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DLLR News

 

Lt. Governor Brown Launches First-in-the-Nation Web Portal to Connect Veterans with Federal Jobs

 

Mil2FedJobs portal provides transitioning veterans with more direct access to Federal positions

LARGO, MD (April 26, 2011) – Today, Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown joined Maryland Labor Secretary Alexander M. Sanchez, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Ed Chow and transitioning veterans at Prince George’s Community College to officially launch the Mil2FedJobs Web portal. The portal, located on the Maryland Workforce Exchange, is the first of its kind in any state to directly match transitioning servicemembers with careers in the Federal Government.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, more than one in five young veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were unemployed in 2010. The unemployment rate for veterans under the age of 25 was 20.9 percent last year, compared to a rate of 17.3 percent for non-veterans of the same age group.

“It is our duty to serve those who have so bravely served their country, and the innovative Mil2FedJobs site is one more way to ensure that Maryland’s veterans have the support they deserve,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “Our one-of-a-kind website will help servicemen and women find federal job opportunities that best match their skills. With the positions coming to our state through the Base Realignment and Closure process, we have a unique opportunity in Maryland to connect veterans with thousands of high quality jobs. It is unacceptable that so many brave Americans are unable to find work, so I am proud that Maryland continues to lead the way in efforts to reduce unemployment among young veterans.”

While veterans have an array of skills and vast training, many struggle to understand how their military experience can translate into the professional civilian environment. The Mil2FedJobs portal uses veterans’ military occupational codes (MOC) to query federal openings that match their qualifications on the USAJOBS Web tool. In part because of the large number of vacancies posted on USAJOBS, navigating the site without a tool like Mil2FedJobs can often be an overwhelming task for a first-time federal applicant. In addition, Mil2FedJobs allows civilian hiring managers to identify specific military occupations that share attributes with specific jobs in their agencies.

“We’ve asked a great deal of our veterans, and we have a responsibility to help them transition back into our communities. The Maryland Workforce Exchange and the Mil2FedJobs portal we’re launching today provide our servicemembers with new resources that will allow them to compete for federal jobs,” said Maryland Labor Secretary Alexander M. Sanchez. “I am proud that the O’Malley-Brown Administration, under Lt. Governor Brown’s leadership, has established Maryland as a national leader in the effort to help our veterans enter the civilian workforce.”

“I would like to thank the Lt. Governor and Secretary Sanchez for their leadership in establishing this Web portal for our veterans to find jobs in the federal Government,” said Maryland Veterans Secretary Ed Chow.

The Maryland Department of Labor and the portal’s development team collected and coded occupational definitions from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to provide key terms for occupational matches. The development team also worked closely with veteran hiring managers, One Stop Employment Center staff and local veterans’ employment representatives to test the portal’s usability. Research conducted during the portal’s development stages identified 715 specific federal occupations and more than 1,800 military occupations. On average, each MOC can be matched to seven federal occupations, and 80 percent of federal occupations can be matched to at least one MOC.

The Mil2FedJobs portal was developed by the Maryland Department of Labor Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning with funding from the U.S. Department of Labor Veterans Employment and Training Service to help connect transitioning veterans with the tens of thousands of federal jobs moving to Maryland because of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC). The portal was also designed to help federal agencies located in Maryland comply with President Barack Obama’s Executive Order 13518, which directs federal agencies to increase recruitment of veterans.

BRAC will create as many as 20,000 direct federal jobs in Maryland by September 2011 and up to 40,000 indirect jobs by 2015. In 2007, Governor Martin O’Malley and the Maryland General Assembly established the BRAC Subcabinet, which Lt. Governor Brown chairs, to prepare the state for the arrival of new jobs and new residents. The Subcabinet developed a BRAC Action Plan to manage the state’s efforts of maintaining and improving the necessary physical infrastructure and developing the workforce pipeline to ensure Maryland reaps the full economic benefits of BRAC. The Maryland Department of Labor has led the state’s BRAC workforce development and has partnered with various state agencies, through a $4 million U.S. Department of Labor Workforce ONE grant, to strengthen Maryland’s educated and skilled workforce.

In Federal Fiscal Year 2010, more than 6,300 veterans visited Maryland’s One Stop Centers, nearly 1,000 participated in in-depth job search and career management assistance and over 2,300 entered the workforce. Last fall, Lt. Governor Brown, the Maryland Department of Labor and the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs partnered with labor leaders to launch the Helmets to Hardhats program and the Warrior to Worker Initiative – a state program modeled on President Obama’s Executive Order 13518.

Lt. Governor Brown, a Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves and the nation’s highest-ranking elected official to have served a tour of duty in Iraq, leads the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s veterans portfolio. Since taking office in 2007, Lt. Governor Brown championed successful efforts to pass the Veterans Behavioral Health Act that expanded services to veterans in rural parts of the state, protect veterans business loans programs and fully fund the Iraq and Afghanistan Scholarship Program.