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Showing posts from July 2013. Show all posts

Vets Networking Group Provides Tremendous Boost

Posted on July 08, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Jobs, Veterans

Denny Christiansen
Denny Christiansen, a veteran of the U.S. Army
This post originally appeared on the Minnesota Department of Economic Development DEED Developments Blog on July 8, 2013.     

Dennis “Denny” Christiansen, a veteran of the U.S. Army, needed help finding work, so he turned to the Minnesota WorkForce Center in Brooklyn Park to learn job search skills.  And it paid off. In June, he began a new job as a mental health practitioner at Nystrom & Associates in New Brighton.  Christiansen found out about the job opening through a connection with veterans employment services reps at the WorkForce Center.

Christiansen has extensive experience in the human services field, and had been an enlisted assistant to the drug abuse officer for the 1st Armored Division in Germany. But all that wasn’t enough to land him a good job. That’s why he began regularly attending a veterans networking group meeting held weekly.

“I can’t recommend it enough,” he says. “Being with other veterans gave me a tremendous boost.”

One area that Christiansen focused on was interviewing.  He hadn’t been on a job interview for a long time and needed to brush up on techniques, especially how to answer behavioral questions, according to vets rep. Mark Mann.  Christiansen received coaching on answering interview questions and had mock interviews.



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Supporting Minnesota Veterans and Families

Posted on July 05, 2013 at 10:00 AM
Categories: Veterans

Minnesota is home to nearly 400,000 veterans and Governor Mark Dayton is committed to honoring the service and sacrifice of each one. This year, the Governor and the DFL legislature focused on increasing access to:

  • Jobs and education
  • Safe, secure housing
  • Meaningful community support

Access to Jobs and Education


Governor Dayton’s budget increases access to good job opportunities and affordable education to help our veterans successfully transition into civilian life. To help Minnesota veterans find employment, the new budget includes new tax credits to encourage businesses to hire disabled or unemployed veterans. And to better support small businesses owned by veterans, legislation passed that allows local governments to offer bid preferences to veteran-owned businesses.

The new state budget also helps veterans interested in getting additional education. Improvements to the Minnesota GI Bill http://www.ohe.state.mn.us/mPg.cfm?pageID=1803 will help all veterans and the families of those killed in the line of duty attend colleges and universities.

Safe, secure housing

A 2009 study confirmed that Minnesota has hundreds of homeless veterans. The Governor’s budget increases funding for the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans http://www.mac-v.org/ (MCAV) to ensure that Minnesota veterans have access to safe and secure housing. The MCAV assists homeless veterans and those in danger of becoming homeless.

Veterans’ homes are critical to addressing homelessness as well. The budget allocates $20.4 million to create 93 permanent rental housing units for veterans who have experienced homelessness. Additionally, it funds improvements for the Minneapolis, Fergus Falls, Silver Bay, and Luverne veterans’ homes.



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Minnesota GI Bill Expansion

Posted on July 03, 2013 at 10:05 AM
Categories: Veterans

More Minnesotans are now eligible for the Minnesota G.I. Bill.

This post originally appeared in the Minnesota Department of Veteran Affairs blog.

Governor Mark Dayton and the Minnesota State Legislature voted to expand the Minnesota GI Bill to include more Veterans. Previously only Veterans who served after September 11, 2001 were eligible for the Minnesota GI Bill, which supplements other Veteran education programs. Now, under the new law any Veteran under age of 62 who has served honorably in any branch of the armed forces during any time period may be eligible. 

“This is important because the program will now assist the Veterans who need it the most,” said David Bellefeuille, director of the Higher Education Veterans Programs for the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs.  Many pre-9/11 Veterans have either used all their federal education benefits, or they have expired. The enhancements to this program will now assist all Minnesotan Veterans with long-term employment opportunities. The plan starts with education and financial assistance to help Veterans, who have served and sacrificed for this country, achieve their goals.  

 “The enhancements to the Minnesota GI Bill will provide a much broader audience the opportunity to gain an education and get back to work,” said Bellefeuille.  “This also opens doors for Veterans who need certifications or who need to return to school for their current positions.”

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July is “Hire a Veteran Month”

Posted on July 02, 2013 at 1:19 PM
Categories: Veterans

Hire MN Veterans

Today, 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.

Minnesota has already made great efforts to help veterans find work and utilize their skills after they leave the military. Many of our businesses already know that veterans make great employees because of their education, leadership, maturity, and dedication. 

Later this month, the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) will be 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.

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