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september/october 2007

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ETABO COMMITTEE REPORT

BY ALAN GIBSON, CHAIR
Normally, these reports show the accomplishments of the committees. However, in this day of electronic communication, most of us are kept up to date on at least a quarterly basis. With this in mind, we would like to set some of the areas for the new committee to keep watch of and work on, beginning with the nomination and approval of the committee chair and members.

EMPLOYMENT

  1. Keep up the pressure on government agencies, both federal and state, to put into practice Veterans Preference with accountability. It is still on the books, but sloughed off as not necessary or really wanted.
  2. Find meaningful ways to reduce the high rate of new veterans who are unemployed (more than 15 percent, compared to the national average of around 5 percent). If this continues, all veterans and the nation will suffer.

TRAINING

  1. Insure that the training programs established on paper by government agencies are funded, placed into practice, and accountability procedures established.
  2. Allow veterans to use their education benefits for programs other than those run by government entities.

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY

  1. Though eight years have passed since the 3 percent goal was established for all agencies to give business to Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOBs), there seems to be an aversion by most federal agencies even to attempt to accomplish the goal. This has to change quickly.
  2. Get workable programs for veterans—especially wounded warriors—who want to go into business for themselves.

No matter what programs we have, without accountability with ramifications for not making these programs work, they mean nothing. We have all kinds of paper promises: They are nothing but potatoes and gravy without meat. If we are to realize a real, workable Employment, Training and Business Opportunity for ourselves and future generations of veterans, we must act now. It is no longer a few who need to be involved; it is all of us, in unison, working on veterans’ issues.

 

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