Not yet a Member?
HR Magazine is highlighting the next generation of HR leaders.
Is your employee handbook ready for the New Year? With SHRM’s Employee Handbook Builder get peace of mind that your handbook is up-to-date.
Get the HR education you need without travel expenses or time out of the office.
Join us in Chicago for the latest trends and technology in talent management, and what to expect in the future.
In 2013 the Government Accountability Office (GAO) studied the VA’s vocational rehabilitation and employment (VR&E) program; the results were released Jan. 14, 2014. The GAO researchers found that, although the VA has made some improvements to the performance and workload management of its VR&E program, many weaknesses remain.
The GAO examined the job-training and employment experience of disabled veterans who entered VR&E program from 2003 to 2012. Its researchers discovered that nearly two-thirds of participants typically found suitable employment in three to six years.
Many employers, particularly government contractors, should find the study’s results interesting, since the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs released a set of regulations in August 2013 whose goal is to increase the job-participation rates of veterans with disabilities.
Even though VR&E program results have improved, the GAO report concluded that disabled veterans still face several hurdles to finding suitable work. Many of the employment challenges relate to physical- or mental-health issues, as well as negative attitudes or stereotypes on the part of some employers.
In addition, interviews with VR&E staff and program participants revealed that because of frequent personnel changes within the VA, many veterans had to work with multiple VR&E counselors, which slowed the process and led to clients’ frustrations with the program.
Participants also pointed to private-sector employers’ limited understanding and knowledge of military work experience as another major stumbling block for veterans seeking suitable employment.
The GAO report recommends that the VA:
In addition, VA officials should pursue partnerships and other connections with private-sector organizations that can help smooth and accelerate the hiring process for program participants.
Officials at the department agreed with most of the GAO’s recommendations and are in the process of implementing improvements to the VR&E program.
Bill Leonard is a senior writer for SHRM.
You have successfully saved this page as a bookmark.
Please confirm that you want to proceed with deleting bookmark.
You have successfully removed bookmark.
Please log in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Your session has expired. Please log in again before saving bookmarks.
Please purchase a SHRM membership before saving bookmarks.
An error has occurred
Recommended for you
HR Education in a City Near You
SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 3,200 companies