19 December 2008

U.S. Department of Labor Publishes Final Rule on Priority of Service for Veterans

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) today announced the publication of a final rule on priority of service for veterans and eligible spouses. The new regulations apply to "any workforce preparation, development or delivery program or service that is directly funded, in whole or in part, by the Department of Labor," as provided by the Jobs for Veterans Act (P.L. 107-288), enacted in 2002.

"Priority of service is an important acknowledgment of the sacrifices of the men and women who have served in the U.S. armed forces," said Charles Ciccolella, assistant secretary of labor for VETS. "The department's strategic vision for priority of service honors veterans and eligible spouses of veterans as our heroes at home, and envisions that the employment and training programs funded by the department, including the workforce investment system, will identify, inform and deliver comprehensive services to veterans and eligible spouses as part of their strategic workforce development activities across the country."

The Veterans' Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-461) followed-up on the Jobs for Veterans Act by requiring the department to issue regulations governing the application of priority of service. The majority of the department's programs to which the new regulations will apply are administered by the Employment and Training Administration.

"Veterans possess unique attributes that enable them to make significant contributions in the workplace," said Ciccolella. "They are an important source of highly skilled and experienced talent and play a key role in regional workforce development strategies."

Implementation of priority of service is designed to provide veterans and eligible spouses with clear entry points into high-growth, high wage civilian jobs and easily accessible post-secondary education and training. The goal is to support their advancement along career pathways that benefit veterans, their families, and regional economies.

The final rules appear in today's Federal Register and can be accessed online at: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/E8-30166.pdf.

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