DWD Connects You with Local Veteran Talent
By: Caleb Frostman, Department of Workforce Development Secretary-designee

According to the Department of Defense, roughly 200,000 military service members are honorably discharged each year, leaving military life in pursuit of a civilian life and career that matches the skills and interests they acquired while serving their country. Veteran job seekers are in-demand, and often quickly recruited and placed, sometimes prior to discharge. They are reliable, committed and thorough workers, and take pride in their work. They demonstrate the soft skills that employers describe as essential to all work functions.

The Department of Workforce Development’s (DWD) Office of Veteran’s Employment Services

(OVES) is committed to connecting local employers with qualified veteran employees. The Local Veteran Employment Representative’s (LVER) job is to develop a partnership that fosters success for your company and the veteran job seeker. LVERs promote the value of hiring Veterans, translate for employers the skills associated with military job duties and the positions they have open, and introduce employers to veteran job seekers at local Job Centers and through the state’s JobCenterofWisconsin.com(JCW) website. LVERs are committed to fostering strong collaboration with business partners to help solve workforce challenges through innovative screening and placement techniques.

DWD staff assisted over 2,870 veterans in seeking new employment through the state’s network of Job Centers in 2018 alone. From October 2018 to March 2019, OVES staff worked with 570 Wisconsin employers to help them connect with those talented veteran job seekers.

Hire Heroes: Wisconsin’s Transitional Jobs Program for Veterans

Some veterans are faced with significant barriers to entering the workforce while they transition from military to civilian life. While OVES specializes in assisting these veterans while they pursue a career, an additional program aims to provide more incentives to businesses for hiring, training and retaining veterans with barriers: Hire Heroes: Wisconsin’s Transitional Jobs Program for Veterans.

Hire Heroes, which began April 1, is a joint program between DWD and the Wisconsin Departments of Children & Families and Veterans Affairs. The program creates transitional worksites where subsidized training is offered to qualifying veterans. The subsidized training program includes 1,040 hours of subsidized wages. The participating employer is reimbursed for wages up to the federal minimum wage, social security and Medicare taxes, state and federal unemployment insurance taxes or contributions, and worker’s compensation premiums. The goal of the program is to upskill qualifying veterans, allowing them

to move into unsubsidized employment in Wisconsin.

OVES works directly with employers to certify worksites and works with veterans to build a pool of candidates who are determined eligible for the program and ready to be placed with employers. Employers are encouraged to contact their local LVER for more information.

DWD is Ready to Help!

Facing a national workforce shortage, Wisconsin needs to be innovative, inclusive, and creative to out-compete our neighbors in attracting and retaining talent. The winning strategy will have to include veterans, residents with disabilities, and those facing other barriers to employment. DWD stands ready to help you in your pursuit of future employees, and to get started we encourage you to reach out to your local job center.

Wisconsin’s local job centers are the front door to a wide-array of workforce development services, and skilled business services representatives stand ready to connect you with talented veterans, individuals with disabilities, displaced workers, individuals recently released from a correctional institution, and more who are ready and able to get to work. Visit JobCenterofWisconsin.comtoday and create an employer profile to quickly access over 40,000 job candidates throughout the state. After you sign up, use the directory to locate your nearest job center so a skilled business services representatives can get to work assisting you with your workforce needs.