But too many of our veterans face difficulty making that transition, and too many battle homelessness as a result.
That is why my department just announced 23 grants totaling more than $5.4 million have been awarded to provide homeless veterans with job training aimed at helping them succeed in civilian careers. The grants are being awarded our Veterans’ Employment and Training Service through the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program. We estimate that these funds will help more than 3,000 veterans in communities across the country access the resources they need to find good jobs and build bright futures for themselves and their families.
The grants were awarded on a competitive basis to state and local workforce investment boards, local public agencies and nonprofit organizations, including faith-based and community organizations. These agencies are familiar with the areas and populations to be served and have demonstrated that they can administer effective programs. That’s important. Our goal is to make sure that the money goes to the right organizations–those that know the uniqueness of their community and have a proven record of results.
Grantees serving 15 states will offer occupational, classroom and on-the-job training, as well as job search and placement assistance, including follow-up services for homeless veterans. HVRP is the only federal program that focuses exclusively on employment of veterans who are homeless. Today’s funding includes the following states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, and Washington State.
Grantees under the HVRP program coordinate their efforts with various local, state and federal social service providers. And these grants are the first of a possible four years of annual awards contingent upon satisfactory performance and congressional appropriations.
More information on the Department of Labor’s unemployment and re-employment programs for veterans can be found at http://www.dol.gov/vets.
Do our programs work – you bet!
Take the story of Navy veteran Harold Coleman. The bad economy caused him to lose his home and his property improvement company. He found himself jobless and homeless.
But Coleman’s fortunes turned for the better after enrolling in the U.S. Department of Labor-funded Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program at St. Patrick Center in St. Louis, Mo.
There he was taught about the promise of green jobs, and he worked hard and achieved a certificate as a building energy auditor. His success story has come full circle: he’s now employed as a training instructor teaching energy efficiency to veterans and the unemployed.
Harold Coleman is just one example of how the Labor Department is focused on ensuring that all veterans have easy access to the services and opportunities available to them, and that employers know our vets have the knowledge and skills necessary to make a bottom line difference in the modern workplace.
Hilda L. Solis is the Unites States Secretary of Labor