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January / February 2008

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ETABO COMMITTEE REPORT
Where We Stand In 2008

BY ALAN GIBSON, CHAIR
It is the start of a new calendar year and the ETaBO Committee hopes that everyone had a safe and happy holiday season. It is also our hope that we are refreshed and ready to move forward in helping ourselves and our fellow veterans in the quest for meaningful jobs at living wages. With that in mind, let us look at what is going on in the three areas of Employment, Training, and Business Opportunity.

EMPLOYMENT
VetJobs is now averaging more than 24,500 jobs a day representing some 1,000 employers who are active daily on the site. These are all quality jobs with good employers who want to hire transitioning military, veterans, and their family members. Just log onto www.vetjobs.com, enter your resumé, keep your resumé current, and search for jobs. Remember: This site is run by a disabled veteran-owned business that does not charge veterans for its services.

The Chair was honored to represent VVA at the initial meeting of the Veterans Outreach Advisory Council for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in December. The Council is seeking assistance from VSOs in getting veterans into the workforce. DHS includes border patrol and airport security, and also has openings in the science and technology fields, and administrative support jobs. For a list of openings, go to www.dhs.gov/xabout/careers

TRAINING
Not much is new in the training arena. But as a reminder, check with VA Vocational Rehabilitation personnel or visit them at www.va.gov

Unfortunately, as of this writing the three Veterans Business Resource Centers (in Boston, Mass.; Flint, Mich.; and St. Louis, Mo.) that have been providing training for those who wish to go into business (and hire other veterans) have not been funded by Veterans Corp. They are among some ninety groups competing for grants to fund programs for veterans. Not all applications for these grants are veteran-owned corporations.

Veterans Corp., which is funded with your tax dollars (check out PL 106-50 on http://thomas.loc.gov), says it is not sure how much will be done for veterans until its budget is approved. However, you can bet that the first $165,000 will pay the director’s salary. If you think this is not fair to veterans, let your members of Congress know. One program that was scheduled to start in St. Louis would have trained one hundred disabled veterans a year to work from home.

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY
As of last November 30, the Patriot Express Loan program had in five months made 637 loans with 708 banks. The loans added up to $65 million. About half went to veterans, with the rest going to spouses, reservists, and newly discharged service members.

No matter what programs the government uses, without accountability with ramifications for not making these programs work, they mean nothing. If we are to realize a workable employment, training, and business opportunity for ourselves and future generations of veterans, we must act now. It is never too late to help ourselves, and it is not too soon to help our newest veterans.

 

 

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