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Veterans' Program Letter No. 5-98

December 23, 1997

Veterans Program Letter No. 5-98

To: All Regional Administrators and Directors for Veterans Employment and Training and All State Emoployment Security Agency Administrators (SESAS) All Regional Administrators, Employment and Training Administration (INFO)

From: Espiridion "AL" Borrego Acting Assistant Secretary

Subject: Transition Assistance Program Demonstration Enhancement Project

I. Purpose: To provide a description and guidance on the subject project and goals and responsibilities.

II. Background: The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) began as a pilot program in December, 1989 with the objective of improving employment rates for recently separated veterans and to reduce unemployment costs. In November, 1990, as the, military downsizing began, Congress made TAP a full-scale program and established partnerships between the Departments of Labor, Defense, and Veterans Affairs. This unique program .now provides employment information and assistance to members of the armed forces and their spouses who are within six months of their. separations. TAP workshops assist participants by given them the necessary information to make informed decisions concerning their futures, and providing them with the skills needed to successfully reintegrate into the civilian labor community.

There has been extensive research to determine what happens to those TAP participants after separation compared to those servicemembers who did not receive the TAP workshops. It is estimated that those who received TAP find employment anywhere from three-to-seven weeks sooner than those not attending. While this has been impressive, we believe improvements in communications between nationwide service delivery systems will enable us to provide one-on- one services to TAP participants. We can now demonstrate how the TAP subject areas can actually work for them individually while further utilizing the State Employment Security Administration (SESA) system as they relocate to other states.

III.Program Description: Two states, California and Washington, are desire demonstration projects to @er improve the effectiveness of TAP by providing direct labor exchange services to those military personnel and their spouses who are within their last 30 days-of military service and have completed the TAP workshop. These additional services will provide the means for participants to better present their skills and qualifications, further reduce their time on unemployment, and assist them m finding better quality career positions nationwide.

There are four major considerations to this project. These include: (1) staffing requirements at the designated TAP sites to provide the one-on-one services to these soon to be separating servicemembers and improve their ability to effectively use the SESA system nationally, (2) the purchasing of equipment and necessary administrative support at the pilot sites; (3) increasing participation at job fairs or employer presentations to attempt to gain specific employment opportunities@ties and/or career leads; and (4) system-wide program tracking and evaluation by the states of the participants involved in the demonstration project to determine what actually happens to these individuals.

Both states will designate at least two current TAP sites to operate this project. Close coordination with the local base officials will allow access to the target group and utilize/share available office space. The program began October 1, 1997 and will go to at least September 30, 1998. At the present time, California military installations are averaging about 2, 1 00 people in TAP each month, and Washington TAP sites provide workshops to about 870 people monthly.

IV. Project Goals: At least four TAP sites in the two states will participate in this enhancement demonstration project. The program approach will directly @ these soon to be veterans with labor exchange tools such as job search electronic systems (including the Internet), provide direct access to employers through organized career enhancement meetings, allow communication with the SESA in the state where they are relocating, and provide various other up-to-date labor market information tools deemed appropriate,

It is the intent of this project to determine the effectiveness of direct intervention with those Servicemembers and their spouses during their last 30 days of active service by measuring how well the pilot states can prepare this targeted group for employment. Also to be measured win be how well the SESA'S, particularly DVOP and LVER staff, can effectively communicate nationally to continue to serve these new veterans when they relocate to another state. The success of this project in large part will depend on the ability to demonstrate that employment services continue through effective communications between the states. For the purpose of this project, the DVOPs will be authorized to screen, register, and otherwise assist these eligible personnel while attempting to successfully find employment and opportunities for them prior to discharge.

This authorization is extended to the DVOPs LVERs who are contacted by the pilot states in order that they can prepare for the arrival of these eligible participants and their spouses and continue with the personalized services until successfully employed prior to them actually being discharged (on "terminal” leave, etc.). Certainly, it is the personal intervention between the DVOPs/LVERs nationally that will ensure success of this project.

V. Action Required: The DVETs in California and Washington will closely monitor this project and provide whatever assistance may be needed to the pilot SESAs in order to maximize the possibility of success. In addition, all RAVETS, DVETS, and SESAs will extend all necessary assistance and cooperation when a pilot state contacts a non-pilot state requesting assistance and informs the non-pilot state that one of the participants will soon be relocating to their state and to continue this personalized assistance.

Detailed record keeping is required for all participants in this project. Information will be collected using the pilot SESAs job service applications. The States of California and Washington will need the cooperation of all states to ensure that the services provided the participants they referred has been documented in the appropriate states. Further, the non-pilot states may receive a call from the pilot state to ascertain the outcome of the services provided the participants so we can determine the success of this program.

VI. Inquiries: Questions should be directed to the appropriate DVET in the two demonstration states,(California: Alex Cuevas (916) 654-8178.and Washington: Donald Hutt (360) 438- 4600) throughthe Region IX and X RAVET; Attention: Charlie Martinez, (415) 975-4702.

Expiration Date: September 30, 1998