Governor Recognizes Veteran Employment Team

Governor Gary R. Herbert presented the Workforce Services Veterans Employment team with the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Leadership at a ceremony at the Capitol today.

The award recognizes a team that showed "leadership and encouraged collaboration within the community served by the department" and "expanded the capacity by fostering team collaborations" and more.

The Department of Workforce Services has made incredible progress with employment for one of Utah’s highest priority groups: veterans.  The Workforce Services Veteran’s Program, under the leadership of Chief of Veterans Bruce Summers and his team, targets veterans who are disabled, homeless, incarcerated, recently released service members, unemployed or underemployed or lacking high school degrees and GEDs.  In 2012, Utah’s veteran unemployment rate was 7.2 percent (Department of Labor).  Today, the veteran unemployment rate in Utah is only 2.3 percent, even lower than the statewide unemployment rate.

Workforce Services has made supporting Utah’s veterans a top priority for the department.  Each year Executive Director Jon Pierpont issues a “Veterans Call to Action Plan” to identify critical areas and mobilize resources to support veterans. This year’s Call to Action includes 1) reduce veteran duration on unemployment insurance (UI) by one week, 2) decrease the number of veterans age 50 and older on UI, 3) with the Department of Veterans and Military Affairs (VMA), conduct outreach to veterans on Medicaid, 4) increase the number of veterans hired by Workforce Services, and 5) increase the number of disabled veterans entering employment.  Progress is reviewed quarterly during a statewide conference call with all involved parties. 

Success with veterans employment is thanks primarily Bruce Summer’s effective leadership and vision, along with support from the executive director’s office, Disabled Veterans Outreach Program, Accelerating Credentialing to Employment Program, Workforce Development Division veterans subcommittee and collaboration with the Utah Department Veterans and Military Affairs, which was also recognized today.

Pictured above, left to right: Jon Pierpont, Weston Miller, Shelly Ivie, Bruce Summers, Governor Herbert, Vint DeGraw, Dave Busk, William Greer, Jerry Culwell

Pictured below: The Workforce Services and Veterans and Military Affairs teams