Wednesday, January 18, 2012

2011 Veteran Career Resource Recap

The second half of 2011 brought about many new initiatives that are sure to help veterans as they search for a civilian career in 2012. From the new job seeker tools associated with Joining Forces, to tax incentives for employers who hire veterans, making the transition to the civilian workforce is being made less complicated than ever before. From the Battlefield to the Boardroom wrote about these tools in various blogs throughout last year, but also wanted to recap them all in one place with you here.

The VOW to Hire Heroes Act, which was signed on November 21, 2011, by President Obama, brings about two new tax credits, as well as makes the Transition Assistance Program mandatory. The two tax credits included in the act are meant to spur additional veteran employment opportunities. And it behooves veterans to know if employers are eligible for one of these credits when hiring them:

Returning Heroes Tax Credit Eligibility:

  • Short-term Unemployed: A new credit of 40% of the first $6,000 of wages (up to $2,400) for employers who hire veterans who have received unemployment for at least 4 weeks.

  • Long-term Unemployed: A new credit of 40% of the first $14,000 of wages (up to $5,600) for employers who hire veterans who have received unemployment for longer than 6 months.

Wounded Warriors Tax Credit Eligibility:

  • Veterans with Services-Connected Disabilities: Maintains the existing Work Opportunity Tax Credit for veterans with service-connected disabilities not more than one year after being discharged from the military, which is up to 40% of the first $12,000 of wages (up to $4,800).

  • Long-Term Unemployed Veterans with Services-Connected Disabilities: A new credit of 40% of the first $24,000 of wages (up to $9,600) for firms that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities veterans with service-connected disabilities who have received unemployment for longer than 6 months.

As part of the Joining Forces initiative, President Obama announced three new programs in effect immediately that are aimed at helping unemployed veterans find civilian careers.

  • Veterans Job Bank: Run by the National Resource Directory, this job bank contains more than 500,000 job openings specially tagged for veterans by employers.

  • My Next Move: This tool allows veterans to match civilian careers with their military experience, as well as view specifics about that career path, including salaries, training, outlook, etc.

  • Veteran Gold Card: Issued by the Department of Labor, the Gold Card can be downloaded and gives veterans access to six months of personalized case management, assessments, and counseling at One-Stop Career Centers located across the country.

Finally, companies like LinkedIn and Google have joined in the effort by offering specialized services for veterans. (And don't forget to join Orion's Military Network on LinkedIn.)

  • LinkedIn will be tagging job postings that could be filled by veterans to enable the postings to appear on the newly-launched Veterans Job Bank listed above.

  • LinkedIn has launched a microsite for veterans with tips, tools, and information on the best ways to find new opportunities across the LinkedIn network.

  • LinkedIn is offering all U.S. veterans a free one-year Job Seeker subscription. All veterans with updated military experience on their profiles should have received an email with more information on how to take advantage of this offer.

  • Google has developed a microsite that compiles free Google products that are useful to veterans and their families.

Transitioning from the military into the civilian workforce takes planning and determination. The tools listed above will help arm any transitioning veteran with the ammunition to take on their civilian job search. From the Battlefield to the Boardroom is here to help make that transition easier, as well!

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