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July 11, 2012

Veterans Employment Initiatives Take Effect
Apply Now for Professional Licensure Fee Waiver, Military Training Equivalency Credit

MADISON – Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) Secretary John Scocos announced today that initiatives to connect veterans to employment are now in effect. Among the new benefits for veterans are a fee waiver, military training equivalency credits and reciprocal credentials (for the spouses of service members) for occupational and professional licenses.

“Connecting veterans with jobs and removing obstacles to employment for veterans and their spouses is our top priority,” Secretary Scocos said. “Through veteran-specific career fairs, listening sessions and other outreach initiatives, we are addressing the unique challenges veterans have to finding employment.”

Taking effect on July 1, 2012 were:

  • 2011 Wisconsin Act 209 – creates the Veterans Professional/Occupational Licensure Fee Waiver Program requiring WDVA to establish and maintain a program in which 13 state agencies grant fee waivers to qualified veterans when issuing initial licenses.
  • 2011 Wisconsin Act 120 – enables veterans to request consideration of their military training, education and experience to satisfy licensure requirements.
  • 2011 Wisconsin Act 210 – provides reciprocal occupational credentials to the spouse of a service member who has been assigned to Wisconsin. It also updates requirements for license extension or renewal for service members on active duty.

Department of Safety and Professional Services Secretary Dave Ross added: “We are eager and ready to assist Wisconsin’s veterans in their pursuit of employment in their professional field of choice. As the licensing authority for over 240 licensed professions, our team at the Department of Safety and Professional Services is dedicated to helping these fine men and women as they transition back into Wisconsin’s workforce.”

For more information about these new benefits and full listing of the agencies and the professional and occupational licenses visit: www.WisVets.com/Ben-POLicensure.asp.

Under Governor Walker’s “Wisconsin Working” plan, the WDVA and the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) are implementing additional initiatives to connect unemployed workers with jobs including 16 veteran-specific career fairs, symposiums for employers to connect with the veterans community and learn the benefits of hiring veterans, listening sessions to directly connect with veterans and other outreach.

DWD Secretary Reggie Newson stated: “Thanks to the new initiatives signed by Governor Walker, Wisconsin's veterans will have additional support in their pursuit of new employment opportunities. These brave men and women have done so much to protect our nation’s freedom, and connecting them to new job opportunities is one way we can show our gratitude for the sacrifices they have made.”

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development has Local Veterans' Employment Representative (LVER) and Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) staff in comprehensive Job Centers and additional outreach locations throughout Wisconsin who are ready to assist all veterans with their employment search and serve as a resource for all veteran benefit programs.

The WDVA has made veteran employment a top issue. An outreach team and a Veterans Benefits Resource Center (VBRC) are responsible for directly assisting veterans with employment and other issues. In March, the WDVA launched the VBRC, ensuring that veterans who call or choose the “chat” feature on the WDVA homepage will be able to immediately speak to Center Support Staff who are trained to provide the most frequently requested information about the Department’s programs, benefits and services.

Governor Walker declared 2012 the Year of the Veteran to honor the deeds of Wisconsin’s veterans and provide them with the tools they need to reintegrate into civilian society such as education, health care and employment assistance.