Written by The Bee News July 21, 2021
–Throughout his administration, Governor Doug Ducey has worked to expand opportunities in Arizona for those who answered the call to serve our nation. Veterans have always played a vital role in our state’s economy — and they always will.
As Arizona’s economy continues to grow, numerous organizations are offering post-service opportunities to help connect veterans with employment. Here are just a few available resources:
The Arizona Coalition for Military Families
The Arizona Coalition for Military Families helps veterans build meaningful careers outside of service.
The Arizona Roadmap to Veteran Employment—developed in partnership by the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services, the Arizona Coalition for Military Families, and public- and private-sector partners—is a statewide plan that engages organizations to connect service members, veterans and their families to employment opportunities and other essential resources.
Under the Be Connected: Career Navigation section of the roadmap, professional career navigators assist military members, veterans, spouses and family members through resume coaching, interview preparation and career counseling. The Coalition also helps train employers in military and veteran culture, and in understanding the transition of a veteran to a civilian workplace. The Career Navigation team makes matches between career seekers and employers.
Under the Career Navigation program, the coalition supports installations, transitioning service members and employers with SkillBridge, a Department of Defense–authorized program. This program provides an opportunity for service members, with command approval, to gain valuable civilian work experience through specific industry training, apprenticeships or internships in their last 180 days of service. The program also gives businesses the opportunity to tap into a highly-trained and motivated workforce at no cost.
In addition, public and private sector employers can earn the Arizona Veteran Supportive Employer (AVSE) designation by working with the Arizona Coalition for Military Families to strengthen veteran recruiting, hiring and retention. A current list of AVSEs is available HERE.
Arizona Corporate Council for Veteran Careers (ACCVC)
The ACCVC is made up of veteran-supportive employers that are committed to strengthening career opportunities for veterans. It offers networking opportunities and technical assistance for ways to strengthen recruitment, retention and career development programs specifically designed for veterans. Members of the Steering Committee include Arizona Public Service (APS), USAA, the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services, the Arizona Coalition for Military Families and more.
ARIZONA @ WORK
ARIZONA@WORK supports veterans by providing employment assistance programs that increase opportunities for employment and job training in Arizona. Eligible veterans are entitled to receive priority services in job referrals and training, as well as other employment services. Special assistance is also available for veterans with disabilities.
Additionally, the AZ Job Connection provides valuable tools to include resume writing and formatting, job postings and individual career services opportunities.
Arizona Department of Economic Security
The Arizona Department of Economic Security houses two Department of Labor funded veterans employment representatives through the Jobs for Veterans State Grant (JVSG) who assist veterans with finding employment: the Disabled Veterans Outreach Program specialists (DVOPs) and Local Veteran Employment Representatives (LVERs).
Disabled Veteran Employment Specialists (DVOPs) provide individualized career services to veterans experiencing significant barriers to employment and prioritize assisting veterans who may be economically or educationally disadvantaged.
Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVERs) conduct outreach to employers and engage in advocacy efforts with hiring managers to increase employment opportunities for veterans and encourage the hiring of disabled veterans.
Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services
The Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services—in partnership with ARIZONA@WORK and the Arizona Housing Coalition—offers the Veteran Toolkit, which provides qualifying veterans with funds for expenses associated with beginning employment, including work clothes, tools, protective equipment, transportation and essential electronic devices.
The state of Arizona offers a variety of employment opportunities that are available to veterans at the Arizona state jobs website HERE.
Beyond employment opportunities, the Governor has prioritized additional resources for service members, veterans and their families.
On June 30, Governor Ducey signed this year’s budget, which eliminates all state income taxes on veterans’ military pensions.
On May 6, Governor Ducey, in partnership with the Arizona Department of Housing, allocated $500,000 toward combating homelessness among Arizona’s veterans.
In addition, Arizona in 2017 launched the Be Connected program, which helps prevent veteran suicide by focusing on upstream prevention in the military, veteran and family population. The program connects Arizona service members, veterans, and their families to information, support and resources, across all social determinants of health, including employment, housing, essential needs, physical and mental health, and more through a statewide support line, 866-4AZ-VETS (866-429-8387), and ConnectVeterans.org.