What is the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program?

The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program (VR&E) is an initiative created by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. VR&E Services were created to fulfill the mission of assisting military vets in pursuing successful careers upon their return home from service. Here we discuss some of the benefits of this incredible program.

Benefits for Veterans

The skills that that individuals gain while serving in the military are highly beneficial to many employers. Since these skills are indirectly transferable, many veterans are too intimidated to apply for positions, and many others are overlooked by potential employers. Both employees and employers need a little assistance with the process of creating the bridge between the employees qualifications and the job duties. This is one of the main goals of the program.

One of the primary areas with which veterans need assistance is learning the technology, tools, and equipment specific to the positions and workplaces. This program provides veterans with assistive technology training. This training is normally paid for and sponsored by employers, so this VR&E service not only benefits veterans, but it also benefits the employers.

Resource: Top 15 Online Colleges for Military and G.I. Bill

Benefits for Employers

The VR&E program also benefits employers through the Special Employer Incentive program. Since veteran employees require more intensive on-the-job training than the average new hire, this program subsidizes a portion of their salaries until the training period is complete. Veteran employees often live with physical and emotional challenges as a result of their service. When these challenges present obstacles to carrying out employment duties, the program will reimburse the employers up to 50 percent for up to 6 months.

Many of the positions veterans thrive in are through the local, state, and federal government. Often, veteran employees begin these positions part-time, which normally could count against an agency’s full-time equivalent allocation. Through the Non-Paid Work Experience program of the VR&E, government agencies may be exempt from this restriction. The VR&E pays the veteran employees a monthly subsistence allowance while they work towards full qualification for the positions.

An additional benefit provided to employers is the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). Since military veterans are among the groups who face unique challenges to obtaining and succeeding in employment, the WOTC provides a tax cut as an incentive for employers to give these target populations the opportunities they need and deserve. Review the WOTC website for more information and to determine which employers are eligible.

The work that veterans do while actively serving in the military is brave and invaluable. Due to the specificity of that work, as well as its physical and emotional demands, veterans face many challenges in seeking, obtaining, and succeeding in employment upon their return from service. Employers are equally ill-equipped to support veterans. The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program is a collection of services meant to help overcome these challenges.