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Employment and Economic Impact

Veteran Economic Opportunity Report

In this 2016 Veteran Economic Opportunity Report focusing on the Veterans Economic Communities Initiative (VECI), VA provides a condensed update of the national portrait of the Veteran population, and offers a framework for community based engagement. VECI was a pilot program offering tailored local support that improves Veterans’ economic success in 25 of the most populated metropolitan areas across the country. The pilot’s efforts and accomplishments were built on a foundation that deferred to the autonomy and leadership of community programs in each VECI community and thereby enjoyed unwavering support of numerous local champions. The innovation pilot used data-driven strategies to better tailor and respond to the needs of Veterans in the communities where they live and work. A cornerstone of the pilot’s efforts during was increasing the use of earned benefits and extending and promoting VA public-private partnerships (P3) to expand resources in support of Veterans by community providers.

Outreach and EngagementVEC™ Registered Employers
Over 190,000 community stakeholders engaged, including local government leaders, businesses, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations. Over 19,500 registered employers made their jobs visible via the Vets.gov platform.
VEC™ Postions Committed to HirePublic-Private Partnership
Over 1.2 million positions committed to hire Veterans, and about 743,000 Veterans hired since the VEC™ launch. Approximately $1 billion worth of available services, connecting TSMs, Veterans, and their families with an array of valuable services and tools without additional cost to taxpayers.

2016 Key Findings

  • Much emphasis remains on transitioning Servicemembers and assisting them in effectively utilizing their educational benefits. In 2010-2015, DoD separated an average of 309,000 Servicemembers. Ninety percent of them were enlisted.

  • We have seen an increase in positive education outcomes of transitioning enlisted personnel. During the period of 2010-2015, enlisted transitioning Servicemembers increased their 4-year college degree attainment to 7% from 3%.

  • While the increase of educational attainment has increased for transitioning military, Post 9-11 GI Bill flexibilities also supports short term training, On the Job training programs (OJT), and registered apprenticeships. These opportunities provide an opportunity for further exploration and education. For example we currently have over 10,000 OJT programs with the top 10 programs combined having less than 2000 GI Bill students.

  • 1 out of 4 post 9/11 Veterans are employed by the government industry (federal, state, local), followed by manufacturing, and professional and business services. While median income declined for the general population and Veterans, both male and female Veterans still trend significantly higher wages than their non-Vet counterparts

Read the 2016 Report

2015 Key Findings

  • Post-9/11 era Veterans attain 11 percent higher median earnings than non-Veterans with similar demographic characteristics.

  • The Post-9/11 GI Bill® is key in improving the economic opportunity of Veterans and their families.

  • Women Veterans are doing well compared with their male and non-Veteran female peers in both career earnings and education.

  • Women Veterans attain 14 percent higher median earnings than non-Veteran women with similar demographic characteristics.

  • Women Veterans using the Post-9/11 GI Bill® had a 10 percent higher completion rate compared with male Veterans for all ages combined, an 8 percent higher completion rate across all individual age groups, and a 5 percent higher completion rate when compared with female students in the general population cohort.

Read the 2015 Report