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The Local JobNetworkTM (LJN) received the following question in its online forum Ask the Experts. LJN thought it was worth sharing the question and answer with all of you as there appears to be some confusion regarding the listing requirement in the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Act (VEVRAA).
I attended a legal update on Affirmative Action, and the speaker made a distinction between “listing” and “posting” jobs with the state job banks and/or employment service delivery systems. The speaker said the [VEVRAA] requirement is to “list” jobs. I am wondering what the distinction is and does the Local JobNetwork™ meet the “listing” requirement?
Yes, the Local JobNetworkTM meets the listing requirement.
The purpose of VEVRAA is to give priority referral to protected veterans regarding job vacancies by listing employment openings with the appropriate state job bank (SJB)/employment service delivery system (ESDS) in any manner and format the SJB/ESDS permits. What does this mean, exactly?
LJN – like yourself – wanted to know. So, LJN read the regulation and called SJB/ESDSs in every state as well as the District of Columbia to find out how they actually help fulfill VEVRAA, per the regulation. Below is how it happens on the frontline.
The majority of the states use postings on their state’s website to provide preferred veteran access because directing veterans to search and apply for jobs online is a primary step in helping veterans find jobs; it is part of the SJB/ESDS onboarding process. This is also important because many SJB/ESDSs put a “hold” on the jobs for 24-72 hours so veterans can access the jobs before the general public; thus, giving veterans priority referral.
Generally speaking, many of the SJB/ESDS staff monitor the posted jobs of federal contractors and when new positions are posted, they review the positions and then match them to the skills/qualifications of the veterans they work with. Then they reach out to those veterans and make them aware of the relevant jobs.
For states that do not have on-site staff working directly with veterans, they expect the veterans to search for jobs themselves to find positions that meet their qualifications. In these situations, the veterans search jobs that have actually been posted to the SJB/ESDS websites.
When LJN specifically asked about “listing,” it meant nothing to the SJB/ESDSs as they confirmed that if a federal contractor wants to give veterans preferred access to jobs, the contractor’s jobs need to be on the SJB/ESDS website.
Even so, there are a handful of SJB/ESDSs that do not put a hold on the jobs for veteran priority referral. In these situations, sending the jobs to the Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives (LVERs) and Disabled Veteran Outreach Program Specialists (DVOPS) helps satisfy the VEVRAA requirement of giving priority referral to protected veterans so they can access the job vacancies, but only a handful of the SJB/ESDSs use this process for priority referral as the majority of the SJB/ESDSs are using postings on its websites and then holding the jobs for 24-72 hours for veteran priority referral.
It is also worth noting that some individuals are saying that LVERs/DVOPS have to receive the listings first (i.e. before the jobs are made public), but the regulation specifically states, “Listing of employment openings with the appropriate employment service delivery system pursuant to this clause shall be made at least concurrently with the use of any other recruitment source or effort.” Concurrently means “alongside with” or “simultaneously” which is the appropriate term considering that most employers post job vacancies on their website as a starting point and then concurrently use other recruitment sources.
All of this is significant to differentiate because ultimately, the purpose of VEVRAA is to help veterans find jobs and to help federal contractors hire veterans who are the right fit for their jobs considering the 7 percent hiring benchmark federal contractors are trying to achieve.
Thus, federal contractors cannot achieve the benchmark if their jobs are not posted onto the SJB/ESDS websites because the process the SJB/ESDSs are primarily using is directing veterans to search and apply for jobs online. Again, it is the SJB/ESDS’ primary step in helping veterans find jobs as they want veterans to strengthen their skills by using online tools, and they want veterans to be able to access jobs when it is convenient for them versus relying on a LVER/DVOP to navigate the entire process.
It is also worth mentioning that the role of LVERs is to work directly with employers. This includes activities such as contacting employers about open positions they find on the SJB/ESDS websites, conducting seminars for employers, and recommending a specific veteran for an employer’s position.
DVOP Specialists work directly with veterans – who have “significant barriers to employment” – to help them find employment. Barriers to employment include service-connected disability, homelessness, being unemployed for 27 consecutive weeks in the previous 12 months, recently released from incarceration within the last 12 months, lacking a high school diploma or equivalent, or low income. The DVOP works with the veteran to ensure the veteran knows how to navigate the SJB/ESDS website, search and apply to jobs on the website, as well as how to write a cover letter and resume, and interview. For veterans that do not have “significant barriers to employment,” they are not assigned to work with a DVOP.
In closing, the Local JobNetworkTM first studies the laws and second, conducts research to determine how the laws are actually coming to fruition. From there, LJN educates based on what is actually happening on the frontline, and it builds products, services, and resources with that in mind. This is important because LJN does not want customers simply “checking a box” when carrying-out obligations. Rather, LJN helps customers follow the law and fulfill the intention of the law, which is ultimately to hire veterans.
Again, to answer the original question, yes, the Local JobNetworkTM is fulfilling the “listing” requirement because it posts jobs on the SJB/ESDS as well as emails jobs to LVERs/DVOPS via VetConnectTM on behalf of federal contractors.