Veterans' Employment Services in Michigan: January 2024 Newsletter

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

January 2024

Veterans' Employment Services Newsletter


New State of Michigan program helping address healthcare needs in northern Michigan

In honor of Veterans’ Day, VES, along with Upper Peninsula Michigan Works! (UPMW), launched the first ever Michigan Patriot Care Service (MI-PCS) program at MyMichigan Hospital in Sault Ste. Marie on November 13, 2023. 

MI-PCS partners with various agencies to promote Michigan healthcare programs, attract healthcare workers, provide resources to incumbent and perspective targeted healthcare workers and hospitals in an effort to attract veteran talent and highlight the service of veterans and transitioning service members along with their families and caregivers.

The partner agencies will be providing supportive services to help healthcare providers commemorate military holidays throughout the year, including service birthdays, Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day when available. By working directly with hospital staff, they’ll also be able to streamline services to incumbent and potential healthcare workers. 

VES and MyMichigan Health staff holding $2,000 check

MI-PCS has already helped MyMichigan Hospital in the Upper Peninsula. UPMW staff presented them with a $2,000 check to support implementing the program by utilizing funds from the Michigan Rural Enhanced Access to Careers in Healthcare (MIREACH) grant. This money will help purchase uniform devices to designate staff who work at the hospital and are part of the MI-PCS program. It will also be utilized to construct a patriot wall where staff members will be recognized for their service and contribution to the armed service.

MyMichigan Hospitals is already planning to incorporate MI-PCS into their hospitals in other parts of the state! Program staff are currently working with other hospital systems in the U.P. to bring MI-PCS to their locations.

MI-PCS is a collaborative effort among VES, Upper Peninsula Michigan Works!, Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, County Veteran Affairs, and Community Action Supportive Services for Veterans Families.

Raise a glass to the New Year and new COLA rates

Hands toasting with champagne glasses while confetti falls all around

As of January 1, 2024, veterans receiving disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) saw a notable increase in their monthly benefits. This change, effective December 1, 2023, resulted from a 3.2% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) based on the latest figures announced by the Social Security Administration.

The VA disability compensation is a monthly tax-free payment to former military service members who sustained an illness or injury during their time in service. This benefit extends to veterans with preexisting conditions exacerbated by their service time, or who develop service-connected disabilities following their time in service.

The amount a veteran receives depends on their disability rating, the severity of the disability, and the number of dependents. For instance, a veteran alone with a 70% disability rating will now receive $1,716.28 per month, while those with a 100% disability rating will receive $3,737.85. That amount increases if a veteran has dependents.

For detailed information on the specific rates and the process of applying or updating your VA disability claim, you can refer to the VA disability group website or

January is Braille Literacy Month

Hands reading braille with "Braille Literacy Month" text and braille dots next to the image

Braille Literacy Month is celebrated each January to recognize the braille reading system’s impact on individuals who are blind or visually impaired and to call attention to the invaluable services and resources that enable Michiganders to learn and enhance their reading skills. 

The Braille system helps individuals who are blind or visually impaired in the workplace and classroom and assists with helping them learn about grammar, spelling and punctuation.

The Bureau of Services for Blind Persons, housed within the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Employment and Training, facilitates various braille services and resources in the state. They also offer courses on braille through their Training Center in Kalamazoo and free braille and audio books through the Michigan Braille and Talking Book Library.

How State of Michigan Employee Resource Groups plan to help veterans across Michigan

Got Your Six Veterans ERG logo

In a groundbreaking initiative set to redefine workplace support for veterans, all of the veteran focused ERG’s met recently to discuss how to coordinate and combine their efforts to support all SOM employees. This dynamic group, composed of State of Michigan employee veterans and advocates from various departments, is committed to creating an inclusive and supportive environment for those who have served in the military.

The groups aim to facilitate the transition of veterans into civilian employment, provide networking opportunities, and advocate for veteran-specific benefits and policies. Their mission is rooted in acknowledging the valuable skills and experiences veterans bring to the workforce, and ensuring these assets are recognized and utilized effectively within state government.

Key initiatives for 2024 include increasing participation across Michigan for community service events, identifying new opportunities for service, and strengthening current partnerships and collaboration. Already plans are underway for the following events: 

  • Macomb County Veterans Services All-Departments Veterans ERGs Financial Awareness Meeting (March 2024)
  • Grand Rapids Veterans Home Fallen Timbers Cemetery Cleanup (April 2024)
  • MDOT Adopt-A-Highway Litter Control (multiple events, starting in April 2024)
  • Toys for Tots (December 2024)
  • Wreaths Across America (December 2024)
  • Adopt a Veteran Family (December 2024)

And many more! The groups also plans to collaborate with state and local governments to improve community service events and raise awareness of large-scale topics within the veteran community.

As Michigan continues to attract and retain veteran talent, the groups' efforts signify a significant step forward in honoring the service and sacrifice of military members by providing them with meaningful support in their civilian careers.

Sound like a great place to work? We think so! Take a moment to explore current State of Michigan job openings.

Veterans Helping Veterans banner

Veteran Success: Marine veteran's triumphant transition in the workforce

Lane Matthews shaking hands with VCA Bridget Baker in front of an American flag

U.S. Marine Corps veteran and an active member of the Army National Guard, Lane Mathew's story isn't just about service to the country; it's about the relentless pursuit of a fulfilling career after the military.

Lane's ten years of combined service in the Marine Corps and the Army National Guard are a testament to his unwavering commitment. After serving as military police, he took his dedication to the streets of West Branch as a police officer. However, Lane knew his journey didn't end there.

Seeking a new career path, Lane visited Michigan Works! Region 7B where an Employment Services Specialist who connected him with Veterans' Career Advisor Bridget Baker.

Bridget was more than an advisor; she was Lane’s guiding force during this period of his life. She delved deep into Lane's experiences, helping him see the value his military and policing skills bring to the civilian job market. Together, they revamped his resume, turning his military and law enforcement experiences into compelling narratives for potential employers.

The collaboration paid off. Lane landed a role that seemed tailor-made for him - Apprenticeship Coordinator. In this role, Lane isn't just bridging gaps between veterans and the workforce, he's creating pathways. He's now at the forefront, establishing Registered Apprenticeships with local businesses, helping others find their way just as he did. His role also allows veterans to utilize their GI Bill benefits, bringing opportunities closer to home.

In his new position, Lane serves as the vital link between the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Apprenticeship and employers across multiple counties. He's not just a coordinator; he's a catalyst for change, a veteran helping veterans’ transition smoothly into civilian life.

Veterans’ Employment Services is here to help other veterans. If you are a veteran need of employment services or know of a veteran in need of these services, please visit your local Michigan Works! office to get started!

Employer Spotlight – Chippewa Luce Mackinac Community Action Agency

Headquartered in Sault Ste. Marie, Chippewa Luce Mackinac Community Action Agency (CLMCAA) has been an important partner when it comes to placing veteran talent in meaningful career opportunities. They have worked closely with VES to meet their talent needs, recognizing the value of veteran talent.

For their commitment to the hiring and support of Michigan Veterans, CLMCAA was presented an Employer Appreciation Certificate from VES.

Their dedication to serving veterans goes far beyond offering employment opportunities. They have been a crucial asset for veterans overcoming significant barriers related to housing, food insecurity, transportation and much more. Most recently, they were able to utilize a Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF) grant to assist a veteran with transitioning from living in a tent to a funded and furnished apartment.

Their monetary assistance and housing first approach were pivotal for this veteran to be able to gain full time employment and financial security. But they don't see this effort as anything extraordinary.

“It’s an honor to help those who have served, and we appreciate the recognition, but really, it feels more like a civic duty that doesn’t need recognition,” said CLMCAA Director Joe Nolan. “We are grateful to play a role in our veterans’ path to success.”

It is evident that every member of CLMCAA’s staff embodies their motto of “Helping People, Changing Lives” and we are honored to provide them with recognition for their service.

CLMCAA and VES staff

Pictured left to right Veterans’ Career Advisor and Marine veteran William Mourufas, Michigan Works! Talent Specialist Mary K. Fossitt-McGinn, Michigan Works! Business Services Professional Terri Hill, CLMCAA Deputy Director and Navy veteran Joel Amo, Local Veterans’ Employment Representative and Army veteran Kendal Kettle, CLMCAA employee and Navy veteran David Cook, CLMCAA Finance Director Janelle Clement.

Virtual Job Fair Calendar banner

Check out these upcoming job and career events

An up-to-date list of upcoming job and career events is available on's Career Events Calendar.

First Class Healthcare Staffing Hiring Event

Jan. 16, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Event Address: Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! - 312 Genesee Ave, Saginaw, MI 48607


State of Michigan Virtual Job Fair

Jan. 17, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Event Details: register for the event

Learn how you can start your career in public service with the State of Michigan. We have a wide variety of open jobs. You can work with us in the industry you love, have an impact in your community, and enjoy quality of life with our comprehensive benefits package!


Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare System Benefits and Resource Fair

Jan. 20, 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Event Address: 2423 W Jefferson Ave, Trenton, MI 48183
Event Details: register for the event

This event is open to veterans of all eras. Join us to learn about your VA Benefits, Register for VA health care, Toxic Exposure Screenings and more. It’s easy, just bring your DD214 and leave the rest to us! 


VeteranWorks Virtual Job Fair

Feb. 2, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.  
Event Details: register for the event

Find roles that value and utilize the unique skills and experiences of veterans. Meet organizations committed to supporting veteran careers. Gain insights and resources to smoothly transition into the civilian workforce.


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 and in-person job fairs by visiting’s Career Events website.

Event Success Tips

  • Be Prepared: Charge your phone and practice your elevator pitch.
  • Keep an Open Mind: You never know which company has the perfect job for you.
  • Work the Room: Stop by every booth and share your QR code with every organization.
  • Rule of 3: Get at least three company follow-ups.
  • Apply as You Network: Apply to open positions while you network with recruiters.
  • Smile: Be confident. You've got this!

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

Health and Other Resources


Health Resources

Additional Resources

Health Benefits: 877-222-8387
Other VA Benefits: 800-827-1000

Veterans Crisis Line: 800-273-8255
Homeless Services: 877-424-3838

Health Benefits

Veterans Crisis Line 

Mental Health

Homeless Services


Readjustment Counseling (Vet Centers) 

Disease Prevention

Compensated Work Therapy

Women Veterans Health Care

Substance Abuse Programs

Geriatrics and Extended Care

National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 

Rural Health 



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.