There are a number of private and public sector resources available to help employers find qualified veterans. This section shares a few of the key resources that representatives of the oil and natural gas industry might use to help fill their hiring needs with qualified, military-trained applicants.
How to Find Qualified Veterans
Oil and Gas Workforce Website
The Oil and Gas Workforce website provides information on opportunities for jobs, education, certification, and training in the oil and natural gas industry. Employers can use the site to contact API and request to add a link to their job or career website.
Department of Veterans Affairs’ Veterans Employment Center
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has created the Veterans Employment Center website for employers seeking qualified veterans and for veterans seeking civilian employment opportunities. Employers can search veteran profiles, post jobs, and make a commitment to hiring veterans and transitioning service members. Veterans are able to post their resumes and other relevant information about themselves.
American Job Centers
American Jobs Centers are funded by the U.S. Department of Labor and provide a full array of job placement and training-related services to both job seekers and employers. The American Job Centers in each state operate under names assigned by the responsible state agencies, which administer over 2,400 local offices serving urban and rural areas nationwide.
Government Programs to Facilitate Hiring
The United States Government has many different programs to connect employers with veterans who are a good fit for their open jobs. Initiatives by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Defense are good places to start to learn about such programs. These programs offer incentives to both employers and veterans alike, which can help fill gaps in education or training, or even provide supplemental income.
Department of Veterans Affairs Programs
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) operates a wide range of benefit programs for veterans. VA’s primary education and training program at this time is the Post 9/11 GI Bill. In addition to providing tuition and living expenses for veterans seeking academic degrees, the GI Bill also provides veterans with benefits for occupational training programs.
For employers, a key occupational training program is the OJT and Apprenticeship Program through which the veteran trainees/apprentices receive entry level wages from the employers/sponsors and also are eligible to receive the GI Bill Monthly Housing Allowance. An OJT program is required to be approved in advance by the VA, while a Registered Apprenticeship program does not require prior VA approval. These programs are especially helpful to employers and veterans to overcome the “earnings gap” that many veterans experience upon leaving military service and beginning to learn a new civilian career.
Department of Labor Programs
The Department of Labor (DOL) awards grants to state workforce agencies to provide job placement and occupational skills training to jobseekers, including veterans, who are struggling to gain employment. As indicated above, employers interested in hiring veterans who are participating in DOL funded programs can contact the American Job Centers (AJC) that serve their areas.
The staff at many AJC local offices includes one or more veterans’ representatives, commonly known as “vet reps,” whose work efforts are specifically devoted to veteran job seekers and to employers seeking to hire veterans. The veterans’ representatives who typically serve employers seeking to hire veterans are known as Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives (LVERs), while the veterans’ representatives who typically serve veteran jobseekers are known as Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program specialists (DVOPs).
Department of Defense Programs
The Department of Defense coordinates with all the military services to operate the SkillBridge program, in partnership with civilian employers and other industry organizations. Employer SkillBridge sponsors have the opportunity to provide civilian sector training and internships to transitioning service members during the final six months of their military careers.
The service members are eligible to participate in full-time training or internships in place of their normal military duties, while continuing to receive full military pay and benefits. SkillBridge sponsors bear the costs of the training or internships provided.