The state of Michigan has recently increased efforts to provide veterans access to jobs. In a an effective display of collaboration Michigan State university has implemented a unique program that takes homeless veterans and guarantees them jobs in agriculture. As the Lansing State Journal reports, the only catch is that they have to complete a six week training program designed to teach them the necessary skills. The Vets to Ag program is the result of collaboration between MSU, Michigan, and local employers. With dozens of veterans already enrolled in the program, the outlook seems bright for the program. Considering that veterans don’t need to run the usual gamut of searching for jobs, applying, and interviewing, this project is a definite step forward in helping those who have encountered one too many barriers.
Michigan already has a solid history helping veterans with the Veterans Services Division employing 60 veteran employment specialists in 85 Michigan Works offices. Specialists work closely with veterans to help them adjust and reorient inside civilian life by assisting with job searches, training, and starting small businesses. The VSD has recently taken on a so-called demand driven focus. This new direction seeks to identify what jobs are in demand and how veterans can be trained to qualify for them.
The VSD is tackling the situation from multiple vectors. The VSD will reach out to employers and provide them with information on the benefits of hiring veterans and how to identify their skill sets. Employers will be educated on what different military occupational specialties provide each veteran, and how to compare that information to the requirements of a given job. Attempts will be made to directly connect veterans with employers who have open positions, veterans will be taught how to research and enroll in training and educational opportunities. For more information about the Vets to Ag program, check out the MSUs page, and check out the DMVAs website for more information on what resources are available to Michigan based veterans.