The U.S Department of Veterans Affairs has added Indianapolis to its list of participants in a nationwide effort to boost education and employment for former service members. The Veterans Economic Communities Initiative involves assigning a VA economic liaison to the community to work to expand collaboration among vet-focused training, work and education organizations in the public and private sectors.
The department says these partnerships will offer innovative opportunities to help vets "gain competitive career skills and knowledge" in fields that are in-demand locally. Indy’s program is set to launch early next year. It will serve vets and their families.
The VA says the VECI will create "scalable, sustainable models" within each community during the next two years. Details include:
- Developing ongoing public-private partnerships focused on employment and economic opportunities;
- Fostering employer networking and encouraging hiring commitments on the Veterans Employment Center (www.ebenefits.va.gov/jobs);
- Supporting events such as career fairs, job and employment summits and roundtables to boost economic competitiveness for Veterans;
- Sharing best practices and training and supporting employers who are considering hiring Veterans;
- Facilitating the development of learning or resource hubs to help connect Veterans to economic opportunities including entrepreneurship, credentialing and skills building.
VA Secretary Robert McDonald says "history has shown that when you give Veterans an opportunity to succeed, they go above and beyond. And we as a nation owe them those opportunities to succeed. There is a tremendous amount of goodwill from the American people towards Veterans; they want to help. Through public-private partnerships like those formed and harnessed by VA’s Economic Communities Initiative, we will now be able to provide better networks and tools to Veterans in 50 communities nationwide."