program…and more. For employers, the link to the Office of Strategic Outreach can connect you to Veteran Employment Coordinators who partner with you to hire, train and/or create a program to support military veterans, service members and/or their families.

Want to learn more? Listen to the full podcast with Mika here.

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