Veterans’ Workforce Investment Program (VWIP) grant application

Aloha All:

I am writing to you to ask whether or not you would be willing to provide a letter of support (LOS) as part of the grant application package that the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) Workforce Development Division (WDD) is currently preparing for federal grant funds in support of employment and training services under the Veterans’ Workforce Investment Program (VWIP). Please see the following description.

ABSTRACT : Veterans Workforce Investment Program Hawaii

Industry Focus:

· Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Fields

· Health Care (e.g. personal and home care aides, registered nurses)

· Apprenticeship Programs (e.g. Journeyworker, Pearl Harbor Apprenticeship Training)

Cooperating Workforce Center: Department of Labor and Industrial Relations: Workforce Development Division, in partnership with DVR, One Stop Centers, University of Hawaii-Manoa: Center for Disability Studies, University of Hawaii System’s ten campus Career Centers.

Project Objectives and Activities: The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) Workforce Development Division (WDD) is applying for federal grant funds for employment and training services under the Veterans’ Workforce Investment Program (VWIP), administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) (Solicitation for Grant Funds #12-02 / PY 2012).

Funding will support the provision of intensive and training services with a case management and mentoring approach to assist eligible veterans facing employability barriers. WDD will collaborate with the Center for Disability Studies (CDS) at the University of Hawaii – Manoa to plan and implement VWIP services to eligible veterans statewide. It will sub-contract components of the planned VWIP menu of services to CDS; leveraging the Center’s experience in providing intensive, training, and supportive services to individuals with disabilities.

WDD has partnered with VETS to operate the Veterans’ Employment Representative (LVER) and Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP); providing specialized employment services to veterans since the inception of these two programs. The Division’s experience and its enduring relationships with Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and One-Stop Center partners as well as with other veterans workforce development agencies has positioned it to effortlessly integrate with CDS to plan and implement innovative services for Hawaii’s veterans.

Hawaii Veterans Resource Center (HVRC) addresses the direct need to provide innovative and evidenced based job placement strategies to veterans transitioning from the military to civilian work world. HVRC is designed to supplement existing services provided by WDD. Currently, no system exists to support VAs with combined key services that streamline direct educational and vocational training into job placement and retention. Further, limitations exist with current services to aggressively recruit and immediately place VAs into training fields to enhance veterans’ transition into the civilian workforce. As a result, veterans fall through the cracks and suffer from multiple challenges relevant unemployed, health, and homeless. Without the innovative transitional solutions proposed, these negative outcomes will further increase. Through the VWIP-HI grant, the Department of Labor and Industrial Relationship (DLIR) and HVRC, which will be housed at the University of Hawaii Manoa, will work in partnership to takes a holistic approach to improve VAs transition from their military occupational specialty (MOS) into to the civilian workforce through the following goals: 1. Vocation and Educational training, 2. Placement in high demand job, and 3. Job Retention. To meet these goals, VWIP-HI proposes the HVRC to be housed at the flagship campus, University of Hawaii Manoa, with Virtual VRCs system wide in the ten (10) campuses (seven community colleges, and three universities). Collaboratively the DLIR, DVR, HI Military Branches, and HVRC will employ a SWOT and Feasibility Analysis as part of a Strategic Planning Process to guide strategy development & provision.

Target group: The four target groups of VAs, who will be recruited to participate in this program are VAs who have: 1. Service connected disabilities, 2. Significant employment barriers, 3. Served on active duty in armed forces during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized, and 4. Recently separated (within 48 months of discharge).

Number of Participants to be Served Over three years, the project will serve more than 600 Veterans who fall into one or more of the four Target Groups. Eligible veterans from all military branches will be identified, with key attention to veterans who have returned to the US within the past 48 months and with disabilities and other diverse challenges.

Number and Location of Proposed Sites. DLIR One Stop Centers in partnership with UH-M Center on Disability Studies, and University of Hawaii System’s ten (10) school campuses, .

Training Activities: Vocational and Education. The VWIP-HI program will serve all eligible VAs, but give special attention to and emphasis to VAs who are within two-years for vocational or educational training, job placement, and retention. Priority is given to VAs with a higher likelihood of completing certification, pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs, on the job training, and two-year associate degrees (24 college credits). This includes VAs with transferable credits for an associate, bachelor, or master educational degrees, who can complete their respective degrees within 2 to 3 years. The Individual Employment Plans provides clear 1-, 2-, and 3-year timelines for education and vocational training for all eligible and admitted VAs into VWIPs. Education and Vocational training is centered on Apprenticeship programs, STEM, and Health Care fields.

Proposed Project Outcomes Two goal outcomes: (1) Increased (quantity) number of job placements and job options, and (2) Increased opportunity for higher quality job placement and retention.

We would be happy to provide a template for the LOS, if you would like. Please send request for template, questions, and/or your LOS to Charlene Tomas, lead on the grant application, by Wednesday, 06 June 2012.


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