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DOL had announced HIRE Vets Medallion Program, which began in 2018 to recognize employers for hiring and retaining veterans. According to data released last month, the veteran unemployment rate in the United States is down from this time last year. At 3.1 percent in November, veteran unemployment currently sits lower than the 3.4 percent non-veteran unemployment rate.
Over the last two years, the Trump Administration has launched several initiatives to aid veterans, including efforts aimed at improving healthcare for veterans and boosting veteran employment. As part of these efforts, the U.S. Department of Labor recently launched the HIRE Vets Medallion Program, an award program that recognizes leaders in veteran hiring.
In May 2017, President Donald Trump signed the Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans Act establishing the HIRE Vets Medallion Program. The awards are designed to recognize those employers who recruit, retain, and employ veterans, and who offer charitable services in support of the veteran community.
On Nov. 8, the DOL announced the first round of awards recipients as part of the 2018 HIRE Vets Medallion Program Demonstration. Honorees include small businesses, community-based nonprofits, and national companies.
“America’s veterans are proven leaders who bring skills, dedication, and determination to our nation’s workforce,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta in a statement. “To earn a HIRE Vets Medallion Award, job creators must demonstrate a solid commitment to providing veterans with the opportunity to build a meaningful career. This program recognizes a standard for excellence in veterans hiring, and helps veterans identify employers who are committed to advancing veterans in the workplace.”
The 2018 demonstration was designed to raise awareness about the awards program and help employers prepare for the official launch of the HIRE Vets Medallion Program in 2019. Here’s what you need to know about the HIRE Vets program.
There are different award tiers for the program and different entry fees associated with each. For large employers with 500 or more employees, the entry fee is $495. For medium-sized employers with between 51 and 499 employees, the entry fee is $190. The fee for small employers with 50 employees or less is $90. Additionally, there are two award tiers: Gold and Platinum.
HIRE Vets Medallion Program applicants are evaluated based on a range of criteria, including the percentage of veterans employed at the company and the percentage of veteran employees who are retained. The awards also consider whether companies have established veterans’ assistance and training programs, if the company employs dedicated human resources professionals for veterans and if the company provides income and tuition support for veterans. Verification of these criteria includes a self-identification by the applicants and a check for violations of veteran related DOL labor laws by DOL officials. Employers with an adverse labor law decision, stipulated agreement, contract debarment, or contract termination pursuant to either the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) or Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) will not be eligible to receive an award.
Employers wishing to participate in the first official awards program have from January 31 to April 30, 2019 to apply. Award recipients will be notified no later than October 11. The 2019 winners will be named on Veterans Day, November 11.
For the OFCCP – Employer Guide to Hire Veterans, click here.