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March / April 2009

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March / April 2009

ETABO

BY ALAN GIBSON, CHAIR


As we get ready for the Convention, let’s look at what has happened with the resolutions from the last Convention. It has been a pleasure working with the committee, with and for you all. Most of the resolutions contain language referring to accountability. VVA has been advocating for this for as long as I can remember. Congress is beginning to use these words, which is at least a beginning. With your continued support, we may see accountability come to pass this year.

E-1-07 Jobs in the Public Sector: We have seen some progress in the reporting and publication within federal agencies on Veterans Preference in hiring. However, a recent court ruling was a setback and will be until a loophole in the regulations is corrected. VVA has been actively working with members of Congress on new bills to correct this problem.

E-2-07 Job Training and Other Services: As with many other veterans’ items, just because it is on paper does not mean complete actions are taken. As can been seen in our Legislative Agenda for the 111th Congress, we will be working on bringing most, if not all, programs under one roof—the VA. This has received favorable support from congressional folks, but will take action and watching by all of us to see this become a fact. Stay tuned and be ready to let Congress know your feelings on getting this accomplished.

E-3-07 Veterans In Business: Agencies are beginning to get on board with the requirements and intent of PL 106-50 (Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Act of 1999), PL 108-83 (Veterans Benefits Act of 2003), and Executive Order 13-360. It has been ten years since the first law, and folks are beginning to see the light and starting to act accordingly. The Department of Defense has finally come up with a five-year plan to reach the 3 percent goal for service-disabled veterans receiving contracts and monetary portions of contracts.

E-4-07 A Meaningful Job at a Living Wage: There’s still much work to do. During these hard economic times, veterans are having an even harder time than the general population. Veterans’ unemployment ranges from 17-25 percent. We hear all the talk about “support the troops,” but that talk is cheap. We need to see some real support in making sure those whom we have put in harm’s way are able to get meaningful jobs at living wages.

The five VVA Guides are accessible on line. However, due to lack of funds, we have not been able to get the pocket-size publications printed and distributed.

E-18-07 A Comprehensive Employment Resource Development Program: Some inroads have been made in mental health on paper, but, as with all things, it boils down to money. The VA is not giving a true picture of the funds needed to care for veterans. The needs are getting larger, and the funding is not keeping up. It will only get tougher in these tough economic times. Thanks to the PTSD/Substance Abuse Committee for bringing this issue to the forefront of national medical and mental health agencies.


The Employment, Training, and Business Opportunities Committee: Alan Gibson, Chair. Members: Lupe Alviar, Bob Caswell, Ted Daywalt, Ric Davidge, Calvin Gross, Wayne Gatewood, Bob Hesser, Joe Jennings, and Connie Steers. Special Advisors: Judy Bolio, James Gilmer, Patrick Heavey, Pat Kerr, Debbie Lemmones, Bob Sharps, and Joe Wynn. Staff Liaison: Rick Weidman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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