This is important because it reflect the certain difficulties the government has to stimulate the employment of veterans in a line of work of their choice.
Other statistics mention that not only do a large number of veterans have a disability related to their position but rather the fact that they are part of a system which has a rate of unemployment too high for the United States. More precisely, "In 2007, the unemployment rate among veterans who served in the U.S. Armed Forces since September 2001 was 6.1%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. About 17% of these veterans, also called Gulf War-era II veterans had a service-connected disability in August 2007. The jobless rate for veterans of all eras combined was 3.8% in 2007. About 12% of all veterans had a service-connected disability in August 2007" (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2006).
The general statistics however suggest a rather grim situation in the sense that "approximately 700,000 veterans are unemployed in any given month, and roughly 200,000 service members leave active duty and transition to civilian life each year, according to the Department of Labor (Labor)." (U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 2006) there are several factors to determine these shortcomings.
One of the main shortcomings of the program is the lack of full action rnage. In this sense, while the Government is able to allocate the funding and the way in which money is spent it is not possible for the government to also deal with the medium wages or the employment conditions for the ones taking part in the Program (United States Government Accountability Office, 2007). This is one of the major problems because it points out the fact that veterans are in the end conditioned by their employer regardless of the help offered by the Government.
Another shortcoming is the lack of coordination at the level of the states which are responsible for the implementation of the Program. More precisely, despite the fact that they are aware of the implications for the veterans, agencies from different states do not follow thoroughly the entire process of employment and often veterans remain to seek employment on their own. This is not necessarily a bad thing for the disabled veterans; yet it proves the limited capabilities of the government to improve the situation of its veterans.
Thirdly, there is a lack of information concerning the services provided by the government. In this sense, there are many veterans who are unaware of this opportunity and they are often left behind. This issue is being addressed at the moment. Thus, "officials have begun to implement a new employment resource Web site and a program manual, but they are not yet completed. VA launched the employment resource Web site, known as vetsuccess.gov, in 2005 to be a new supportive tool for veterans and VA staff. Currently, veterans may access the Web site via the Internet and can utilize the site to view program videos, employment resources, employment search links, and information about VA partner organizations" (United States Government Accountability Office, 2007).
The benefits which result from this program are wide and diverse. An indirect benefit is the fact that it draws the attention on the actual needs of the veterans. One response has been the increase in the period for enrollment in special assistance programs to five years instead of two (Gulf Vets, 2008). Another major issue which resulted from this activity is that it offers veterans who are accustomed to the information provided by the government to actually come in touch with possible employees. Thus, they are again engaged on the labor market (Appel, 2008). Moreover, the affirmative action needed for the reconsideration of veterans as part of the labor force has extended to all parts of the government. For instance, the Federal Highway Administration is now actively engaged to support the employment of veterans and disabled veterans who seek reemployment (U.S. Dept. Of Transportation, 2004).
There are several aspects on which the Government can improve concerning the Program aiming to help the disabled veterans. On the one hand, the lack of information concerning the entire array of possibilities can enable former combatants to find a suitable job. Although this shortcoming is obvious in most cases, there are other cases as well which come to prove that more is needed to be done to support the veterans. In this sense, there have been cases in which former soldiers struggled to find proper jobs that would be compatible with their war injuries and after seeking several positions he was employed through the Program (Adams, 2008).
Another major action that can be taken in order to help veterans build a better life for themselves is to raise the awareness on the issue of veteran employment not only in the private sector but also in the public one. In this sense, there is a wide consideration of the fact that there needs to be an example set by the government. Thus, "by increasing awareness of hiring programs for veterans, training our disabled veterans and assisting them to find jobs, we can significantly increase the employment of disabled veterans" (U.S. Dept. For Veterans' Affairs, 2006).
Finally, another indirect need of this Program is the passing of laws that would reduce the strains on the veterans and allow them for better financial compensations such as life insurances and other benefits. Currently, there are several opportunities the veterans can benefit from such as education (Information on Veterans Benefits, n.d.) and medical care to mention a few. However, more needs to be done in order for the veterans to have immediate and unconditioned access to these benefits and to avoid cases in which veterans had to wait a number of months and even years to receive those benefits, time in which they lived in poor conditions after having served the country in wars (Miller, 2007).
Finally, another measure that can be taken in order to help the disabled veterans improve their condition is the personalization of the information provided. More precisely, it has been seen from research conducted by the Department of Labor that the collection of data available in the registries of the VA is not done so thoroughly as expected and most of the times the direct interests of the veterans are not served to the fullest. One of the actins needed to be taken in this situation is the professionalization of the activity of the workers in change of this aspect. In this sense, the personalization of the service is important; thus, it is crucial that the officers "provide individualized job preparation, counseling, and reemployment services to veterans seriously injured in recent conflicts" so that their job preparation suits everyone in particular.
Overall, it can be said that a system that would provide special assistance to disabled veterans in order to ensure their full reintegration on the labor market is essential. In this sense, the DVOP is an important step further as it ensures that action is being taken at the level of the government. However, statistics have shown that much more needs to be done in the sense that the system must prove further efficiency in providing the training and the skills needed for veterans to accept their disability and continue to live a normal life in the field in which they are hired. At the same time, it is important for the Program to have a wider spectrum so that action at different other levels such as the legislative one is taken to support the initiatives already being set in motion. Nonetheless, concluding on the research it must be said that the Program is indeed a positive initiative which must be constantly improved in order to ensure the full support for those who fight the wars of the United States.
Adams, K. (2008) "Disabled veteran promotes job program that met his needs." Pilot online. Accessed 18 July 2008, at http://hamptonroads.com/2008/07/disabled-veteran-promotes-job-program-met-his-needs
Appel, a. (2008) EEOC issues two guides on employing disabled veterans. TCPalm. Accessed 18 July 2008, at http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2008/apr/20/eeoc-issues-two-guides-employing-disabled-veterans/
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2006) Employment Situation of Veterans News Release. Accessed 18 July 2008, at http://www.bls.gov/news.release/vet.htm
Dept of Labor. (2007) Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program Marks 30-Year Anniversary. Accessed 18 July 2008, at http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/communic/2007-11/vet.htm
Gulf Vets. (2008) "Information for Veterans Who Served in Desert Shield/Storm and Their Families." Gulf War Review. Accessed 18 July 2008, at http://www1.va.gov/gulfwar/docs/GW_Review_May_2008.pdf
House Committee on Veteran's Affairs (2008) Opening Statement by Hon. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, Chairwoman, and a Representative in Congress from the State of South Dakota. Accessed 18 July 2008, at http://veterans.house.gov/hearings/OpeningStatement.aspx?OSID=4483&Newsid=134&Name=Hon.%20Stephanie%20Herseth%20Sandlin,
Information on Veterans Benefits. (n.d.) Accessed 18 July 2008, at http://www.witc.edu/finance/pdfs/Veterans%20Benefits%2010%2007.pdf
Miller, K. (2007) "Disabled Iraq war veteran waits for benefits." Propeller. http://www.propeller.com/viewstory/2007/08/03/disabled-iraq-war-veteran-still-waits-for-benefits-1-year-later/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thehawkeye.com%2FStory%2Firaq_war_vet_080207&frame=true
The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance. (n.d.) the Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program. Accessed 18 July 2008, at http://220.127.116.11/pls/portal30/CATALOG.PROGRAM_TEXT_RPT.SHOW-p_arg_names=prog_nbr&p_arg_values=17.801
United States Government Accountability Office. (2007) Veterans' Employment and Training Service. Report to the Congressional Committees. Accessed 18 July 2008, at http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d07594.pdf