South Dakota Veterans' Services 5-Year Plan,
Projected Employment Outlook for Veterans
Projected growth and decline of South Dakota industries
Among the fastest growing industries, health care and social assistance, accommodation and food services, construction, and finance and insurance are projected to require the largest number of workers from 2006 through 2016. The healthcare and social assistance industry alone will need an additional 12,845 workers during the projections time period. There are actually only a few industries which are expected to have a decline in workers, with apparel manufacturing and textile mills expected to have fewer jobs. Both of these industries are classified within the manufacturing sector.
Occupations in demand for skilled workers and available jobs projected over the next decade
Industry trends have a large impact on the future demand for workers in both the agricultural and nonagricultural industries. The short-term prospects for workers are currently mixed. While some businesses continue to experience lay-offs, others are starting to add staff. The short-term occupational projections for 2007-2009 indicate the majority of job growth will be within the food preparation/serving, office/administrative support, sales and production occupational groups.
Approximately one-half of the job listings with the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation (DLR) local office do not require postsecondary education. These types of jobs have higher turnover and require a large number of workers to keep them staffed. The long-term demand for workers is captured through occupational projections, which provide information about the future need for workers by occupation. Projections estimate the demand for new workers needed to fill jobs because of growth or replacement of workers leaving the work force. The South Dakota 2006-2016 occupational projections indicate several of the fastest growing occupations will require postsecondary education.
Potential growth industries and occupations
Economic development in South Dakota is focusing on industries compatible with the South Dakota economy and likely to expand in the future. Some of these industry clusters include Bio-Tech, Renewable Energy, Firearms, Computer Software and Medical. All of these industry clusters have staffing patterns that depend on workers with high levels of talent development, including management, research, healthcare, engineering, computer and skilled production occupations. Planned expansion in the healthcare industry alone will have a significant effect on the regional economy, with an estimate of over 9,000 added jobs.
The hiring and retention of veterans is being promoted through veteran-only career fairs, business outreach by DLR staff and outreach to all South Dakota universities. These activities and visits outline veterans' Priority of Service, but they also advocate the hiring of veterans with logical reasoning and examples. Also, November is traditionally "Hire Veteran's First" month in South Dakota and receives good response from the public, including employers.
Targeting Services to Veterans Most in Need
As in previous years, South Dakota focuses its services primarily on disabled veterans (with emphasis on special-disabled veterans), those who are most in need (homeless, unemployed, underemployed) and those who have barriers to employment (substance abuse, ex-felons, lifestyle changes, family obligations, etc.). Also, we have been focusing on our recently separated veterans, in particular during our Transition Assistance Program (Transition Assistance Program (TAP)) Workshop. Job development has become a high priority for our Chapter 31 veteran clients and our partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs' Vocational Rehabilitation staff remains solid, and we are in the process of updating our official agreement per the newly instituted, "A Team Approach for Providing Employment Services to Veterans with Disabilities."
Our outreach includes VA Vocational Rehabilitation offices in both Rapid City and Sioux Falls for a minimum of four hours each week, depending on case load. We conduct outreach at least once per week to each of our state universities, educating staff and students on veterans' services that we provide. Each of our DLR local offices have a formal business outreach plan which includes veterans' services, and they make regular visits to all employers in their respective service areas. A select number of our veterans' representatives also make regular outreach visits to the Indian Reservations.
DLR has a solid partnership with the South Dakota Division of Veterans Affairs (SDDVA) and each of the Veteran' Service Organizations (VSO), in particular a strong relationship with the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the American Legion. Of note, the State Administrator for Veterans' Services for DLR is the State Employment Chairman for the DAV and VFW. This has greatly enhanced the partnership. The past few years DLR has sponsored at least two veterans' career fairs each year, which have been held at one of the VSO's offices. While sponsoring these events, we have had the following organizations/agencies participate: each of the VSOs, SDDVA, Vet Center, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), VA Hospital staff and Goodwill Industries (or other local homeless coordinators). As you can see, we have turned these events into a "one stop" concept in order to meet the needs of all veteran target groups in one setting. They have proven to be very successful.
Monitoring is conducted using a couple of methods. One is the DLR local office veterans' representative providing detailed feedback of events and ensuring they are documenting each service provided to the veteran in SDWORKS (SD's online employment delivery system which includes veteran's intensive services screens). The other is then from the state level of assessing the feedback and producing reports based on the documentation provided. These reports can produce local data on individuals, local office data or broad performance data as a state. These reports are referred to as management reports and have proven to be effective to both the local office managers and the central office staff.
Planned Deployment of Grant Funded Staff
South Dakota currently operates 19 local offices (three of them part time) and has five full-time and eight half-time grant-funded veterans' representatives providing service to veteran job-seekers. Not including the part-time offices, 6 local offices have no grant funded veterans' representatives due to our funding allocation. However, these six offices do have staff trained by the National Veterans' Training Institute, who provide service to veteran job seekers.
South Dakota has two Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment facilities, one in Sioux Falls and one in Rapid City. Each one of these locations has an Intensive Services Coordinator assigned who reports Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment activity to the State Administrator of Veterans' Services and the Director of Veterans Employment and Training. The Intensive Services Coordinator or another veterans' representative from each respective local office routinely spend six to 10 hours per week at each Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment facility.
South Dakota has two Vet Center locations, again one in Sioux Falls and one in Rapid City. A veterans' representative conducts outreach at least once a week or is on call to visit if needed. They also make a weekly visit to the homeless shelters in Sioux Falls and Rapid City or will come when needed.
South Dakota has one Transition Assistance Program (TAP) site located at Ellsworth AFB, Rapid City. We normally facilitate four workshops per quarter but have added an extra one on occasion when needed. The Rapid City local office has five individuals who have been through the National Veterans' Training Institute TAP facilitator course and are qualified to facilitate the workshop.
In the past number of years, South Dakota has had a very small turnover of veterans' representatives, having to fill a few vacancies which were filled expeditiously with a minimal gap in turnover.
Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program (DVOP) Specialists
The duties of South Dakota's Director of Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program (DLR refers to this position as Veteran Outreach Representatives) are strictly adhered to in accordance with VPL 07-05 and Title 38, Section 4103A. These duties include:
There are no conflicts with assigned duties of DLR local office staff. Veteran job seekers are identified through intake when they enter a local office. The veteran is then further referred to the veterans' representative for verification, veteran status, if disabled, what percentage and if service-connected, campaign badge awarded, newly separated, etc. Disabled (including special) and recently separated veterans are provided intensive services. In addition, any veteran who is having an issue with vocational choice, vocational change, or job adjustment (or any other barrier) is suggested or recommended for intensive services. In fact, all our veteran job seekers are offered intensive services. All Chapter 31 (Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment) veterans within 90 days of graduation are provided intensive services. If a veteran is already receiving intensive services through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), we follow the veteran's progress and will assist the respective TANF/WIA program manager/staff as needed. Cross referrals between Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program (DVOP), WIA, TANF, and Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), etc. program staff is ongoing and very common. Often, they will meet an Intensive Services Coordinator's plan for the veteran, and determine what service will best help the veteran. The program staff also compares rosters of veterans enrolled to ensure no one is overlooked or service duplicated.
Local Veterans' Employment Representative (LVER) Staff
The duties of South Dakota's Local Veterans' Employment Representative (LVER) staff (South Dakota refers to this position as Veteran Employment Representative) are strictly adhered to in accordance with Veterans' Program Letter 07-05 and Title 38, Section 4104. These duties include:
There are no conflicts with assigned duties of local office staff.
Each local office has a designated Employment Representative (ER), including a veteran representative, who conducts regular employer outreach. The office manager of the respective office keeps record of when the last employer outreach was conducted and utilizes that record to create a regular schedule. The State Administrator of Veterans' Services conducts monthly audits to ensure each office is adhering to this schedule, and routinely meets with the local office manager to Intensive Services Coordinators what information is provided regarding employing veterans. Generally the
Veterans Employment Representative (VER) or Veterans' Outreach Representative (VOR) is included in and conducts employer visits, but when this is not feasible, the ER who makes the visit presents the same material to the employer as the veteran representative would. In other words, information regarding all services the local office provides is shared with the employer including veteran services.
We made a significant change in 2004, changing all veterans' representatives to VOR with the exception of one FTE who is the lone VER. The VER is located in the Rapid City local office. We felt this was necessary because of Ellsworth Air Force Base in the area and the number of Recently Separated Veterans that would be encountered. This VER is our primary contact with the base and through Transition Assistance Program (TAP) Workshops, Recently Separated Veterans. This VER also provides intensive services to Recently Separated Veterans when the situation warrants and labor exchange services to job-ready veterans.
Program Integration and Leveraging Resources
The DLR local offices are the primary source of labor exchange services in the state. Each year local offices fill more than 50,000 job openings, and their services don't stop there. Every local office is staffed with trained professionals, including Veterans' Outreach Representatives (VOR) and the lone Veterans Employment Representative (VER) who are integrated into the delivery of services, who serve both veterans and non-veterans ready to help job seekers identify opportunities and prepare for productive employment. Local offices screen and test veteran job seekers to match the employer's needs, and can also schedule job interviews and space in the office to conduct them.
Local offices have many ways they help veterans find employment opportunities. Local office staff can help veterans identify their career interests, write a resume, locate possible jobs, complete the application process and prepare for a job interview. Veterans' representatives are included and integrated into the local office staff as part of the one-stop concept.
Local offices maintain close ties with local development groups and other business and labor organizations. They are in tune with an area's economy and local business happenings, so they can provide employers with helpful advice on a variety of employment issues. Information is available about Veterans' Preference, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Workers' Compensation and Affirmative Action laws, Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations, and Unemployment Insurance requirements. Local offices provide information on the WOTC program and Welfare-to-Work tax credit too.
Local office staff, along with the veterans' representatives, conduct outreach and public information activities in a couple different ways. One that has proven to be successful is regular visits to our universities and technical trade schools. We felt with the number of veterans who are now attending school, we would need to reach out to them and explain the services that we provide and how we can help their successful transition from school to the workforce. We also have had annual veterans only job fairs in our two largest offices service areas. This has proven to be successful for both employers and veteran job seekers alike.
Local offices have access to the largest labor pool in the state -- more than 30,000 active job-seekers of which approximately 6,000 are veterans. These veterans received nearly 65,000 various services from our veteran representatives and local office staff. Veterans represent all occupational backgrounds, from clerical and production workers to managerial and professional employees. Employment listings receive free national exposure through DLR's affiliation with Job Central and Vet Central. Employers can also list their job openings electronically with SDWORKS (Internet based) system from their home or office computer.
Job training can be customized to meet individual employer needs for a trained work force prior to or during a company start-up or expansion. Customized skill training helps employers who might otherwise find it difficult to locate applicants with specific job skills. The training typically involves classroom instruction sponsored by one or more businesses that need similarly qualified employees.
The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) is an employment and training program designed to provide services that will increase skills for veterans that will result in employment and an increase in earnings. WIA offers education and job training programs that can help in overcoming employment barriers.
Rapid changes in the marketplace have dictated that South Dakota adapt its training system to meet the changing demands of the state's employers. WIA helps veterans acquire skills to work with new technology, it assists those who have lost their jobs because of shifts in the economy or changing consumer demands, and it works with social service agencies to help veterans and families make the break from public assistance and support themselves. The goal of WIA is to train veterans and other participants for an occupation with a "career ladder" or room for advancement. Veterans needing employment or training may be eligible for WIA. Local offices will determine if WIA is the right program. WIA is not an entitlement program, and selection for participation in the program is a local decision that is based on an assessment of a job seekers needs, interests, abilities, motivation and the prospects for successfully completing the program. WIA is an individualized program. Depending on education and employment needs, a service plan will be designed that will allow full use of the available services. Services may include work readiness skills, such as interviewing tips or resume writing. Also available is employment counseling to help learn about jobs and what career opportunities may exist with the right education and training. If needed, help may be obtained with basic skill education, studying for the GED, or completion of your high school diploma.
Specific Training Programs Include:
All of these training programs are communicated to the veteran job seekers through: one-on-one contact with the veterans' representatives, other local office staff, job fairs, public service announcements, press releases, through our local veteran's service organizations and through partnerships with other state agencies who serve veterans, namely the SD Division of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The DLR has a good network established between Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) entities, Veteran Service Organizations (VSO), and the South Dakota Division of Veterans Affairs which consist of the state's county and tribal veteran service officers. Cross training takes place on a regular basis to ensure no items are over looked when providing service to a veteran. In some instances, a veteran's barrier to employment may require the assistance of a VA facility (Vets Center, Hospital ...), and multiple interactions are required. The State Administrator of Veterans' Services attends all Veteran Service Organizations (VSO) yearly conferences and participates in the South Dakota Veterans' Commission (appointed by the Governor) and Council (State VSO officers) regular meetings/hearings. Veteran labor issues are always at the forefront of these meetings as a means of exploring ways to better serve our veteran population.
A cooperative agreement between DLR and Veterans Affairs Medical & Regional Office is in place. The general objective is being successful in the readjustment of veterans into civilian life. This would include active cooperation and coordination in implementation of programs serving veterans. The ultimate goal is successful vocational rehabilitation, job placement, and adjustment to employment. In South Dakota we have established dual Intensive Services Coordinator's at our two Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation and Education locations as mentioned in section of this plan entitled "Planned Deployment of Grant Funded Staff."
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) and DLR local offices is also in place. This MOU, in general, ensures a Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program (DVOP) and/or LVER will provide all veterans maximum access to local offices and the services provided. These services include but are not limited to:
Priority of Service
Each Department of Labor and Regulation program administrator is educated on the new provision of providing Priority of Service to qualified veterans. This education is provided by the State Administrator of Veterans' Services and in turn they train their staff that operates the program in the local offices. DOL is the grantee of the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) grant who sub-grants to Experience Works, and they are educated on Priority of Service as well. South Dakota has no formal agreements with other service providers since it is a single-delivery state (one Workforce Investment Board) which includes Wagner-Peyser, Unemployment Insurance, Workforce Investment Act, Labor Market Information, etc. and Priority of Service is included in all programs and services via state policy, and state plans.
The monitoring of Priority of Service is completed through a number of reports run by the State Administrator of Veterans' Services. These various reports measure referral vs. enrolled for the different DLR programs that are administered by DLR. In other words, the expected enrollment of veterans in DLR programs should consist of at least 15 percent of the total number of enrolled clients. To follow this up, spot checks are conducted looking at individual case files and the staff who operates the program is questioned if Priority of Service was provided and in what manner. Basically, they provide a step-by-step process of how it was completed. Also, during the Director of Veterans Employment and Training/state agency on-site validation conducted each year, the office being validated is reviewed for the provision of Priority of Service.
Each DLR local office provides maximum employment and training opportunities for eligible veterans and eligible persons with priority given to special disabled/disabled veterans, veterans who served on active duty during a war, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized (Campaign Badge*).
The following required priorities will be observed in making referrals of qualified job seekers to job openings and training opportunities:
A mandatory listing is a job order placed with a DLR local office that meets the following conditions:
Any contractor or subcontractor with a contract of $100,000 or more with the federal government must take affirmative action to hire and promote qualified targeted veterans which includes special disabled, disabled, newly separated veterans, and any other veterans who served on active duty during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a Campaign Badge has been authorized. Contractors and subcontractors with openings for jobs, other than executive or top management positions, positions which are to be filled from within the contractor's organization, and positions lasting three days or less, must list them with the nearest DLR local office (SDWORKS) or with an appropriate and accredited electronic job bank. We encourage them to list with DLR since we upload to Job/Vet Central. The requirement applies to vacancies at all locations of a business not otherwise exempt under the company's federal contract.
Qualified targeted veterans receive priority for referral to federal contractor job openings listed at those offices. The priority for referral does not guarantee that referred veterans will be hired. Federal contractors are not required to hire those referred but must have affirmative action plans. Contractors with at least 50 employees and a contract of $50,000 or more must have a written affirmative action plan. They must be able to show they have followed the plans and that they have not Intensive Services Coordinator against veterans or other covered groups. They must also show that they have actively recruited targeted veterans and disseminated all promotion information internally regarding promotion activities.
Selection and referral procedures will expose veteran job seekers to the most job orders possible before such orders are placed in the mainstream of the selection and referral process. Veterans receive 24-hour preference on all mandatory listing orders. If suitable veteran job seekers cannot be found through file selection or walk-in traffic within 24 hours, then non-veteran job seekers will be considered. If a suitable veteran or non-veteran job seeker cannot be referred within the specific time, the employers will be contacted to review the job order.
"Same Day" selection and referral of veteran job seekers to mandatory listing job openings must be accomplished in the following priority sequence:
Performance Incentive Awards
Our Veterans' Services program provides an employee award and recognition plan authorized by Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) in accordance with PL107-288 (Jobs for Veterans Act) and by direction of Veterans Program Letter (VPL) 02-07. The program is designed to recognize an employee's contribution to the objectives through excellence in performance and service to veterans.
DLR will select the following award(s) when recognizing an individual who has encouraged the improvement and modernization of employment, training, and placement services for veterans and recognize eligible employees for excellence in the provision of such services, or for having made demonstrable improvements in the provision of services to veterans.
Distinguished Accomplishment: A notable event or achievement that is significant in scope, effort, or impact on the State of South Dakota operations with service to veterans.
This award category indicates achievement well beyond the norm. In general, the minimum required level of achievement should not be so high as to be unattainable by employees who are generally recognized as performing in an outstanding manner, nor so low that the awards lose significance by being easily attainable.
Eligible recipients of State Employee Performance Incentive Awards are Veterans' Outreach Representatives, Veterans' Employment Representatives staff, and any other employee providing services to veterans under WIA and employment service delivery programs as defined in P.L.107-288, Section 4112. Recipients of performance incentive awards must be individuals, and will be recognized by DLR on a date within three months of completion of given PY. For example, the timeline for FY2009, PY2008 will be the given PY and the award(s) will be made during 4th quarter of FY2009, in September of 2009.
Ineligible recipients include the State Administrator of Veterans' Services, entities and federal staff. Although entities are not eligible recipients, individuals in an office, unit or area, are not restricted from being awarded where performance warrants recognition under the incentive awards program.
Selection criteria for award recipients must be based on performance or activities during the program year previous to the Intensive Services Coordinator year, i.e. for FY2009, performance data for PY2008 will be used. This will involve both objective and subjective data.
In particular, consideration will be given to employees who demonstrate outstanding outreach on behalf of veterans who have barriers to employment, especially homeless veterans. Relying solely on performance data will not be relied upon, in part because such data will likely represent performance prior to the current program year. Attitude, motivation, program improvement, positive feedback, and other indicators of outstanding performance will be given consideration over numerical data.
DLR will provide the award in cash. The total gross value of all cash awards to a single employee under this program during will not exceed $500.
The award is paid from the FY VETS Grant award, with the total amount distributed not to exceed one percent of the Grant. The South Dakota Secretary of Labor retains total Intensive Services Coordinator both as to the fact of an award and as to the amount and/or nature of the award. The amount or nature of an award, if any, is determined by the Secretary without prior promise or agreement. The employee has no contract right, express or implied, to any award. The award is not paid pursuant to any prior contract, agreement, or promise.
The nomination and selection will be made by the Secretary of Labor, Deputy Secretary of Labor, and the State Administrator of Veterans' Services.
The guiding principle in selection criteria will be the recognition and promotion in the improvement of services to veterans. The following is a list of some sample criteria for individual achievements or efforts that will be sought:
Collaborative success of individuals comprising an area, office or unit, in providing all services to veterans; may include success in employer relations and "great customer service" to veteran clients. Note: Individuals from such an area, office or unit may be awarded, although the entity itself is not itself eligible for award.
Incentive award funds will be obligated by September 30 (end of Intensive Services Coordinator year) and expended by December 31. A Summary Report form will be used for detailing the expenditure of incentive award funds and will be submitted in conjunction with fourth quarter Intensive Services Coordinator year reporting requirements.
Transition Assistance Program (TAP)
DLR veterans' representatives facilitate four Transition Assistance Program (TAP) Workshops each quarter at Ellsworth AFB, Rapid City. It is a three- and a half-day day workshop (including Transition Assistance Program (TAP)) that adheres to the VETS Transition Assistance Program (TAP) manual and guidelines. The local office staff that facilitates the workshop and their National Veterans' Training Institute Transition Assistance Program (TAP) Workshop attendance date:
Ken Moon, June 1997
Lee Mai, July 1991
Joe Waggoner, July 2006
John Smith, October 1998
The Transition Assistance Program Workshop also utilizes a local County Veterans Service Officer, Vet Center staff and a Veterans Affairs representative.
Narrative Budget Information
South Dakota utilizes a Time-Keeping System (TKS) which separates the different programs, i.e. Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program, Local Veterans' Employment Representative, Transition Assistance Program and Incentives are identified separately as such for both the users and administrators.
Monthly reports are generated by Intensive Services Coordinator staff and shared with program leads which provides an individual's time charged, to what and how much. This allows the program leads to monitor proper charging of time and then equate that to time spent on the program.
The half-time Veterans' Outreach Representatives generally do not have a set time to see veteran job-seekers but their administrative work for the program is on a set schedule of specific times during the day which then add up to one-half time per week. The lone Veterans' Employment Representative with DLR is full time.