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  • III. Operational Planning Elements

    The Unified or Combined State Plan must include an Operational Planning Elements section that supports the State’s strategy and the system-wide vision described in Section II(c) above.  Unless otherwise noted, all Operational Planning Elements apply to Combined State Plan partner programs included in the plan as well as to core programs.  This section must include—

    • b. State Operating Systems and Policies

      The Unified or Combined State Plan must include a description of the State operating systems and policies that will support the implementation of the State strategy described in section II Strategic Elements.  This includes—

III. b. 7. Priority of Service for Veterans

Describe how the State will implement and monitor the priority of service provisions for veterans in accordance with the requirements of the Jobs for Veterans Act, codified at section 4215 of 38 U.S.C., which applies to all employment and training programs funded in whole or in part by the Department of Labor.  States should also describe the referral process for veterans determined to have a significant barrier to employment to receive services from the Jobs for Veterans State Grants (JVSG) program’s Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program (DVOP) specialist.

Current Narrative:

In affiliation with the American Job Center (AJC) network, the Alabama Veterans’ Services Program within the Alabama Career Center system shall offer comprehensive employment and career placement service to nearly 25,000 veterans a year through a combination of self- service Internet-based job services and direct assistance at AJCs throughout the state. The Alabama Job Link (AJL) system, as a point of entry for self-service registration, provides a priority service notification to veterans and covered persons at the Alabama JobLink website. Veterans and persons entitled to priority services and training complete a universal application that includes features and questions designed to assist staff members in identifying them for priority services and training at the point of entry into the workforce development system. Veterans who can use AJL competently are encouraged to self-register and make maximum use of the automated access to resources. As a core service, career center specialists review applications and resumes submitted by veterans and covered persons who register for employment using self-service, to ensure that veterans’ applications clearly state job objectives and show meaningful information with regards to work history, education and training. Because veterans’ resumes are listed first in the search results and are annotated with an American flag, employers can quickly locate qualified veterans for job openings. To ensure that veterans receive priority in referral to job openings, the Alabama JobLink system provides 24-hour email alerts to veterans for any job listing that matches their resumes. The automated system to select qualified candidates for job openings is programmed to refer only qualified veterans in the first 24 hours of the listing, unless no qualified veterans are available. Priority service is also provided when veterans, or others eligible for priority, are identified at intake when registering for services at any AJC, or other service delivery points. Career Center specialists will ensure that each veteran completing a full application will have properly recorded their skills, education, training, job or career interests, work experience, licenses or certifications, employment availability, contact information, and other vital information. Additionally, AJCs will use signage, graphics, and displays to inform veterans and Covered Persons of priority service (as described under Title 38 U.S.C. Chapter 42 and 20 CFR Part 1010) and as applicable to all US DOL-funded employment services and training. Moreover, local career center managers will develop outreach activities to locate Covered Persons under Veterans’ Priority. Managers or designated representatives will review special reports generated by AJL for the purpose of identifying veterans and Covered Persons who may be contacted and made aware of their priority in services and training. Career Center managers will develop local service strategies and training goals for veterans and Covered Persons entitled to Veterans’ Priority, in consultation with their partner agencies and training providers, to encourage maximum utilization of services and training by veterans and Covered Persons. All Alabama Workforce Development regions have implemented Veterans’ Priority in the State WIOA and Wagner-Peyser Plan of Service. Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) representatives and Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVERs) shall complement Priority of Service provided by the AJC to veterans and Covered Persons, as mandated under Title 38 U.S.C., Chapter 41, and in accordance with the general and special provisions of the Jobs For Veterans State Grant (JVSG), and applicable regulations, policies, and directive guidance for JVSG from the Assistant Secretary, Veterans Employment and Training (ASVET), including Veterans Program Letters addressing DVOP-LVER Roles and Responsibilities. The Alabama strategy leverages improvements in technology to enable Career Center specialists to locate and review the resumes of veterans using on-line self-services for the purpose of offering helpful advice or suggestions on presenting their skills and abilities to prospective employers, because the AJL data system is designed to support employers searching for key words, then automatically flags the resumes of veterans and Covered Persons who are identified as qualified candidates within the parameters entered by the employer. This advantage offers veterans and Covered Person a Priority in Service and enables an employer to contact them directly, with or without a referral through a posted job order. Targeting Services to Veterans with Significant Barriers to Employment (SBE): Alabama Career Centers in the statewide American Job center (AJC) network will provide comprehensive employment, training, and career placement services to nearly 25,000 veterans a year through a combination of Internet-based job services and personal assistance at Alabama Career Centers in the statewide AJC network. Alabama has more than 32,000 residents currently serving in the Armed Forces and of that nearly 13,000 in the National Guard and Reserve component. Alabama National Guard ranked fifth in numbers of troops deployed.

The Alabama Career Center system in the American Job Center network operates under the auspices of the Alabama Department of Labor, the state agency responsible for providing employment services and related services to veterans, and is authorized by the Governor to make application for funds to carry out the Jobs for Veterans State Grant (JVSG) to carry out the Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) and Local Veterans Employment Representative (LVER) program as mandated under Title 38 U.S.C. Chapter 41. The Alabama JobLink (AJL) enables veterans to use self-services, including registration. Upon entering the Career Center, these self-service Veterans will have an initial assessment performed by Wagner- Peyser staff. Alabama DVOP specialists prioritize their efforts with veterans who are facing significant barriers to employment (SBE) in securing employment, including veterans who appear to be having difficulty in using the Alabama Job Link (AJL) automated system. The assignment of DVOP specialists at specific Alabama Career Centers in the statewide American Job Center (AJC) network is based on a strategy to ensure veterans with SBEs are priority customers in the Alabama Workforce Development system. Although many veterans can and will use the internet-based self-registration and various self-service features, veterans with SBEs are provided intensive services. Veterans who enter the Alabama Workforce Development System at an AJC (Alabama Career Center), are served initially by career center specialists. For veterans who appear to have an SBE, Career Center specialists will offer additional services, to include referral to a DVOP who will provide intensive services and case management services to veterans having a Significant Barrier to Employment (SBE), as defined by Veterans Program Letter (VPL) 03-14, VPL 03-14 chg. 1&2 VPL 04-14 and any future VPLs providing guidance on SBEs: 
⦁    All veterans enrolled in the Five-track Employment Program administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Service. As covered in a separate agreement with VR&E, a client determined to be “Job-Ready” by VR&E will be referred by a VR&E Employment Coordinator to the state’s Intensive Services Coordinator (ISC), who will refer the Job Ready VR&E client to an appropriate AJC manager for case management and job placement services. 
⦁    A Special Disabled Veteran or Disabled Veteran, as those terms are defined in 38 U.S.C § 4211(1). are those who are entitled to compensation (or who but for the receipt of military retired pay would be entitled to compensation) under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs; or, were discharged or released from active duty because of a service connected disability. 
⦁    Veterans in the categories above will be provided a comprehensive Assessment of Employability, addressing barriers to employment and a written Individual Employment Plan (IEP) outlining the individual’s employability planning. Locating Priority Group Veterans: Veterans in priority groups will be located in the data system by developing special reports and search capabilities of the AJL system. Career Center/AJC staff members will outreach to veterans who may benefit from DVOP services. DVOPs will outreach to homeless shelters, community agencies that provide services to homeless veterans, and will participate in special events for disabled and homeless veterans, such as Homeless Veterans Stand Downs.

Priorty of Service

  1. Priority of Service: Describe how veterans and covered persons receive priority of service in all Department of Labor funded programs in the AJC or area covered by the Managers Report. Specifically, provide the following information: How are veterans and covered persons identified at the point of entry to programs and services?

There are Priority of Service signs posted in the front lobby publicizing priority of services to veterans for training and job service. Veterans instructed to see the receptionist for details.  Once identified as a Veteran, priority of service is given and provided priority and placed ahead of all other customers and seen immediately by staff members funded through the Wagner-Peyser Act. New Job orders are place on a 24 hour hold so that A Veteran resume search can be conducted before the jobs are released to the general public.

  1. How are veterans and covered persons aware of:
  1. Their entitlement to priority of service:

There are Priority of Service signs posted in the front lobby publicizing priority of services to veterans for training and job service. Veterans instructed to see the receptionist for details.  Once identified as a Veteran, priority of service is given and provided priority and placed ahead of all other customers and seen immediately by staff members funded through the Wagner-Peyser Act.   

  1. The full array of programs and services available to them:

During the Initial interview, the Career Center Staff the Career Center Representative (Wagner-Peyser funded) conducts an initial interview, initial assessment, completes registration and demographic information into the labor exchange of AJL.  The Career Center Representative, in conjunction with the veteran, creates, edits or downloads at least one resume into AJL.  The Career Center Representatives identifies barriers to employment during the initial assessment, documents them, and informs the veteran about the services available by Career Center partners, such as Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, VA Vocational Rehabilitation, Post-Secondary Education, Alabama Department of Rehabilitative Services (ADRS) ADRS.  After completing the initial assessment and other core services, the Career Center Representative refers the DVOP for intensive services those veterans with significant barriers to employment (SBE’s).  The DVOP performs a comprehensive assessment confirming the significant barriers to employment previously identified and noting any additional barriers to employment.  The DVOP, in conjunction with the veteran, develops an individual employment plan (IEP) to overcome the identified barriers.  The DVOP refers the veteran to any services that will assist the veteran in overcoming the barriers to employment and assist Veterans in finding suitable employment and reentering the workforce.  

  1. Eligibility requirements for those programs and/or services:

During the initial interview, the Career Center Representative provides detailed information about eligibility criteria for programs and services available.  All Veteran with significant barriers to employment (SBE’s) and other eligible person(s) are referred to the DVOP to discuss eligibility criteria for other programs, services and referrals as needed.  Veterans are provided priority of services for employment and training.

  1. How does the AJC or area covered by the report ensure that veterans and covered persons take precedence over eligible non-covered persons in obtaining services?
  1. Upon entering the Career Center, the Career Center Representatives identify veterans and other eligible persons, provided priority of services over all other customers, and places at the head of the line of all services and training available including WIOA screening and training, referral to partners and supportive services.
  2. When new job orders are written, cloned or re-written, the Career Center Staff notifies the DVOP of the job opening for referrals.  DVOP and Career Center Staff conduct a veteran resume search and the job order holder documents the resume search in the “Note to Yourself” section.
  3. Joblink includes two features ensuring eligible veterans and covered persons receive precedence over other applicants in the system.  First, when a job posts on Joblink, the job opportunity is only viewable by veterans or covered persons with active job registrations for that calendar day.  Secondly, an American Flag identifies resumes of those veterans registered in Joblink, aiding employers in identifying eligible veterans.
  4. Priority of Service is being monitored by the Jobs for Veterans State Grant Coordinator through quarterly manager reports submitted by Career Center Managers.