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VA to provide grants for veteran, spouse employment help

Veterans Affairs officials on Friday unveiled a new $4 million grant program designed to help new veterans and their spouses find post-military jobs.

The program, announced on Military Spouse Appreciation Day, stems from legislation passed by Congress in 2021 and will offer grants up to $500,000 to organizations “that provide employment-based resources and tools for transitioning service members and spouses.”

Those services may include resume writing assistance, interview training, employment placement services, and related help.

“These grants will help our nation’s service members and their spouses get the tools and assistance they need to get the jobs they deserve,” VA Under Secretary for Benefits Joshua Jacobs said in a statement.

Veterans jobless rate drops to lowest average in more than 20 years

“Our goal is to put service members and their families into positions where their transition out of the military isn’t only manageable, it’s successful and empowers them to continue to lead our country.”

Department officials did not say how many veterans and family members they expect to be helped by the new program. About 200,000 service members leave the military annually.

Separating troops and their spouses already have access to Military OneSource services through the Department of Defense for one year after they leave the service. The Department of Labor also hosts Transition Employment Assistance for Military Spouses and Caregivers workshops designed to help those individuals find new jobs.

Despite that, military and veteran spouse unemployment rates sit at more than 20% despite years of federal focus on the problem. Lawmakers are considering several new initiatives aimed at the group in the annual defense authorization bill being drafted by congressional committees.

Veteran employment rates have generally remained at or below national estimates, although younger veterans have struggled more than their older counterparts to find work in their first years out of the service.

VA officials said details on how organizations can apply for the grants will be released in June.

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