White House Announces IT Cert Program for Vets

IT-Cert-Program-for-VetsThe White House on Monday announced a public-private partnership that the Obama administration said will put more than 100,000 veterans to work in the information technology sector over the next seven years.

The IT Training and Certification Partnership comes nearly a year after the White House directed the Pentagon to set up a task force to tackle the issue of smoothing the way for servicemembers to transition into civilian careers on the strength of their military training.

Under the program, exiting servicemembers will be able to take training courses to prepare for internationally recognized industry certifications at no cost.

First Lady Michelle Obama announced the new program Monday morning at the start of a series of roundtable talks among defense, veterans and industry officials to improve veteran transition to other career areas.

"These folks ... are some of the most highly skilled, best trained, hardest working, diligent, dedicated, proud and smartest people we have in this country," she told those gathered in a small auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

Servicemembers who worked in IT career fields in the military have had trouble getting related jobs or been forced to take classes on things they already knew because of "red tape, outdated rules, or simple lack of coordination," officials said.

Read more: White House Announces IT Cert Program for Vets

U.S. State Department Partners with VA on Veterans Employment

VA-ON-VETERANS-EMPLOYMENTThe U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Office of Human Resources and Administration (HR&A), Veteran Employment Services Office (VESO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Department of State (DOS) on April 10, 2013, to provide DOS with access to the VA for Vets high-tech, high-touch career readiness services to increase Veteran employment in the DOS workforce.

The MOU aligns with President Obama's Executive Order 13518 to increase the number of Veterans in the federal workforce. All federal agencies have the opportunity to leverage the VA for Vets program by signing MOUs to solidify a partnership with VA. The opportunity to partner is also extended to nonprofit organizations to make a bigger impact in the area of Veterans employment.

VESO supports Veteran recruitment, retention, and reintegration through the development and implementation of the innovative VA for Vets program. While there are a number of existing Veteran employment programs, many are not as comprehensive as VA for Vets. The program offers the most advanced online integrated military skills translator and career assessment tool on the market; a resume builder that tailor's resumes so Veterans can more easily compete for open positions; and avatar-based technology that connects deployed Military Service Members back to VA during their operational missions. In addition, Veterans have the option to receive one-on-one assistance from Career Coaches located in VA for Vets Call Centers in Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Read more: U.S. State Department Partners with VA on Veterans Employment

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is Sponsoring the "Waves of Honor" Program

The "Waves of Honor" program is a tribute to the men and women of our armed forces. All active duty, activated or drilling reservists, or National Guardsman (as well as foreign military personnel serving with U.S. units) are entitled to a free one time admission at any SeaWorld or Busch Gardens park (including Sesame Place in Langhorne, PA). Free admission is extended to the military member and up to three dependants.

For more information or to register for your free tickets, visit the www.herosalute.com/cavatx/overview.html.

Read more: SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is Sponsoring the "Waves of Honor" Program

My HealtheVet: Keep Track of Your Health Care

DoctorMy HealtheVet is VA's online personal health record, designed for Veterans and active duty servicemembers, as well as their dependents and caregivers. It partners users with their health care team, offering the tools necessary to make informed decisions about their health care.

My HealtheVet offers three account types—basic, advanced, and premium. A basic account, which does not require identity authentication, allows users to record information in a personal health journal, track personal health measurements, as well as use the VA Blue Button to view, print, save, or download their information.

For an advanced or premium account, the user must be a Veteran enrolled in VA care. Advanced and premium accounts offer Veterans access to some information in their VA and/or DoD records, including key portions of their VA health record, such as allergies, appointments, laboratory results, and more. Among the newest features available to Veterans with premium accounts are notes; clinical information that your health care team records during appointments or hospital stays. MyHealtheVet also allows patients to communicate online with their VA health care team without having to wait on the phone or at a local VA health care facility through the secure messaging feature.

Read more: My HealtheVet: Keep Track of Your Health Care

Senators Demand Claims Backlog Benchmarks From VA

Senators got assurances from the head of the Department of Veterans Affairs on Monday that the agency would fix the claims backlog in 2015, but VA Secretary Eric Shinseki didn't offer specific details or timelines on how the VA will measure progress.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, asked Shinseki what "benchmarks have you set and what did VA meet?"

Read more: Senators Demand Claims Backlog Benchmarks From VA

Anonymous - Philadelphia, PA

"I am the wife of a Viet Nam Veteran. My husband started going to PVMSEC 10 years ago for help. No mere words could ever express how much his life and in turn our family life has changed for the better in those years. I am and always will be grateful for the wonderful care he has received at the Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service Center & Education Center."

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