VA Office of Economic Opportunity
Colleagues, Community Leaders, and Fellow Veterans,
The Department of Veterans Affairs is committed to providing Veterans every opportunity they have earned. We bolstered our efforts during the implementation of the new Transition Assistance Program. We now have permanent Benefits Advisors at 106 military installations serving over 270 disparate bases ensuring we can have a global presence in our military installations. Ensuring a positive community involvement came through in our first report on Veteran economic opportunities – that report, The 2015 Veteran Economic Opportunity Report (link below) brought together data sources from across the federal government focused on meaningful employment, income, accessing education, and general economic indicators. We want to raise awareness about the value Veterans bring to a community and increase the number of education and employment opportunities for Veterans. We anticipate this report will help foster a dialog in several different areas and forums.
Informed by this data, the VA is implementing a key initiative in over 20 U.S. cities to provide enhanced economic opportunities for Veterans and their families. This effort, titled Communities of Interest, is intended to develop strategies to build sustainable models over the next two years that will include:
We are very excited about the Communities of Interest initiative. It will engage Veterans in the community where they can become a positive economic multiplier. Using their GI Bill® and other benefits they have earned, they become students … homeowners … entrepreneurs … employees … community leaders. It reinforces Secretary McDonald’s MyVA initiative to expand strategic partnerships to help us coordinate Veteran-related issue with local, state and community partners – as well as VA employees.
This not only creates economic stability and opportunity for our Veterans – it translates into millions of dollars to that community’s economy for all its citizens.
Curtis L. Coy
Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity
Veterans Benefits Administration
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
“...It is a proud privilege to be a soldier – a good soldier … [with] discipline, self-respect, pride in his unit and his country, a high sense of duty and obligation to comrades and to his superiors, and a self confidence born of demonstrated ability.”
― George S. Patton Jr.