stop systems, just as they do under current law. In fact,
veterans will benefit by being able to access improved services
and information through one-stop career centers.
The Secretary of Labor must approve all waiver requests, and
certain provisions are off limits, such as the basic purposes or
goals of the affected programs - which in the case of chapter 41
includes providing maximum employment and training opportunities
to veterans, with priority to disabled and Vietnam-era veterans.
Naturally, the Secretary would consult with the Assistant
Secretary for Veterans' Employment and Training on waiver
requests affecting veterans. As I testified, I can foresee no
circumstances for which I would accommodate the granting of such
Question 4; You stated in your testimony that the expansion of
dislocated worker programs under the Reemployment Act of 1994
should result in improved benefits for involuntarily separated
How will these individuals be identified and informed of the
services available to them?
The Reemploment Act strengthens involuntarily separated service
members' access to a comprehensive array of information and
Veterans who are involuntarily separated and receiving UCX will
be profiled by respective state unemployment insurance system
offices to determine whether they are likely to have difficulty
finding a new job. Transitioning service members who attend
Transition Assistance Program (TAP) workshops will also be
apprised of the presumptive eligibility for dislocated worker
benefits. If so, they will be referred to Career Centers for
assessment, career counseling, and other services, including
training when necessary.
The increased investment in dislocated workers (which will total
nearly $12 billion between 1995 and 1999) and the fact that the
nation will have one comprehensive dislocated worker program
rather than a bewildering array of categorical programs will make
outreach to all eligible populations easier and more effective.
Question 5. Under the Reemployment Act, what mechanisms are in
place to determine whether or not grant recipients are in
compliance with title 38 requirements?
The mechanisms include: State and Federal oversight and
monitoring including on-site evaluations by VETS field staff of
services to veterans; audits; and customer feedback from veterans
and other individuals who have received services through a One-
Stop Career Centers. The latter may be done through surveys,
interviews, focus groups, and other techniques.
In addition, the operating agreement negotiated between the
Workforce Investment Board and participating programs, and
approved by the local elected official and the Governor will
specify the procedures to be used to ensure compliance with the
statutory and regulatory requirements of the participating
programs, including chapter 41 of title 38.
Question 6. In your testimony, you note that your Internal
Review Team has recommended that VETS regional offices be
How many regional offices do you consider adequate?
The Internal Review Team does not propose the closing of any
VETS' offices. Instead, current regional offices which might
lose the "regional" designation would continue to operate in some
other capacity such as area offices. Also, the Internal Review
Team's final report did not specify which cities it would
recommend to no longer be regional office cities, nor did it make
recommendations as to which should be the new regional cities â€”
except to propose that Washington, D.C. become one of the new
regional office cities. Their rational for that specific
recommendation is that it would facilitate downsizing of the
With reduced, or, as I would prefer to characterize it, an
optimal â€” number of regional offices (ROs) , each would still have
the capacity to fulfill a "value-added" role of facilitating the
delivery of services to our customers: veterans, employers, and
VETS' own staff. In light of the need to reduce the agency's
total staff, having more ROs than this optimal number would be
superfluous and would waste personnel that could otherwise be
assigned to front-line work in the States. VETS is still in the
process of determining the optimal number of ROs. The agency's
Reinvention Team will be providing me with its views on this
after completing its review of the Internal Review Team's
Which offices would you expect to close?
At this time, a full review of decisions regarding of the
Internal Review Team's proposals has not yet been completed. In
accordance with VETS' partnership agreement with its unions,
these proposals must be reviewed by VETS Reinvention Team
consisting of labor, management, field staff and national office
personnel. So, I am not as yet in a posture to make decisions
regarding the number of VETS' regional offices in the future, or
which specific offices might be changed to front line service
offices if regional office numbers are reduced.
Question 7. Mr. Secretary, what steps are you taking to comply
with the requirements of Public Law 102-16 and convene the
Advisory Committee on Veterans' Employment and Training?
I am disappointed that the committee is still uninformed.
I am now in the process of having the Secretary of Labor solicit
nominations for Committee positions.
Question 8. VETS staff must reduce staffing by 12 percent over
the next five years, in keeping with a Presidential Executive
How will this staffing reduction affect delivery of services to
veterans? How could veterans possibly benefit from a cut of this
By what criteria will the new positions be allocated to states?
The 12% target reduction was presented to VETS, as it was to
other Federal agencies, by the President's September 11, 1993,
Memorandum For Heads of Departments and Agencies, "Streamlining
the Bureaucracy." Internal Department of Labor planning
directives set the 12% reduction as an assumption that each
agency in the Department should follow until further notice, in
its planning through Fiscal Year 1999.
Thus, VETS' Internal Review Team's proposals incorporated this
12% reduction as part of its planning assumptions. In the FY
1996 budget cycle currently getting underway, and in future
budget cycles, VETS will be reviewing its long-range planning to
determine the optimal nature of staffing reductions given the
status of staffing allocations at the time of each cycle.
Particular staffing changes will be considered on a case-by-case
basis, in collaboration with the unions in accordance with VETS'
VETS will continue to attempt to optimize customer service within
this staffing allocation by
o Shifting resources from supervisory/management
functions to the front-line;
o Protecting the staffing allocations in the states; and
o Reducing the numbers of
o National office positions
o Regional office positions
o Supervisors and managers.
If it turns out that VETS indeed must cut staff by 12 percent by
FY 1999, the agency's challenge will be to increase effectiveness
of services to veterans and achieve the staffing cuts. The
Internal Review Team has recommended that this be accomplished by
such key improvements as the following:
o Retention of front-line staff positions in the states, while
absorbing reductions among staffing allocations in the
regional and national offices.
o Redistribution of workload to assure equity among all staff
at all levels of the organization.
o Reduction in the size and streamlining of VETS' management
team, and the resulting facilitation of essential and
effective communications among managers.
o Improvement in automated management information and
electronic communications systems (already underway and
to be continued) .
o Increased staff training and the development of a
comprehensive career ladder structure readily
accessible for the career development of all levels of
o The evolution of supervisory/managerial roles into
leadership roles; that is, emphasizing coaching and
development rather than checking or overseeing.
Question 9. A reinvention team proposes to establish three new
positions. Wouldn't this recommendation eliminate DVOPs and
Would this recommendation increase or reduce the number of
The recommendation does not intend to eliminate the DVOP and LVER
functions associated with these programs. Instead, the proposal
is to realign these functions to focus on the delivery of
services to those veterans most in need of specialized services â€”
with the exception of the current "functional supervision" role,
which would be eliminated.
VETS plans to request legislative authority in the near future to
pilot test this realignment of duties. Results of the pilot test
would be analyzed before any further recommendations for
legislative action would be considered. Only after the pilot
test could reasonable estimates be made regarding the number of
specialists to be recommended.
In your testimony, you note that these new positions would target
veterans "who have exceptional difficulty in accessing the labor
market." What options would be available to veterans who want to
see a DVOP or LVER, but are not in the categories designated
"most in need?"
Those veterans who are not "most in need" would be considered
capable of accessing other local office or one-stop career center
services, such as through use of self -directed computer job
listings. Thus, these veterans would not use the services of the
proposed new veterans' "specialists", allowing those specialists
the time necessary to serve those who truly are "most in need".
Wouldn't this proposal result in a reduction in services to
VETS believes this proposal actually would result in improved
services to veterans - by increasing the focus on the system's
ability to provide specialized services to those most in need,
while referring those capable of self-sufficiency to other
SESA/one-stop career center services.
Question 10; In testimony heard today, strong objection was
raised to the recommendation to eliminate the requirement in
chapter 41 that DVETs and ADVETs be veterans.
How do you justify this recommendation?
A May 2, 1994, Internal Review Team draft management study was
one draft paper which mentioned this possible option. However,
due consideration of all the ramifications â€” especially in light
of the content of the extensive comments which VETS received in
response to its request for advice on this issue during the
reinvention development process - have been reflected in the
final May 20, 1994, recommendations of the Internal Review Team
NOT to make any changes in these veteran status requirements.
Question 11; Where are you in the reinvention process, and where
you go from here?
The numerous products of the five ad hoc teams have been
presented to VETS' Reinvention Team, the union-management
partnership group charged with advise-and-consent review of each
proposal. Once this team completes its review and comments on
each proposal, I will receive their input for my decisions and
implementation. One change has already been implemented, i.e.,
the conversion of the JTPA Title IV-C grant award process from a
formula allocation to a competitive award process. We expect to
make those awards no later than August 30, 1994.
When will you submit specific legislative recommendations to the
In the near future, we plan to request legislation which would
allow VETS to pilot test the proposed revised service delivery
system and its new functional realignment.
With respect to the other legislative issues raised in our
various reinvention products, we will be discussing a separate
package of legislative proposals within the Department of Labor
this summer, so that these might be considered for inclusion in
the Department's legislative agenda.
Question 12; In your testimony, you stated that the JTPA Title
IV-C grants would be awarded competitively and that services
would be targeted to veterans in the most needed service areas.
By what process will you identify service areas with the greatest
need and on which criterion will the competition for grants be
The JTPA IV-C Solicitation for Grant Applications (SGA) has been
revised such that it is less than half its previous length -
simplifying and facilitating its use by prospective grantees.
The process incorporated in this SGA identifies five criteria by
which all applications will be measured and by which comparisons
among applications will be made:
o Statement of Need
o Program Design and Goals
o Qualifications of Applicants
o Utilization of Community Linkages and Optional Outside
o Budget Narrative
Comparison among all applications will be made in the evaluation
process, with the relative needs of all the service areas from
which applications are submitted being considered in the final
decision process. In their Statement of Need, applicants will
receive high points that identify areas in which there are
veterans having great needs but for whom there are no available
resources to serve.
Question 13: For the record, who specifically is on the VETS
Reinvention Team that is reviewing the proposals made by the ad
National Council of Field Labor Locals Representatives
Karen Marin, Veterans' Program Specialist, Seattle Regional
Gary Cusack, ADVET, Michigan
American Federation of Government Employees Local 12
Cliff Russell, Veterans Employment Specialist, VETS'
Sandy Bailie, VRR Specialist, VETS' National Office
VETS Management Representatives
Bo Wroble, Supervisory Management Analyst, VETS' Office
of Information, Management, and Budget
Jeff Crandall, VETS' Director of Field Operations
Question 14; In your statement you mentioned that the ad hoc
teams kept interested parties, including my staff, informed about
their progress and ideas.
First, I want to thank you for working so closely with us. We
all want to do what is best for veterans, so I always feel that
we're on the same side and should work together.
Is the Interstate Conference of Employment Security Agencies
(ICESA) supportive of the recommendations made by the ad hoc
teams? Is 0MB supportive? What comments have you received?
ICESA has been a particularly active and supportive partner in
VETS' reinvention, adding significant value to many of our
proposals through their direct involvement.
o ICESA was a key player in making the necessary
arrangements for data compilation in our customer
o ICESA helped make possible VETS' Case Management pilot
testing efforts in several states.
Our briefing of OMB was largely for informational purposes, and
neither OMB nor ICESA has provided any formal comments.
Question 15; You noted that the Internal Review Team identified
legislative mandates that inhibit effective usage of VETS' staff
and other resources.
Specifically, which legislative requirements do you consider
troublesome and why?
Two-year residency requirements on DVETs and ADVETs.
This requirement restricts our capacity to promote
qualified VETS staff who live outside the states
where the vacancies exist. Such restrictions are
bad for morale and for our customers, because
productivity suffers where there is little or no
hope for advancement.
The requirement for "Full-time clerical support" for
the DVET in each state. This "clerical"
designation restricts the upward mobility of
approximately 20% of VETS' staff. This should be
revised so that the mandated DVET staff support is
not limited only to clerical support;
o The formula assigning ADVETs based on state veterans'
population. Population is not the best indicator
of VETS' workload, since it includes those
veterans retired from the workforce. This formula
should be amended to allow flexibility according
to workload in assigning ADVETs to the states.
o The requirement that VETS have 10 Regional
Administrators. This requirement restricts VETS'
flexibility to redesign its internal organization
to meet customer service needs, by imposing an
administrative structure on the agency.
As a result of these mandates, approximately three quarters of
VETS staff of approximately (276 positions) are mandated with
respect to position title, and/or residency status. Thus a large
majority of VETS' staff is restricted with respect to who can do
these jobs, where they can be located, and/or how they are to be
utilized. As a result, VETS has only a small percentage of its
staff which can be assigned based strictly on workload demands.
Question 16. The customer survey you mentioned is an excellent
idea. How exactly will this survey be carried out?
When will the survey be conducted and the results available?
o Sampling data to conduct the surveys is being provided
by the SESAs.
o Current plans call for 1,100 veterans and 1,100
employers in 16 states to receive their respective
o Data will be compiled as a national aggregate.
o The survey is now scheduled to be conducted from August
through October, with the analytical report to be
completed by December or January. These dates are
contingent upon timely clearances being obtained
so the surveys can be distributed by August.
Question 17. We have long been concerned about the
implementation, effectiveness, and enforcement of the Federal
Contractor Job Listing program.
Specifically, what changes did the team recommend in this
All veterans should be targeted for affirmative action;
o The $25,000 ceiling on the jobs to be listed
under the Federal Contractor Job Listing
program should be removed;
o The VETS-100 report should be modified to
capture a contractor's total workforce
o Data management in the system should be
o Processing and tracking of complaints should
Question 18; In your testimony you noted that the ad hoc teams
had recommended ways to improve the Title IV-C grants process.
Please describe in more detail the changes being made and the
resulting effect on services to veterans.
The Title IV-C grant award process is now competitive
instead of being a formula allocation as
previously. This should encourage those who apply
to improve the services for veterans in order to
be successful in the award competition.
Fewer awards: Ten to 16 grants, instead of the 30 to
40 previously awarded annually. This will
significantly reduce the overhead administrative
burden on VETS (by as much as 70% in preliminary
estimates) in processing these awards, thus
freeing resources which can be redirected to more
direct services to veterans.
Larger awards: Larger funding amounts should attract
higher quality applications, with resulting
improvements in services to veterans likely due to
economies of scale. Grantees will have access to
greater resources that lend to richer program
experiences and promise greater success in
entering the labor market.
Question 19: For the record, please provide us with a record of
services provided to veterans by the Employment Service during
fiscal years 1991, 1992, 1993, and 1st quarter of 1994.
The national summaries for Program Years 1990 through 1992 are
enclosed as an attachment to this response. The national summary
is only prepared at the end of the Program Year. The Program
Year 1993 summary will be forwarded when compiled.
Question 20. Would you support a provision requiring that
certain veterans (service-connected disabled, recently
discharged, homeless) be provided priority service or have
priority in participation in all employment and training programs
administered by the Department of Labor?
If not, why not?
I recognize that there are veterans with special needs. The
service-connected disabled, recently discharged, and homeless are
After the passage of the Reeemployment Act, as part of the whole
process of reinventing government, the Secretary will be
considering a phase two consolidation of programs. At that time,
I'll discuss the subject of priority service for certain veterans
Delivery of services to veterans by the Employment Service
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