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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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Strengthening Our Military Families

A Message from President Obama

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"Every day, U.S. service members — along with their families — make sacrifices that benefit all Americans. The president understands that providing necessary support strengthens not only these individuals but our nation as a whole. Only if we do right by them do we do right by the American people."

— Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis


1. Developing career and educational opportunities for Veterans and their spouses

The Veterans' Employment & Training Service is redesigning the TAP Employment Workshop to include an aggressive, hands-on, tailored workforce readiness program for separating service members and their spouses. This redesign will encompass significant changes in curriculum content, new facilitation standards, comprehensive E-learning platform and an "after-TAP" support package.

Military spouses can access information about job opportunities, employment guidance, and training services through a nationwide network of about 3,000 local One-Stop Career Centers. In addition, the department recently launched two new job search sites — www.myskillsmyfuture.org and www.mynextmove.gov — designed to help guide users through career transitions.

Our agencies are also leveraging partnerships with national employer organizations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) to increase employment opportunities for Veterans, separating Service Members and their spouses. All employers should know the value proposition for hiring these individuals and how to access this source of talent.

2. Protecting the rights of service members and families

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), includes two provisions that benefit military families. The first allows a military spouse, or a son, daughter, or parent of the military member, to take unpaid FMLA leave to take care of family matters, such as the need to make financial arrangements or attend military briefings, which arise when a family member is deployed to a foreign country. Additionally, a military spouse, son, daughter, parent, or other next of kin may take unpaid FMLA leave to care for a service member or certain Veterans with a serious injury or illness incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.

3. Eliminating Homelessness and promote housing security among Veterans and military families

The Department of Labor supports the Interagency Council on Homeless commitment to eliminate homelessness through a variety of grant programs to help homeless Veterans obtain meaningful employment. Administered by the Veterans' Employment & Training Service (VETS), the Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program, Homeless Female Veterans, Homeless Veterans with Families, and Incarcerated Veterans grants help address the complex problems facing homeless Veterans and serve over 21,000 returning service members.

In addition, our Women's Bureau recently held a series of listening sessions to hear directly from homeless women veterans about their unique challenges. The Women's Bureau is in the process of developing resources to better equip service providers to meet the unique experiences and needs of female veterans. The WB will leverage these partnerships to ensure military culture is understood for those who want to serve this population.




Field Notes

Success Stories

DOL Program Helps Homeless Veteran Find Work

Case worker Jan Broers

When the case of a homeless Army veteran in Iowa who was battling substance abuse came to Jan Broers' attention, she immediately swung into action. Thanks to a $200,000 grant from DOL to Goodwill Industries of Central Iowa, case worker Broers was able to provide the veteran with a place to live, medical attention, and a stipend for his education and training under the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program. She helped the veteran get a job at a local convenience store, where he has since been promoted to a management position. Boers said the department-funded program has helped more than 100 homeless veterans. "It is a fabulous opportunity that DOL provides these individuals to get back up on their feet," Boers added.

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Secretary Solis with a service member using welding equipment

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