Colleagues and Fellow Veterans,

This is one of my longer notes … concerning the new Transition Assistance Program…. If not remotely interested please delete now .. For most, however, it might prove to be beneficial.  What you will see below is an amazing transformation of what is now being done for separating Servicemembers.

There have been extensive changes in the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) for those Servicemembers leaving the military.  Gone are ‘death by PowerPoint’ presentations.  In its place is an interagency (Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Department of Labor (DOL), Small Business Administration (SBA)) Transition GPS (Goals, Plans, Success) program. This five to seven day event, generally within 180 days of separation, has established Career Readiness Standards for every transitioning Servicemember regardless of Service. For those of you who have already separated, we’ll tell you how you can see the new program and what you may have missed.

This mandatory interagency Transition GPS program is broken down into several different segments:

  • An overview.  A military occupational codes crosswalk, resilient transition overview, and financial planning seminar conducted by the Services (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard).  This training provides the foundational pieces for a successful transition.

 

  • Employment Workshop.  A three-day Employment Workshop conducted by DOL addresses factors that contribute to successful employment transition, as well as challenges that may interfere with work performance.  The intent is to provide transitioning Servicemembers with the skills needed to find and maintain a private or public sector civilian job.
  • VA Benefits Brief.  A two-segment Benefits Brief by VA informs transitioning Servicemembers of their Veterans benefits options to include information on education, health care, life insurance, home loans, VA disability compensation, and the eBenefits portal. In addition, VA provides individual assistance to address specific questions about benefits, help with filing claims, and establish a profile on the Veteran’s Employment Center.
  • A Capstone event, conducted before a Servicemembers’ transition from military service and sponsored by the Services, confirms all objectives of the Career Readiness Standards have been met and a viable plan to successfully achieve transition goals has been established.  Representatives from DOL, VA, SBA, and other community organizations attend the CAPSTONE event to ensure Servicemembers connect with the proper resources as they become Veterans.

Servicemembers may also select and participate in optional two-day Transition GPS tracks as well which include:

 

  • The DoD-sponsored Education Track in which Servicemembers intending to pursue a college education receive guidance to prepare for the college application process by identifying an education goal, exploring education funding, and researching and comparing institutions.  Upon completing the education track, Servicemembers will be prepared to submit an application to an academic institution, schedule a session with a counselor from the institution, and connect with a Student Veterans Organization on campus.
  • The VA-sponsored Career Technical Training Track workshop assists transitioning Servicemembers and their spouses to identify civilian occupations, establish career goals, and begin applications for credentials and vocational training. Servicemembers pursuing further technical training will receive guidance and help in selecting schools and technical fields with an emphasis on such topics as selection of a reputable career and technical training school, the application process from start to finish, and how to use certification finder web tools and other web tools that identify licensed occupations.
  • The SBA-sponsored Entrepreneurial Track, in which Servicemembers pursuing self-employment in the private or non-profit sector will learn about the challenges faced by entrepreneurs, the benefits and realities of entrepreneurship, and the steps toward business ownership.  Upon completing the Entrepreneurship track, Servicemembers will have developed the initial components of their business plan and after completing an optional eight-week online course, will be connected with a small business owner to mentor and guide them through their business start-up.

It is never too early, or too late, to make plans for the future. Servicemembers, Veterans, and their spouses can view and re-visit valuable Transition GPS information and resources at any time, pre- or post-transition, by accessing the curriculum through the eBenefits website (another shameless pitch to sign up for eBenefits). If you have specific questions about Transition GPS or VA benefits and services, or wish to attend a VA Benefits Briefing or Career Technical Training Track, contact your local Transition Assistance Program (TAP) Manager, by visiting http://www.militaryinstallations.dod.mil/.

I would be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to also remind you about our integrated employment tool, the Veterans Employment Center (VEC), in the eBenefits portal.  The VEC was developed to put America’s current and former military personnel and their families in the job search driver’s seat by translating and matching their extensive training and experience with available jobs. Additionally, the VEC provides employers who are seeking to leverage the skills and talents of those who have served our county to ability to search thousands of Veterans profiles – leveraging eBenefits as the validator that they are searching through actual Veteran profiles.

I encourage you to utilize and inform others about the Veterans Employment Center which can be found at: https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/jobs

 

V/R

 

 

Curtis L. Coy

Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity

Veterans Benefits Administration

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

 

 

Please remember:

 

If you would like to review prior messages sent through this listserv, click

http://benefits.va.gov/vow/economic_opportunity.htm.

 

If you would like to research, find, access, and, in time, manage your VA benefits and personal information please visit and/or register at https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits-portal/ebenefits.portal.

 

If you would like to contact us about your VA education benefits:

 

You can send us a secure email that will usually be answered within 48 hours. You can also search for answers to frequently asked questions and register to be notified of any updates to the information. This contact method is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can also be utilized worldwide. Click here to enter the “Ask A Question” site or here to review our frequently asked questions.

 

You can call 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551). This line only accepts calls from 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM central time Monday – Friday

Fellow Veterans and Family Members,

After 38 years in The Army, I am now honored and privileged to serve as your Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA). VA remains committed to providing the high quality benefits you have earned and deserve.

Allegations of VA employees’ misconduct have surfaced over the last several weeks, beginning with scheduling delays at the Phoenix VA Health Care System. As I testified before Congress on May 15, I take any allegations about patient safety or employee misconduct very seriously. The reports of Veterans’ negative experiences while seeking VA care are of great personal concern to me. I fully agree with President Obama’s statement on May 21, 2014: “If these allegations prove to be true, it is dishonorable, it is disgraceful . . . .”

Future officers of the U.S. Armed Forces assembled in military formation and stood at attention at the start of the annual Joint Services Review at Oregon State University on Friday morning. When the battalions began to march across the parade ground, more than 100 spectators – family, friends, and military veterans – greeted them on the other side, smiling and snapping photos. To read the rest of the article go to the Gazette Times website; http://www.gazettetimes.com/news/local/defazio-speaks-to-future-military-officers-at-rotc-review/article_7b7c193a-d243-11e3-be68-001a4bcf887a.html

Calling OSU undergraduate students!  PROMISE Internship applications for summer 2014 are now available online.  Applications are due March 22, 2014.  Apply today!

Are you looking for a paid summer internship that is more than just a job?

Want to gain skills to be competitive in the workforce after you graduate?

PROMISE is a ten-week developmental internship program designed for OSU undergraduate students designed to provide professional or technical paid work experience and mentoring at OSU, state, and local agencies.  Historically under-represented students are encouraged to apply.  For more information and program requirements:  http://oregonstate.edu/oei/promise/interns

Please attend PROMISE Summer Internship info and application support sessions to learn more. 

INFO & APPLICATION SUPPORT SESSIONS

Thursday, March 6, 2-4 pm; and Wednesday, March 12, 12:30-2:30 pm

Location: Native American Longhouse

General info:

- 10 weeks; 40 hours per week; begins

- $10/hr internships in OSU campus departments and in local community

- Possible positions include: graphic art, web design, agriculture, youth development, research and more

Some benefits of being a PROMISE intern include:

- Increase your professional toolkit

- Build confidence in the workplace

- Develop your networking skills

- Gain from a meaningful experience

- Belong to a learning community of interns

To apply to be a sponsor for an intern please visit: http://oregonstate.edu/oei/promise/sponsors

The PROMISE program is sponsored by Intercultural Student Services and the Office of Equity and Inclusion.

For more information or inquiries, please contact: charlene.martinez@oregonstate.edu

The Associated Students of Oregon State University (ASOSU), University Housing & Dining Services (UHDS), INTO University Partners, New Student Programs & Family Outreach, and the OSU Office of the Dean of Student Life, are working together to present the first annual OSU Off-Campus Housing Expo. The expo is to be held March 6th from 11am-3pm in OSU’s Memorial Union Ballroom. The expo will be a chance for property managers to showcase their businesses and prospective properties to students; for Corvallis and Benton County civic agencies to provide students with relevant information about responsibly living in our community

 If you are interested in accessing and applying for other VA benefits such as medical, disability, VA home loan information, etc., come see the new Benton County VSO, Mary Newman.  Mary will be on campus in my office (Registrar Office) the 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month 1:00 to 4:00. Mary’s first day on campus will be Thursday, March 6, 2014.  If you are interested in an appointment please call Mary at 541-758-1595 or email  mnewman@ocwcog.org.   

GB

 “Let’s Talk” is a program that provides drop-in confidential consultation to Veterans and ROTC Cadets at OSU. It’s free, no appointment is necessary, and students are seen on a first-come, first-served basis.

This service will be available on Mondays from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM Winter term weeks 4-10 in the MU JPLC Talisman Room.

Speaking with a counselor consultant can help provide insight, solutions, and information about other resources.

Let’s Talk is not a substitute for formal counseling and doesn’t constitute mental health treatment, but the counseling consultant can listen to your specific problems and introduce you to what it’s like to speak to a counselor.

No topic is off limits. Common concerns include:

  • stress
  • sadness
  • worry
  • relationships
  • academic performance
  • family problems
  • financial struggles

 Who should visit Let’s Talk?

 Any Veteran at OSU or ROTC Cadet can come to a Let’s Talk consultation, but it’s the best fit for student veterans or cadets who:

 Aren’t sure about counseling or wonder what it’s like to talk to a counselor;

  • Aren’t interested in ongoing counseling but would like the perspective of a counselor;
  • Have a specific problem and would like someone with whom to talk it through; or
  • Have a concern about a friend or family member and would like ideas about what to do.

 Questions about Let’s Talk?

 Contact Beth Wasylow, PhD, Licensed Psychologist at 541-737-2131 or Beth.Wasylow@oregonstate.edu

 The Let’s Talk Program at Oregon State University is based on the Let’s Talk Program at Cornell University.

 What happens at a visit to Let’s Talk?

 When you come to the site, look to see if the office door is open. If it is, please come on in. If the door is closed, have a seat in a nearby chair and wait a few minutes until the counselor consultant comes to greet you. When you two meet, the counselor consultant will listen closely to your concerns, possibly ask questions and provide, support, perspective and suggestions for resources.

What should I do if the Let’s Talk counselor consultant is already meeting with someone?

If the counselor consultant is already meeting with someone, the office door will be closed with a sign indicating that the office is occupied. In this case, please have a seat in a nearby chair and wait for the counselor consultant to come out and greet you. The wait is usually not long.

How is Let’s Talk different from counseling at CAPS?

Counselors at CAPS provide ongoing counseling, which usually consists of weekly or bi-monthly

45-50 minute appointments. Let’s Talk is not formal counseling; it is a drop-in service where student veterans and cadets can have an informal consultation with a counselor consultant from time to time.

Need help with an urgent mental health crisis? CAPS offers 24-hour crisis intervention services for enrolled students or for those who are concerned about an enrolled student. If you are feeling desperate or thinking about suicide, or you’re afraid for the well being of someone you know, you can call CAPS at 541-737-2131.

I think I have a problem that would benefit from counseling, but I don’t know anything about it. Would going to Let’s Talk help me figure out what to do?

Absolutely. The counselor consultant will help you talk through your issues and help you determine the best way to get help. If you feel comfortable with the counselor consultant, it is sometimes possible to meet with her at CAPS in an on-going way.

 Let’s Talk visits are confidential. Are there any limits to confidentiality?

 Conversations are confidential, with a few very rare exceptions. Counselors may need to share information in an emergency when there is an immediate threat of harm to self or others. Counselors are required by law to report when a minor, elderly person, or someone otherwise incapacitated and unable to act on his/her own behalf is being abused. Let’s Talk counselors keep brief written notes of their contacts with students, and in the event that there is an emergency or a student is referred to CAPS, other CAPS staff may see these notes. Finally, these notes can be released in the unlikely event of a court order.

 The student veteran or cadet will co-develop and co-sign a brief record of contact.

 Let’s Talk visits are never reported on a student’s official university record.

We don’t want anything to be a barrier to students accessing help. If you have further questions about confidentiality, we encourage you to discuss them with the Let’s Talk counselor consultant.

 

The Office of the Associate Provost for Academic Success and Engagement, the Academic Success Center, and UHDS have collaborated in the creation of a new live-in student position for 2014-15: Academic Learning Assistants (ALAs).  ALAs are responsible for providing academic support and faculty engagement opportunities in their assigned residential community.  ALAs are primarily supervised by a Resident Director, and will receive training and programmatic direction from Academic Success Center staff.  They provide an array of services to support residential students in the adjustment to the academic rigors of Oregon State University. ALAs work to cultivate strong academic habits and college knowledge, promote engagement with university resources, and assist students in navigating the university landscape. These services range from 1-to-1 meetings with students to hall- wide programming initiatives.  Beginning in the fall, there will be one ALA in each residential community on campus (14 total).

Applications are due on February 14, 2014.

Please contact clare.creighton@oregonstate.edu  or david.akana@oregonstate.edu  if you have questions about the position

The Eugene District Office of the OR/WA Bureau of Land Management is outreaching to fill a planned 1 year internship opportunity at our Springfield, Oregon location. We expect to post an announcement for a Pathways Program Recent Graduate Internship on USAJobs in the near future. The position is expected to be announced as a Financial Technician, GS-0503-6/7. Primary responsibilities of the Intern will include accounting, purchasing, collections and billing, and budgeting functions utilizing our automated systems. Please review the the following information at your convenience and contact the undersigned with any questions.

 

BLM Eugene District

Anticipatedvacancyannouncement: February 15, 2014  

 

The vacancyannouncement forthisposition, whenopen, will be postedonthe USAJOBSwebsite, the

U.S.Governmentsofficialsite forjobsandemployment information: http://www.usajobs.gov.

 

 

The Eugene District isconsideringoptionsforfillinga GS-0503-6/7 Financial Technician position as an excepted service, developmental experience appointment expected to last only 1 year under the BLM Pathways Recent Graduates Program. The dutystationwill be located inEugene, Oregon.  Eligible applicants include recent Graduates who in the previous 2 years have completed a degree from a qualifying educational institution.  Veterans precluded by a military service obligation have up to 6 years after completion of degree or certificate to apply.  The purpose ofthisOutreachNotice istoassist indeterminingthe interest level inthe vacancyandhelpdetermine howthe positionwill be advertised.

More information on the Pathways Program can be found at: 

https://help.usajobs.gov/index.php/Pathways_FAQs

DUTIES:  The incumbent will provide administrative support services to District and Resource Area staff by assisting with the operation of multiple automated financial systems. Primary duties entail coordinating the District’s government charge card program as Agency/Organization Program Coordinator (A/OPC) and being a primary Financial and Business Management System (FBMS) operator for the District.  The incumbent will assist with the recording, monitoring and control of financial transactions utilizing the Collections and Billing System (CBS) and assist budget and accounting staffs that operate the Timber Sales Information System (TSIS) in support of District and Resource Area staff.

Donald Ehrich, HR Staff Administrator
Div of S
pt Servs, Eugene District Office
3106 Pierce Pkwy, Springfield, OR 97477
541-683-6420/Cell 541-895-4309

GB