Returning Veterans: Resources and Best Practices for Local Leaders

June 30, 2014

By Elisha Harig-Blaine

State and local governments are on the front lines of ensuring veterans are successfully reintegrated into their communities. The numbers can be daunting:

  • 48,000 veterans will return from Afghanistan by the end of the year.
  • 58,000 veterans were homeless in 2013.
  • 100,000 soldiers and Marines will be downsized from the Army and Marine Corps within five years.
  • 2.5 million military men and women are already home from Iraq and Afghanistan.

While the quantity of returning veterans will vary by community, many of their needs will be the same. These include finding new employment and career paths, access to medical care and mental health treatments, affordable family housing and moving forward with post-secondary education.

The National League of Cities (NLC), International City/County Management Association (ICMA), National Association of Counties (NACo), National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and National Governors Association (NGA) invite you to join in a free webinar series that will help state and local leaders learn about available opportunities, leading practices and lessons learned about veteran reintegration programs. You may register for the series or for individual sessions on Tuesdays from 1-2 pm ET for four consecutive weeks beginning July 22.

Week One: Homelessness July 22; 1-2 pm ET
Ensuring veterans have a safe place to call home is a critical first step to successful reintegration. Despite a 24 percent decline in veteran homelessness since 2010, nearly 58,000 veterans remain on the streets or in shelters. In partnership with The Home Depot Foundation, NLC is connecting local leaders to the resources and best practices necessary to meet the federal goal of ending veteran homelessness by 2015. NLC will brief participants on their programmatic efforts to support city leaders and The Home Depot Foundation will provide information about their $80 million commitment to housing for veterans. In addition, participants will learn about the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ 25 Cities Initiative and hear from local officials about how they are leading efforts in their communities.

Week Two: Education July 29; 1-2 pm ET
The National Council of State Legislatures’ Military and Veterans Affairs Task Force examines a number of the different issues affecting our nation’s veterans. NCSL will be highlighting some of the resources and helpful information the organization has regarding educational assistance, tuition options and other training programs for veterans. In addition, an overview of the task force itself will be provided and the work NSCL does regarding military installation development, community partnerships, procurement, as well as Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI).

Week Three: Access to Care August 5; 1-2 pm ET
NACo’s Veteran and Military Service Committee focuses on three primary issues affecting veterans: employment, education and healthcare. Their affiliate, the National Association of County Veteran Service Officers, will provide an overview of County Veteran Service Officers (CVSOs): what they do, how they help and how you can access them in your locality. CVSOs are the boots on the ground to connect veterans to their federal resources and their entitled federal benefits.

Week Four: Employment Aug. 12; 1-2 pm ET
The NGA Center for Best Practices will provide an overview of its current veterans’ licensing and certification demonstration project which is working with six states to develop, test and evaluate strategies to create accelerated credentialing processes for separating service members in high demand occupations. The Center, and potentially a state participant of the project, may also discuss identified opportunities to create accelerated credentialing pathways, share best practices, increase intergovernmental collaboration and reduce costs within veterans-related workforce programs. NGA may also review current initiatives to address information sharing challenges between government agencies and improve outreach to veterans and employers.

Click here for more information.

You may register for one, multiple or all of the webinars. There is no registration fee or limit to the number of staff from your office able to participate in this webinar.

Please note: To register participants must create an account. To create an account, click on the link above and click “Login Now.” Then click “Create a New Account.” After creating an account, you may register for the webinar(s). Only online registrations are accepted. For assistance in registering, please call Peach New Media customer support at 1-866-702-3278.