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Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program Marks 30-Year Anniversary
Agency showcasing role of Labor Department veterans’ employees

For immediate release
November 29, 2007

WETHERSFIELD, Connecticut Department of Labor employees are saluting a special group of co-workers during the month  – Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Specialists (DVOPs) – and highlighting the anniversary of a successful program that has assisted veterans for 30 years, State Labor Commissioner Patricia H. Mayfield said today. 

Gov. M. Jodi Rell officially proclaimed November as “Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Month” in Connecticut, and staff in the agency’s Office for Veterans’ Workforce Development are asking state residents to pay tribute to their colleagues and inform veterans of the valuable employment services available through the state’s One-Stop CTWorks Centers.

Former military personnel who were injured while on active duty, DVOPs provide intensive services such as career guidance, in-depth assessments of customers in the Labor Department’s CTWorks Centers, providing case management services and make training referrals. In addition to Labor Department offices, the DVOPs are also out-stationed at the U.S. Submarine base in Groton, at the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ facilities in West Haven and Newington, the Veterans Affairs Community Care Center in West Haven and the VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation office in Newington.

“President Jimmy Carter, following his 1977 swearing-in ceremony, made one of the highest priorities of his administration the plight of hundreds of thousands of unemployed Disabled and Vietnam veterans then living in this country,” Mayfield explains.  “As a result, the Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program, which began as a temporary offering, was started and 2,000 disabled Vietnam-era veterans were hired as DVOPs. Placed in 100 major cities across the country, they helped thousands of disabled veterans to return to work and lead normal lives.”

Based on its success, the DVOP program was continued, and over the years, it has made a major impact, points out Terry Brennan, Director of the agency’s Office for Veterans’ Workforce Development.

“During the 1970s and 1980s, the program accomplished its goals through training and education programs,” he notes.” In the 1990s, after Desert Storm War military downsizing, the DVOP program was again instrumental in helping thousands of returning disabled and war time veterans find jobs and resume normal lives. Today, with wars being fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, DVOPs are again making a difference. They are helping returning disabled and wartime veterans work their way back in to the labor market by assisting them in securing training, getting VA benefits, and obtaining employment.” 

The DVOP program has also been instrumental in saving employers and America’s taxpayers millions of dollars each year by bringing veterans back into the labor market, Brennan noted.

“Over the course of the last 30 years, the responsibilities of the DVOP have continued to evolve and change,” he points out. “While the major focus remains on the Disabled Veteran, the individuals in our agency who hold the title of DVOP also possess an enhanced level of professionalism due to extensive training and courses they have taken at the National Veterans Training Institute (N.V.T.I.). These sessions are designed to ensure that every veteran in our state receives all the service and support they are entitled to.”

National Veterans’ organization such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the American Legion, the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) AMVETS, and the Veteran’s Administration, also recognize and support the value and dedication that the DVOP program has accomplished in services to veterans and their families, Brennan notes.

“It is reassuring to know that the DVOP program continues to help improve the quality of life for veterans, their families and communities across the country,” Mayfield noted.  She urged veterans and their families to visit the Department of Labor’s Web site for veterans’ services at www.ctvets.org or to find the closest CTWorks Career Center.

 Media Contact: Nancy Steffens  (860) 263-6535


200 Folly Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, CT 06109 / Phone: 860-263-6000

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