HD28 - Recommendations for Military Transition Assistance and the Encouragement of Partnerships Between the Commonwealth and the Military to Foster Research and Economic Development
This report was prepared in response to House Joint Resolution 325 passed by the 1992 General Assembly. The requested study was conducted and recommendations developed by the Inter-agency Task Force on Defense Conversion and Economic Adjustment under the auspices of the Governor's Commission on Defense Conversion and Economic Adjustment for the Secretaries of Education and Economic Development.
A Transition Assistance Work Group and a Technology/Skills Transfer Work Group were formed to explore these issues. This summary highlights the major findings and recommendations of the respective work groups.
TRANSITION ASSISTANCE WORK GROUP
• A number of agencies are involved in assisting military personnel.
• The services available are supportive of personnel before and after discharge.
• The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) is a major source of information for separating military personnel.
• Information on educational opportunities should be improved and targeted to veterans.
• Service providers need to be knowledgeable of support available to veterans.
• The Department of Defense (DOD) can become a more active partner in promoting veterans' skills; translating military job skills to the civilian labor market; and providing information to local economic development groups about the potential labor pool of separating military personnel.
• The transition from a military career to civilian employment could be eased with on-the-job training programs.
• The Virginia Tidewater Consortium for Higher Education offers a model that could be used in other regions to promote and support educational cooperation.
There are a number of steps that can be taken to improve educational, training, and employment opportunities for individuals leaving the military. Many items can be accomplished at the agency level and several would be best conducted with the Department of Defense. The work group recommends the following items:
1) Information sources should be improved and targeted to military veterans. The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) should review and modify Virginia VIEW and Career Hunt to highlight areas of interest to military personnel.
2) The VEC should ensure that TAP presentations include an overview of education and training opportunities and distribution of materials to interested individuals.
3) The VEC should request assistance from DOD in developing a mechanism to track separating military personnel to determine the potential labor force and skill levels.
4) The Virginia Tidewater Consortium for Higher Education should be reviewed by other educational institutions in the Commonwealth for additional applications. (The current bylaws are listed in Appendix B)
5) The VEC should review apprenticeship programs and provide information to agency veterans' employment staff on apprenticeable occupations. The VEC also should work with appropriate organizations to determine if military training and education can substitute for certain apprenticeship training.
6) The VEC should determine what post-discharge assistance and training can be provided by local military bases and disseminate this information to agency veterans' employment staff.
7) DOD should be encouraged to develop promotional material emphasizing the skills of separating military personnel as well as useful and current material to translate military skills to civilian jobs.
8) DOD should consider an on-the-job training program which allows soon-to-be discharged personnel to work in local businesses to learn the needs of civilian employers and how to apply military training and experience.
The implementation of these recommendations will improve veterans' opportunities for education and new employment.
TECHNOLOGY/SKILLS TRANSFER WORK GROUP
• There are 30 federal research and development laboratories operating in Virginia --17 military, nine civilian, and four military headquarters activities.
• The Peninsula Advanced Technology Development Center (PATDC) model is an important potential link between federal research laboratories and private business and industry for fostering technology transfer activities. This model represents a promising and creative strategy for regional economic development.
• In visits to two military base training programs, the work group found in a variety of training areas "excess capacity" that potentially could be used for training or retraining civilian workers.
• These military training programs involve advanced capabilities in the technology of teaching and training which could prove to be valuable resources to Virginia educational institutions and have potential for technology transfer for private commercialization.
1) The research efforts of this work group should continue and operate concurrently with the tenure of the Governor's Commission on Defense Conversion and Economic Adjustment.
2) This work group should report any subsequent research findings and recommendations to the Governor's Commission on a periodic basis.
3) This work group should continue its current research agenda by focusing on the following activities:
a) developing more detailed information on the operation of federal research and development laboratories and exploring the partnership and transfer possibilities that may be inherent to the operation of the laboratories;
b) continuing to monitor, develop, and evaluate various incentives around the PATDC model to facilitate its transfer to other regions of the state as more experience is gained on the operations of this prototype; and
c) continuing to investigate and make contact with additional military training programs and facilities to explore the civilian utilization of these facilities and programs and the transfer of military training technologies to civilian applications.
Specifically, based on the findings from discussions with training program officials at Fort Eustis and Fort Monroe, it is recommended that:
• a more in-depth and systematic inventory of military training capabilities be developed;
• discussions be initiated regarding how such resources could be accessed by the Commonwealth in the event of military installation closures; and,
• advanced training technology capabilities and their possibilities for technology transfer for purposes of private commercialization be explored.