Economic Opportunities Committee
Economic Opportunities Committee Report, January 2015
BY FRANK BARRY, CHAIR
The Economic Opportunity Committee focused on the VVA Legislative Agenda and Policy Initiatives for the 114th Congress in two areas: cleaning up the CVE-with the recommendation that it set a single standard for statutory, regulatory, and interpretive policy that is fair and not over burdensome, with a culture of inclusion rather than exclusion, using applicable case law; the second area is in economic opportunity--to ensure that veterans separating are accorded veterans’ preference, that there be more oversight and monitoring, and that agencies are proactive in recruiting veterans and that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance meet the benchmarks in securing jobs with contractors and not anger employers by imposing arbitrary, unwarranted fines.
The EOC Committee also discussed reviewing programs for continued support, including the SBA Veterans Small Business Advisory Committee and the President’s Interagency Task Force on Veterans Business Development managed by the SBA. The consensus is that both agencies are going in the same direction, duplicating efforts with little effectiveness or benefit. In essence, they are not creating more contracting opportunities for Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses.
Committee member Ted Daywalt presented the VetJobs Veteran Employment Situation Report, which showed veteran unemployment increasing from 4.5 to 4.7 percent, due to the rapid downsizing of forces. One significant statistic is that 30 percent of jobs being created are part-time jobs, which numbers 21 million workers into the economy. Also companies are not finding skilled workers in the areas of STEM-Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math to fill the many jobs available.
The committee will continue to advocate for all veterans so that the coming year will be one of increasing economic opportunities.
BY FRANK BARRY
The VVA Economic Opportunity Committee, as required by Convention Resolution, provides this yearly report.
In keeping with the committee’s priorities, the focus was on jobs in the public and private sector, veterans who own or wish to own small businesses, identification of training to enhance quality of life for veterans and their families.
The committee supported various legislative initiatives: the VOW Act which President Obama signed in December; the Veterans Entrepreneurial Transition Act of 2011 which creates new businesses for veterans; Fairness to Veterans Act of 2011; National Guard Employment Protection Act of 2011;Help Veterans Own Franchises Act; Franchise Education for Veterans Act and the VET Act of 2011 which will allow veterans to use their educational benefits to start or purchase a qualifying business enterprise. A package of these bills will accompany President John Rowan when he testifies on the Hill in March.
Policies that the committee is challenging: the VA’s Vets First Policy for Service Disabled Veterans Small Businesses; the VA’s on-going recertification for disqualifying any veteran owned business; failure of most federal agencies to meet their objectives in procurement contracting.
In collaboration with other committees, the EOC is drafting legislation to stop predatory proprietary schools who are receiving veterans’ GI Bill funds without providing adequate training for securing jobs or valid degrees.
Another area of concern is veteran unemployment. The committee is raising awareness of the real unemployment problem which is in the National Guard and Reserve, not those coming off active duty as portrayed in the press. The committee will work on supporting legislation that addresses the unemployment of three groups: transitioning military/veterans, Reservists, and National Guard.
Respectfully submitted by Frank Barry, EOC Chair.
Did you know?
As you are aware OPM has developed Feds Hire Vets web site to assist in the Veterans Employment Initiative? Go to www.fedshirevets.gov for more information.
BY RIC DAVIDGE, CHAIR We call it Econ Ops. That’s short for Economic Opportunities Committee. Why the change? Very few people understood what the old ETaBO Committee was, and we have decided to adjust our priorities.
The committee will now put as much effort into helping veterans become successful in starting their own business. We will not abandon our charge of ensuring that the federal government meets its responsibilities to service-disabled, veteran-owned businesses, but we know that many new veterans want to start their own businesses.
Keeping Alaskans Out of the Cold
STATE OF ALASKA REPORT TO GOVERNOR FRANK MURKOWSKI
VetJobs, Leading Internet
“We at Vietnam Veterans of America are pleased to endorse VetJobs, the nation’s largest military-related job board on the Internet,” said John Rowan, VVA National President. “With the unemployment rate of newly discharged military veterans hovering around 15 percent–three times the national unemployment rate–VetJobs is a key resource for them and for Vietnam-era veterans too young to retire.
“We have looked at many sites that purport to provide jobs for veterans and their family members,” Rowan said. “Our endorsement is meant to let our members know that VVA recognizes the success that VetJobs has had in finding quality jobs for thousands of veterans and their family members. We encourage them to use the VetJobs site: www.VetJobs.com.”