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Commonsense Reforms for Minnesota Veterans

Posted on November 12, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Veterans, Jobs, Public Safety, Military Servicemembers

Nearly 400,000 military veterans call Minnesota home. We are proud to have them. Our veterans have bravely answered the call to service. From the Battle of Gettysburg to Iraq and Afghanistan, Minnesotans have fought to protect our country and our freedoms. Many of Minnesota’s veterans don’t stop serving when they leave the military either.

In 2013, Governor Mark Dayton signed new legislation to help our veterans make the transition. The new reform makes it easier for active duty service members to transition into jobs on the police force. The bill allows military service members to take a police officer reciprocity exam while they are on active duty. Previously, service members were only allowed to take the reciprocity exam after they were honorably discharged. This change allows men and women in the Armed Forces to move into civilian service without a long delay in employment.


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Governor Dayton Helps Dedicate Madelia Veterans’ Memorial

Posted on October 14, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Veterans

Gov. Dayton greeted Minnesota veterans  at the dedication of the Madelia Veterans Memorial. 

Gov. Dayton greeted and thanked MN veterans at the dedication of the Madelia Veterans Memorial

Minnesotans have always found ways to serve. From the 435 men who volunteered to join the 1st Minnesota Infantry Regiment in 1861 and went on to fight at Bull Run, Antietam, and Gettysburg, to the thousands who served in World War I and II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflicts, thousands of Minnesotans have bravely fought and died for our country.

To honor and remember the sacrifices of Minnesota veterans, Governor Mark Dayton helped dedicate the Madelia Veterans’ Memorial last Friday. The site commemorates the sacrifices of veterans in southwestern Minnesota – including 300 veterans from the Madelia-area.

This year, Governor Dayton and the Legislature also honored the sacrifices of Minnesota veterans – funding $23 million in new veteran initiatives. 

• The largest amount – $18 million is going to complete the expansion of the Minneapolis Veterans’ Home. The improved facility will provide high-quality, skilled nursing services for veterans.

• They also provided $1 million to expand the Minnesota GI Bill to help all veterans get a great education after completing their service. Previously, this education benefit was only available to post-9/11 veterans.

• The Governor’s budget also includes an additional $2 million for county veteran service offices across Minnesota. This increased funding will help Minnesota veterans and their families access the benefits and services they have earned. 

Minnesota service members and veterans sacrifice greatly for our country. Initiatives and memorials like these are important ways to say thank you.

   



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Disabled Veterans Eligible for Free Hunting Licenses

Posted on October 09, 2013 at 11:31 AM
Categories: Veterans, Environment

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Minnesota resident military veterans with service-connected permanent disability, as defined by the U.S. Veterans Administration, may obtain an application online at www.mndnr.gov/military

 

 


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Why Hire a Veteran

Posted on August 02, 2013 at 11:31 AM
Categories: Veterans

Already there are reports of military veterans landing jobs as a result of the connections they have made during the Minnesota Veterans Career Fair held on July 16. Three veterans were hired by E.J. Ajax & Sons, a metal stamping company in north Minneapolis that had a booth at the event. One of the veterans, Curt Jasper, received the job offer just two days after the career fair.

“Combined, these three veterans have 50 years of experience,” said Erick Ajax, co-owner of the company. “Where else can you find such a group of talented and skilled workers?”

The company hired Matthew Greseth with 14 years of experience in the U.S. Army Reserve; Thomas Searles with eight years of service in the U.S. Army; and Curt Jasper, with 28 years of military experience in the Minnesota National Guard. Both Greseth and Searles are currently active in the reserves.

Greseth was hired for a position in logistics, Searles as a machine operator, and Jasper as a human resource manager.

Kent Djubek, the company’s president, explained why the business seeks to hire veterans. “They are excellent workers and have a strong work ethic,” he said. “All three of them have been trained in skills that are transferable to civilian jobs.”


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Growing Veteran-owned Businesses and Creating Jobs for All Minnesotans

Posted on July 29, 2013 at 5:08 PM
Categories: Economy, Veterans, Jobs

A veteran uses a job fair to help find a job.
Minnesota is veteran friendly, with roughly 600 veteran-owned businesses.

Minnesota is home to almost 400,000 veterans and roughly 600 veteran-owned businesses. A few years ago, Minnesota implemented a veteran-owned business preference for state contracting http://www.dot.state.mn.us/civilrights/veterans.html. The preference allowed these businesses to be more competitive when bidding on state contracts – helping veterans transition to civilian life and attract more retiring service members to our state.

The change has made Minnesota more veteran friendly and helped small businesses to grow in our state. Minnesota also has a similar preference for minority and women-owned businesses. The preference works by giving firms owned by disadvantaged groups a small boost during the bidding process.

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Helping Minnesota Veterans Navigate the System and Access Earned Benefits

Posted on July 26, 2013 at 10:37 AM
Categories: Veterans

veterans_hugging

With the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, our military is downsizing – creating a whole new generation of veterans. What does this mean for Minnesota’s veterans’ resource offices? At a basic level: more veterans who need help accessing state and federal resources.  

After leaving the service Minnesota veterans have access to a myriad of state and federal resources. Instead of requiring our veterans to call or visit a central office in Saint Paul or Washington, D.C., we have veterans’ resource offices in every county of the state.

These small offices provided big value to Minnesota’s veterans – connecting them with advice and assistance when filing claims for state and federal benefits like disability compensation, employment training, and medical treatment. Resource offices also assist veterans and their families with a variety of other programs and provide referrals to other community resources.

This year, Governor Mark Dayton and the DFL legislature provided new funding for Minnesota’s County Veteran Service Offices – ensuring Minnesota veterans receive help when applying for the benefits they have earned. The new resources will be used for veterans outreach efforts and to enhance current services.

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Minnesota Honoring More Veterans

Posted on July 24, 2013 at 3:49 PM
Categories: Veterans

Fort Snelling Cemetery 

Fort Snelling has one of the few cemeteries for veterans in Minnesota.

Minnesota veterans lack options for their final resting places. This past legislative session, Governor Dayton and the DFL legislature provided new funding for another state veteran’s cemetery in southeastern Minnesota.

Currently, southeastern Minnesota veterans only have access to the Fort Snelling or Little Falls cemetery sites, both of which are at least two hours away. The lack of nearby options leads many families to bury their loved ones at private cemeteries or churches. Historic Fort Snelling has more than 180,000 internments and will likely reach capacity in the next 50 years, meaning Minnesota needs additional space for veterans soon.

The funding will allow a new cemetery to open during the winter of 2015. Generously, Fillmore County has donated 153 acres for the cemetery – reducing the cost to Minnesota taxpayers. The new site will provide space for more than 50,000 veterans. And there’s definitely a need for the space. Right now, there are over 39,000 veterans within a 75-mile radius of Preston, Minnesota.

The new site also will help businesses in the area, creating new jobs, while honoring veterans. As visitors come to pay their respects, many businesses – such as restaurants, floral shops and hotels – will be able to attract new customers and guests. 

Governor Dayton remains committed to supporting veterans now and in the future. And this new cemetery site will help us remember and honor the sacrifices that American’s armed forces make for all of us.  




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Honoring Those Who Serve

Posted on July 17, 2013 at 11:42 AM
Categories: Military Servicemembers, Veterans

National Guard Honor Guard

Photo Credit: Minnesota National Guard. 

Providing military funerals is one way we show our gratitude to those who, in times of war and peace, have faithfully defended our country. This year, Governor Mark Dayton and the legislature provided new funding for the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs’ funeral honor guard.

In recent years, funding for the honor guard has wavered. In 2011, the guard wasn’t funded and was only continued by shifting resources from other Veterans Affairs’ resources. Veterans regularly cite the funeral honor guard as one of the top benefits of military service making continued support for this program all the more essential.


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Veteran Career Fair Reminder

Posted on July 15, 2013 at 1:53 PM
Categories: Veterans

Governor Mark Dayton proclaimed July to be “Hire a Veteran Month.”  Throughout the month, the Governor is encouraging Minnesota employers to hire veterans, connect military service members with job opportunities, and consider rededicating their efforts to hiring veterans in all twelve months of the year.

The Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is holding a job fair to help connect veterans and employers. More than 1,000 former and current military members and approximately 100 Minnesota businesses with job opportunities are expected to participate.



Minnesota Veteran Career Fair 

When: Tuesday, July 16

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Where:  Earl Brown Heritage Center
             6155 Earle Brown Drive
             Brooklyn Center, MN





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Vets Reps Link Former Marine to Milltronics

Posted on July 15, 2013 at 1:26 PM
Categories: Veterans

Chantharang Phouapradit, formerly a corporal and diesel mechanic in the U.S. Marine Corps., began looking for work after earning a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering. With job search assistance from Tim Labeau, Mark Mann, Dave Wold, and Grant Heino, all veterans employment reps at Minnesota WorkForce Centers (WFCs), he landed a job at Milltronics –Liberty Diversified International as a manufacturing engineer.

“Tim, Mark, Dave and Grant were a great help to me in getting employed,” he said.

They kept his attitude positive and gave him advice on many types of issues, he noted. Veterans employment reps connect veterans with other non-job related services that are available for veterans.

The vets reps provided links to the company that hired Phouapradit, helping him land two interviews that led to the job offer. He was notified of the vacancy by Mann. Both Heino and Mann later advocated for him as the ideal job candidate at meetings with Milltronics hiring managers. Vets reps such as Mann and Heino have strong ties with specific employers in the area, making it easier for job applicants to get their resumes in front of hiring managers.

Labeau and Wold provided Phouapradit coaching on interviewing and resume writing, and he had several practice interviews with them.

Phouapradit also attended veterans networking groups at the WFCs in Blaine and Brooklyn Park, where he heard from employers about hiring processes, learned job search techniques and shared tips on applying for employment with other veterans. Vets reps facilitate veterans networking groups, which are held at WFCs statewide.

Prior to Phouapradit’s successful job search, he received assistance from a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs program that he used for his college education.
For more information about veterans employment services, click here.


This post originally appeared in the DEED Developments Blog.

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