GENERAL PROGRAM INFORMATION
What is Veterans Green Force?
This is a program that matches military veterans with jobs and related training and educational opportunities in the growing, sustainable green jobs sector. Our goal is to connect with 1,000 veterans by mid-2013, and place 30% of them, or 300, into green sector jobs.
Why is this program needed?
We need to put veterans back to work as part of our national responsibility to the millions of veterans who have served, particularly those who have served since 9/11 in our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
When will jobs be available?
We are currently working with myriad businesses and industries to identify green job opportunities throughout the U.S. Veterans Green Force brings together government agencies, private companies, other nonprofits, and training and education groups to prepare veterans for the green workforce and place them into jobs. As these partnerships are developed we will advertise job openings.
How does Veterans Green Force work?
First, veterans get in touch with us via the web, at job fairs or other networking events, and through transition programs, and fill out an application. Through one-on-one counseling, their current skills and military experience are assessed, their resume is refined to match available job openings, and a career path is identified. If needed, veterans are guided toward training to help develop skills. They are then connected with employers who are seeking skilled workers – and once a match is made, regular followup ensures a good fit.
What if a veteran doesn’t have the skills s/he needs for jobs that are available?
We are partnering with higher education institutions and training organizations to help get veterans the skills, training and hands-on experience they need to get good green jobs. We have established formal relationships with a number of institutions, and will be reaching out to collaborate with many others.
Skills gained in the military might not match up with skills needed in civilian jobs. How does your program address that gap?
We see lots of military skills that make veterans well suited for civilian jobs. Veterans have transferable soft and technical skills, a strong work ethic, team- and results-oriented values, a mission focus, team-building abilities and an innate sense of safety. We also have direct experience providing veterans with hands-on training in areas such as wildland fire mitigation and home energy efficiency. There are many job-specific skills they will need to acquire and certifications they will be able to earn through the expertise and offerings of our program partners.
Which companies have signed up to offer jobs?
We are building the program and talking with a growing list of small- to mid-size employers in the green industries. But our strategy is to also work with larger organizations, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, local chambers, professional associations (e.g. in the construction industry), and networks (such as veterans groups and military-environmental groups), that serve as connecting points to greater networks of employers.
Is this a Denver-based program?
Veterans Green Force will be nationwide. For the first year we are focused on creating a successful program model in Colorado, then will replicate the model in other states. Other first priority states with green industry footprints include Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California and Washington.
Is this program for all veterans?
Veterans Green Force will serve military veterans from all eras of service; however, we believe that the demand will be greatest among post-9/11 veterans who are coming back from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and seeking to reintegrate into civilian communities and find jobs to sustain themselves and their families.
What are the benefits of this program to veterans?
Veterans benefit from one-on-one counseling where we place them into available jobs, or we help them get the skills and training they need to get jobs.
What are the benefits of this program to employers?
Employers get access to exceptional employees with transferable soft and technical skills, a strong work ethic, team- and results-oriented values, a mission focus, team-building abilities and an innate sense of safety. Employers also benefit from two tax credits that were included in the American Jobs Act and signed into law by President Obama in 2011: the Returning Heroes Tax Credit and the Wounded Warrior Tax Credit.
Who runs this program?
Lieutenant Colonel (Retired, US Army) John Toth is our senior director who is leading this program. John is a career Army veteran, a combat veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and a former professor of Military Science at the University of Colorado. Reach John at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW TO GET STARTED
How do employers and veterans sign up?
Veterans should fill out our interest form on our website (www.veteransgreenjobs.org/interest-form). Veterans and employers may both call us at 720-236-1300 or send an email to email@example.com.
Where are jobs posted?
Jobs will be posted on our website and in our weekly e-newsletter. Sign up for e-news on our home page at www.veteransgreenjobs.org.
How can other people get involved?
We welcome and accept all forms of support including financial contributions, in-kind contributions, and volunteers. Visit our website for more information.
What is the unemployment rate for veterans?
The national unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans is far above the national average. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in June 2012, of those veterans who have served since 2001, 12.7 percent were unemployed in May, and the youngest (18-24 years of age) are unemployed at a rate of 23.5 percent. More than one million veterans are projected to leave the military between 2011 and 2016, placing increased demands on the workforce.
In 2011, 49,000 Colorado veterans (out of 475,000 total veterans in the state) sought employment assistance with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, but this represents only a portion of the veterans needing employment. Additonally, there are some 21,000 recent veterans attending institutions of higher education in Colorado.
VETERANS GREEN JOBS
What is Veterans Green Jobs’ role in this program?
We are the connection point, the subject matter experts and the career counselors, providing a liaison between veterans and employers. We will match veterans’ skills and interests they learned in the military with jobs in the civilian market; in some cases that may include finding qualified training and educational programs.
How is Veterans Green Force different from Veterans Green Jobs’ other programs?
Since 2008 we have offered training and employment programs for over 400 veterans; these give veterans skills to prepare them for the workforce. And we have directly employed more than 50 veterans in our energy efficiency service program. Veterans Green Force takes all of our “building blocks” and experiences to the next step by connecting employers who have job openings with veterans who are looking for jobs, and expanding our impact to thousands of veterans
Are all of the jobs at Veterans Green Jobs?
No. Our focus is on matching veterans to jobs with other employers. We are forming partnerships with government agencies, private companies, and other nonprofits that offer employment opportunities and are looking for veterans with skills to fit those jobs. Most job placement will occur with these third-party organizations, although Veterans Green Jobs will also hire directly from time to time.
How many veterans have gotten jobs through your programs so far?
We are building a tracking system to more accurately measure the number of jobs that have been created or obtained as a direct result of our previous programs. Since our founding in 2008 we have directly served over 400 veterans in our job and training programs. We have helped hundreds of others through referral services such as housing and transportation.
GREEN JOBS AND VETERANS
What are green jobs?
Green jobs are sustainable jobs that serve our communities and environment.
(Examples: Energy efficiency / conservation; Renewable / clean energy; Green construction / building; Natural resources / conservation; Environmental remediation / response; Sustainable agriculture)
Why green jobs?
Green is another way of saying sustainable. Sustainable jobs offer long-term economic, social and environmental benefits for our country. Anecdotally, we have heard from many military veterans who say they want these jobs. They are looking for sustainable opportunities and ways to continue serving their country and communities, and helping our nation achieve energy independence and security.
Why are veterans a good fit for these jobs?
Veterans are uniquely suited to do green jobs. They are exceptional employees with transferable soft and technical skills, a strong work ethic, team- and results-oriented values, a mission focus, team-building abilities and an innate sense of safety. They also have a desire to continue giving back to their communities and the nation. Veterans possess numerous technical skills achieved through military training and operations. For example, the military has been a leader in the implementation of renewable energy products, including field-based solar panels.
Veterans want to do this type of work. For them, taking care of our country’s natural resources and enhancing our environment and communities is a continuation of their military service.
How many green jobs are available?
We anticipate that the green jobs sector, including renewable energy, natural resources conservation and environmental remediation, will continue to grow in the next decade.
More companies are being called upon to install solar energy technologies, increase energy efficiency in residential, industrial and commercial industries, and the list goes on. President Obama said in his State of the Union address in January 2012 that the country must make a commitment to creating sustainable jobs for veterans and expanding the clean energy sector.
SPONSORS AND PARTNERS
Who is paying for this program?
We received a generous $100,000, one-year grant from Call of Duty Endowment and a two-year, $750,000 grant from Walmart. We also rely heavily on individual donations.
Who are your partners?
We have relationships with a number of private companies, government entities, higher education institutions, training organizations and other nonprofits. For a list of partners visit http://veteransgreenjobs.org/about/partners.