Veterans, upon returning home, have the unique challenge of reintegrating back into civilian life. Here in Massachusetts, veterans and those currently serving on Active Duty have access to a wide array of employment and training resources to ensure their success in the workforce when they return home. In addition, to ease the transition, lawmakers have guaranteed a set of rights that service members are entitled to when entering the labor force.
Here is a brief overview of some of the rights, employment programs, and training services available for our Commonwealth’s heroes:
The Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program (HVRP) is available for any homeless veteran that wants job training, assistance, and housing services. HVRP is offered by two Department of Veterans’ Services (DVS) provider agencies: Father Bill’s and MainSpring, and Veterans, Inc. There are also job training programs for homeless veterans seeking employment from federally funded organizations, like Soldier On, Project Place, and New England Center for Homeless Veterans.
Massachusetts law protects the jobs of National Guard members called to active duty. Regardless of where the service member is employed, as long as the employer was given notice before deployment, received an honorable or general discharge, and returned to work promptly after service, every Guard member is guaranteed their same job and benefits upon returning from service.
Civil Service exams are required for certain professions, such as law enforcement, air traffic control, and postal service. Veterans receive preference for open civil service exams, receive extra points for promotional exams, and go to the top of the registry list for labor service. Civil service positions are given in preference to veterans in the following order: disabled veterans, veterans, spouses and single parents of veterans killed in action or as a result of service. Being placed on the top of the list does not mean the veteran will be chosen for the job, but they will receive partiality in the selection.
The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, Rehabilitation Commission, and other state agencies, have developed programs to assist individuals with service-connected disabilities to be successful in the workplace. Vocational Rehabilitation programs help service members and veterans with physical, psychiatric, learning, and mobility disabilities find, prepare for, and maintain employment. Compensated Work Therapy programs are also available to veterans with TBI, mental disabilities, and/or physical disabilities, looking to return to the workplace.
The DVS website has a list programs and services dedicated to helping Massachusetts’ veterans find employment and training. This list includes the Veterans’ Employment and Training Services Programs, one-stop career centers, Troops to Teachers, and more. There is also a list of online employment resources, open positions in the federal government, and additional vocational rehabilitation services.
For Business Owners
Business owners who are veterans also have access to certain resources and training opportunities. The Insurance Partnership is a program created by Massachusetts to make health insurance affordable for small business owners and the self-employed. The Small Business Administration also has an office of Veterans Business Development, which can link veterans to useful resources in both Massachusetts and the nation.
Trying to get back into the workforce can be difficult, but Massachusetts strives to make the transition as easy as possible.
Share your experiences in the workforce by tweeting us at @MassDVS
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