Veterans' Employment Services in Michigan: April 2021 Newsletter

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April 2021

Veterans' Employment Services Newsletter


Message from Veterans’ Employment Services

VES logo

Welcome to the Veterans’ Employment Services (VES) Newsletter. Our mission is to assist you and your family secure meaningful careers in Michigan.

The concept of veterans helping veterans is a trademark of the VES team and one of the keys to its success. Veterans face many challenges when transitioning out of the military – finding meaningful employment should not be one of them.

  • Veterans in need of employment assistance should contact the nearest Michigan Works! One-Stop Service Center by calling 800-285-WORKS (9675) or visiting
  • More information about Veterans’ Employment Services is available at
  • Register today and start your job search at Pure Michigan Talent Connect at

Apprenticeship Opportunities for Veterans

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Veterans, National Guard or Reserve members are prime candidates for Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) opportunities! Registered Apprenticeships provide an exceptional career path that addresses unique employer needs while offering training, income and a credential to employees.

The programs provide employment opportunities in nearly every industry. Apprenticeships in construction and manufacturing can be an excellent choice, but now, opportunities are emerging in sectors like energy, health care, information technology and mobility.

Michigan continues to drive talent development and innovation through more than $9 million recently awarded from the U.S. Department of Labor to support Registered Apprenticeship expansion efforts. This funding is focused on providing additional opportunities for Veterans by increasing the number of Veteran Friendly Employers and the number of Veterans with eligibility using GI Bill® benefits in Registered Apprenticeship. GI Bill® benefits can provide a monthly housing allowance and stipend for books and supplies in addition to earned registered apprenticeship wages.

Michigan’s Apprenticeship Success Coordinators (ASCs) help businesses and jobseekers by distributing grant funding to offset some of the employer’s cost for the apprenticeship training model. They also help citizens across the state, including Veterans, connect with Registered Apprenticeship opportunities, screen eligible veterans for referral to Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program Specialists for case management services, and promote priority of service for veterans and eligible spouses in the delivery of all Registered Apprenticeship expansion activities. Apprenticeship Success Coordinators are located at each of the 16 Michigan Works Agencies throughout the state.

For more information, please visit the Department of Labor Service Members and Veterans Apprenticeship page at Service Members and Veterans |, or contact your local Michigan Works! Apprenticeship Success Coordinator: Labor and Economic Opportunity - Michigan Works! Apprenticeship Success Coordinators.

SAA: Supporting Apprenticeship Opportunities

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The mission of the Michigan State Approving Agency (SAA) is to approve education/training facilities and related programs for Veterans and Other Eligible Dependents throughout the State of Michigan. These approvals enable the utilization of GI Bill® educational benefits (Chapters 30, 33, 35, 1606) at Michigan’s educational and training facilities.

What is the SAA’s scope? Michigan has more than 700 approved educational institutions, apprenticeship training and on-the-job training sites that offer education and training programs to military personnel, veterans and other eligible individuals.

The SAA’s responsibilities, under the provisions of Chapter 36, Title 38, and Title 106, United States Code (USC) and Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), are to approve for veterans and other eligible individuals the following:

  • Inspection and evaluation of applicable facilities and/or courses of education.
  • Evaluate and approve apprenticeship and on-the-job training facilities and/or training programs.
  • License, certification and exam fees offered in the State of Michigan which meet approval standards. SAA also ascertains whether a school/facility complies with the established standards relating to the programs/courses which have been approved. Additional benefit for veterans The SAA allows veterans and other eligible dependents to access their GI Bill® benefits while training at an approved facility.

Where can you find more information about SAA? If you would like more information about the Michigan State Approving Agency, please visit Labor and Economic Opportunity - Michigan State Approving Agency (SAA).      

A Few Questions with...

Heather Johnson photo

Heather Johnson - Veterans Career Advisor, Greater Lansing Area

What is your role and responsibility? ​​​

I am a Veterans Career Advisor based out of the Lansing Michigan Works! Service Center covering the Lansing, St. Johns and Charlotte areas. I assist qualified veterans secure meaningful employment and training through a structured case management process.​

What do you enjoy most about your work?​​ 

I enjoy helping fellow veterans while supporting the local military community. ​

What is your educational background and career experience?

I have an Associates of Arts degree from the University of Maryland University College. I served six years in the Navy as an Airframer and worked on MH-60R in Jacksonville, Florida. After an injury, I transitioned to a Career Counselor role for four years.​

What activities do you enjoy outside of work? 

I enjoy spending time with my daughters.​

What other info would you like to share about yourself?

I love riding motorcycles!

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Veterans helping veterans approach promotes success for all

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For veterans who retire after military service, the transition to civilian life can be full of challenges.

One such challenge is navigating the process of obtaining future employment. Timothy Hyde, an accomplished and highly educated retired U.S. Army Public Affairs Lieutenant Colonel, relocated to the Upper Peninsula and encountered this very challenge.

Moving forward on a path to success, Tim sought assistance at his local Michigan Works! Agency (MWA).  Tim self-identified as a veteran and was provided Priority of Service by MWA staff who immediately connected him with the State of Michigan’s Veterans’ Employment Services (VES) staff.

The VES team is comprised of highly skilled veterans who are trained to guide those transitioning out of the military and into the civilian workplace while overcoming specific barriers to employment.

In partnership with the MWA and VES, Tim was offered community resources, job search assistance and workforce preparation activities. Tim was also provided networking opportunities through Local Veterans Employment Representative Kendal Kettle.  Kendal works with UP employers to advocate for the hiring of veterans, and she immediately began searching for organizations seeking Tim’s military skill set and professionalism.

Tim’s search resulted in a job offer the same Michigan Works office he came into to ask for assistance. Tim was hired into a significant leadership role for multiple Michigan Works! offices in the UP.

“I was very lucky to walk into an office with a Veteran Employment Services representative who took the time to really help,” said Tim. “He also helped with my confidence, since it was taking longer for me to find a job than I thought it would. All in all, it was a great experience.”

Tim’s story is a textbook example of how the VES program is designed to work and illustrates how the concept of veterans helping veterans effectively promotes success – for everyone involved.

VA Career & Employment Resources

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Did you know the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides career and employment tips on its website? They offer valuable information to help you build your career and connect you to opportunities that may be right for you.

The website includes information about career and employment assistance, managing your career, and links to additional info and resources. Check out the VA’s online Career & Employment Resources today!

Virtual Job Fair Calendar banner

Check out these upcoming Job Fairs

Hired In Michigan Career Expo

April 27, 9:00 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Event Link:

The Hired In Michigan Career Expo is open to statewide, local and national companies ready to interview candidates, accept resumes/applications and hire new employees.


Great Lakes Bay Virtual Job Fair

April 29, 12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Event Link:

The Great Lakes Bay Job Fair is a partnership between Delta College, Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works, Michigan Rehabilitation Services, the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, Veterans Employment Services and the American Legion.


Return North Virtual Careers Fair

May 20, 3:00 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Event Link:

The fifth annual Return North Professional Careers Fair is aimed at attracting alumni, former residents and friends of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan back to the region.


Educator Virtual Job Fair: Regions 1-5

June 16, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Event Link:

The Michigan Department of Education is hosting Education Workforce Virtual Job Fairs to connect job seekers and those hiring teachers, substitute teachers, bus drivers, custodians, paraprofessionals, secretaries, administrators, and other education-related positions.


To see the latest job and career events throughout the State of Michigan, please visit the Pure Michigan Talent Connect Career Events Calendar.


If you are a veteran looking for information concerning education, health care, benefits or quality of life programs, please visit the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency for more information, or call the Michigan Veteran Resource Service Center at 800-MICH-VET. 

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Veterans' Employment Services is part of Workforce Development, within the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity's Office of Employment and Training.