Veterans' Employment Services in Michigan: June 2021 Newsletter

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Veterans' Employment Services graphic, Priority of Service for Military Veterans, logos of U.S. military branches

June 2021

Veterans' Employment Services Newsletter


About 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

VES partners with Veteran Readiness and Employment “Chapter 31” Program

Veterans Readiness graphic image

If you are a Veteran or Servicemember and have a service-connected disability that limits your ability to work or prevents you from working, Veteran Readiness and Employment (formerly called Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment) may be able to help. This program – also known as Chapter 31 or VR&E – helps you explore employment options and address training needs. In some cases, your family members may also qualify for certain benefits.

The intent of the program is to assist eligible Veterans and Servicemembers with job training, employment accommodations, resume development and job seeking skills coaching. While the program has an employment first emphasis, there are five support-and-services tracks to help you find a job, keep a job, and live as independently as possible.

The five support services are identified as follows:

  1. The Re-employment Track is designed for individuals separating from active duty, National Guard or Reserves to provide the services necessary for the individual to return to work in the job held prior to entering active duty.
  2. The Rapid Access to Employment Track assists those Veterans who have the necessary skills to be competitive in the labor market in a suitable occupation.
  3. One of the more popular tracks is the Employment Through Long-Term Services Track, which is designed for individuals requiring specialized training and/or education to obtain suitable employment.
  4. The Self-Employment Track provides eligible claimants, who have the necessary job skills to start a business and limited access to traditional or accommodating work environment due to a disabling condition. There are two sub-categories under the self-employment track, and category assignment will be based on the claimant’s initial evaluation.
  5. The Independent Living Track is designed for claimants unable to pursue a vocational goal or seek employment.

Regardless of the service track you are on, you will have the option of working with a dedicated VES Veterans Career Advisor to assist you with interim or career planning options.

To qualify for services under the VR&E Program, Veterans must have a service-connected disability rating of 10 percent or higher, or a memorandum rating of 20 percent with an other-than-dishonorable discharge.

For additional information regarding the VR&E Program or to apply, please visit Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) Home ( For questions in Michigan, you may also contact Michael Poyma, Employment Specialist, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, at

New Legislation Helps Michigan Veterans and their Family Members

Photo of Governor Whitmer signing bill with other people looking on

On June 9, Governor Whitmer signed four bipartisan bills which will remove barriers to help veterans and their families continue their careers in Michigan, accelerating the state’s economic recovery.

"I am proud to sign these bipartisan bills to clear the path for our military service members, veterans, and their dependents to enter a licensed profession," said Governor Whitmer. “This legislation will help us attract and retain talent in Michigan and boosts our broader effort to put Michigan back to work. Our veterans and their families have made countless sacrifices, and it is time that we give back to those who have bravely served our nation."

The new legislation:

  • Eases the process through which an active-duty service member, veteran or their qualifying dependents can obtain an initial health profession or occupational license or certification of registration in a profession or occupation for which they hold a license or registration in another state or country; waives the fee for the initial health profession license or registration; and redefines terms.
  • Expands the waiver of an initial license or registration fee for an occupational license to active service members and dependents of veterans and active service members. Under current law, fee waivers were available only to veterans. 
  • Requires the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) to issue certain occupational licenses to members of the armed forces, veterans and/or their dependents, without examination, as long as the individual is licensed or registered in that occupation in another state or country and certain conditions are met.

"Combined with tuition assistance, job training and leadership development, these bills demonstrate the commitment we have made to ensure state government recognizes the tremendous sacrifice made by our military members, veterans and their families," said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul Rogers, adjutant general and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veteran Affairs.

A Few Questions with...

Photo of Heath Smith

Heath Smith - Veterans Career Advisor, Saginaw

How has your military experience helped you in your position as a VCA?

My military experience has helped build an instant bond or understanding with clients immediately upon meeting them. I believe this shared experience helps break down walls or barriers in conversation and help the Veteran truly open up during the first meeting. The military mindset is also a key asset to have in this role as a VCA – the motivation, dedication to mission, and genuinely wanting to see other Veterans succeed is an everyday reminder of why this position exists.

What should veterans expect when they meet with a VCA?

Veterans should expect to discuss their resume and main goals for employment when meeting with a VCA. The VCA will ask about barriers the Veteran may be facing towards employment and refer the Veteran to other resources that he or she could benefit from. The VCA is available to the Veteran for job search assistance and working with the Veteran to obtain successful outcomes in employment and overall quality of life.

What resource do you recommend to veterans seeking employment? 

With every Veteran having their own unique barriers or challenges in the job search, recommended resources are specific to each Veteran personally. With housing concerns or financial assistance, the Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program might be a huge benefit for the Veteran to utilize. Other Veterans might benefit from a Compensated Work Therapy program to properly prepare them to re-enter the work force, while actively seeking therapeutic counseling through the VA. Other Veterans might need assistance with a compensation claim that could limit the Veteran from obtaining certain types of work. The resources that Veterans have are almost endless, and each case is unique, but the VCA is knowledgeable and prepared to make the proper referrals and work with the Veteran in obtaining success in their job search.

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Team Effort Results in New Employment Opportunity for U.P. Veteran

Photo of Dr. Allen

An Army combat Veteran looking for employment in the Upper Peninsula, Dr. Allen reached out to Veterans’ Employment Services for assistance.

Veteran Career Advisor Paul Burke and Kendal Kettle, the Local Veteran Employer Representative, immediately placed Dr. Allen into case management and hit the ground running. Paul and Kendal took great interest in Dr. Allen – as they do for all Veterans – learning as much as they could about his background, interests and career goals so they could be focused in their efforts to assist him.

Paul first assisted Dr. Allen with his resume, helping to trim his 7-page CV down to three pages. With a polished resume in hand, Paul officially referred Dr. Allen to Kendal who began advocating with local employers on his behalf. Working in tandem, both Kendal and Paul assisted Dr. Allen in finding and applying for a human resources manager position with a prominent local company.

Once the application was submitted, Kendal immediately reached out to the employer to advocate for Dr. Allen. One day shy of his first month of VES services, he interviewed with the company.

Over the next couple of weeks, Dr. Allen completed four more follow-up interviews with the company, and with the support and assistance of Paul and Kendal, Dr. Allen was offered the HR manger position.

VES is uniquely prepared to assist Veterans who face significant barriers to employment. Veterans in need of employment assistance should contact the nearest Michigan Works! One-Stop Service Center by calling 800-285-WORKS (9675), or visiting They should identify themselves as a Veteran when calling.

More information about Veterans’ Employment Services is available at

Michigan State Police: A Military Friendly Employer

Photo of Michigan State Police Trooper

Did you know one-third of trooper recruits are military veterans and those serving in the National Guard and Reserve?

As a paramilitary organization and Freedom Award winner, the Michigan State Police is military friendly. Benefits for veterans or those still serving include:

  • Eligibility to receive credit toward longevity and annual leave
  • Ability to purchase up to two years of service toward early retirement
  • Receive On-the-Job Training (OJT) benefits while attending recruit school (including a housing stipend)

Currently, the MSP Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division is looking for qualified applicants to fill Motor Carrier Officer positions across the state. No degree or law enforcement experience is required to apply, but is beneficial. They are particularly interested in candidates who are veterans, have experience in the trucking industry, or are mechanically inclined. 

Minimum qualifications:

  • 21 years of age by recruit school graduation
  • A valid driver’s license without restrictions
  • Possess a satisfactory driving record
  • High school diploma or GED certificate
  • Pass minimum hearing and vision standards
  • No felony arrests or convictions

Want to learn more? Here’s information about becoming a Michigan State Police Trooper. More info is available at

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Check Out these Upcoming Job and Career Events

An up-to-date list of upcoming job and career events is available on Pure Michigan Talent Connect’s Career Events Calendar.

SEMCA Virtual Job Fair

June 30, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Event Link:

Up to 30 companies will be in attendance at this virtual event with up to 200 total job opportunities of all levels. Register today!


VeteranWorks Virtual Job Fair

July 2, Begins at 11:00 a.m.

Event Link:

VeteranWorks helps veterans in finding them their next dream opportunity. No need to travel anywhere; just signup and wait for #JobFair [AI-powered career fair] to organize your interactions. 


West Michigan Virtual Job Fair

July 21, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Event Link:

The West Michigan Virtual Job Fair features multiple employers in different industries, with a variety of job opportunities. Register for a phone call to speak directly with hiring managers to learn more about their current openings and to discuss your skills and experience.


Metro Detroit Career Expo (in-person event)

July 28, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Event Link:

Location: Best Western Premier Hotel, 26555 Telegraph Rd., Southfield, MI 48033

Recruiters plan to participate seeking experienced candidates, people with no experience, military veterans, individuals with felons, youth 16 to 24 years old, older workers and retirees. Free resume writing workshops are available. Online registration is required. Call 734-956-4550 for information.


Virtual Job Fairs Count as Work Search Activity in Michigan
Registering for and attending Virtual Job Fair events supported by the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity count as official work search activities required by the Unemployment Insurance Agency. Check out upcoming Virtual Job Fairs by visiting Pure Michigan Talent Connect’s Career Events website.


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. 

LEO and Workforce Development co-brand logo

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