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  1. 1. Running head: VETERANS 1 Veteran’s Certifications Project: Project Requirements Document Eric Husher INF 342 Project Quality Assurance Instructor Bouvin 22 June, 2015
  2. 2. Running head: VETERANS 2 Veteran’s Certifications Project: Project Requirements Document Background information: Since the terrorist attacks on the Twin towers in NYC on September 11, 2001, the United States has been at war, with almost two million troops cumulatively deployed by the Army alone prior to 2012, and in each of the intervening years, roughly 13 percent of regular Army soldiers and 15 percent Reserves and National Guard have left the service to return to the civilian world (O’Connell, Wenger, & Hansen, 2014). Unemployment statistics for these veterans have been consistently and significantly higher than those of their civilian counterparts, up to 29 percent unemployed for those veterans 18-24 years old in 2011 (Loughran, 2014). Strangely, these veterans have received a wide scope of training that should provide them with a significant advantage in terms of employment in comparison with their civilian counterparts, but this is clearly not the case. Thus, the purpose of this project is to examine the causes and provide a viable solution that will reduce these unemployment numbers to a level at least consistent with that of the civilian population. The problem: The United States government and people owe a huge debt of gratitude to all veterans, and finding some means of transitioning these veterans back into the civilian workforce in an efficient and effective manner is a necessary obligation for the government as part of its responsibility towards them, and towards the American people as a whole. Numerous reports indicate that one of the primary causes for veteran unemployment is a lack of civilian certifications, regardless of the fact that there are often very close similarities between the jobs veterans do in the service, and jobs on the civilian market. Thus, it is conceivable that a suitable program to document, validate and certify
  3. 3. Running head: VETERANS 3 these skills in a manner that is translatable to civilian Human Resource offices could have immediate benefits in terms of enhancing veteran employability. Impacts of the problem: Veteran unemployment is not just shameful, but expensive to the taxpayers as well. Each veteran on discharge from the service is immediately eligible for unemployment benefits and food stamps too. Many veterans that seek ‘civilian-recognized’ certifications, spend thousands of Dollars on unnecessary or largely repetitive education paid for by the Montgomery GI Bill (Nunez, 2014). Many of these veterans return to their homes where they become a financial burden on the homeowners (parents or other family) until such time as they can become employed, and at the same time, American businesses are deprived of the immediate commercial benefits offered by the skills and talents of these veterans, likewise obtained at significant taxpayer expense (Harrell & Berglass, 2012). Further, unemployed veterans are subject to substance abuse and health issues not seen in the general population that likewise can and has become a public expense (Hoffer, Dekle & Sheets, 2014). Impact of ignoring the problem: Troop drawdowns are now occurring in all of the military services, as part of lessening military requirements in the Middle East. As a result, There is an increasing ‘flush’ of newly discharged veterans arriving that is expected to last for another three years, thus aggravating an already very expensive problem by a factor of two. Voice of the Customer Analysis: Numerous reports by a wide variety of sources have documented the problems associated with veteran unemployment, and many, if not all have specifically indicated that a lack of certifications as a primary cause, though no ‘solutions’ have been offered. Time Magazine documented that “today’s business leaders
  4. 4. Running head: VETERANS 4 don’t understand the value that veterans bring to the table,” and more specifically blames this on the fact that current business leaders represent one of the first generations that largely didn’t serve in the military, which means they do not understand how military skills translate to increasing their own business profits (Tarantino, 2013). Further, a study done by the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) highlighted that while many businesses would like to hire veterans for patriotic reasons, they are unable to make an appropriate ‘business case’ for doing so because of their unfamiliarity with skill translation (Harrell & Berglass, 2012). A further report highlighted the problem and expense of obtaining largely redundant certifications where a transitioning U.S. Army medic, having been trained in all aspects by the Army and in the field in all of the tasks of a paramedic, must attend a year-long civilian course that can cost up to $10,000 in order to be certified as such for civilian employment (Nunez, 2014). Clearly, the military and the civilian world of Human Resources are not communicating effectively. Strategic alignment: Given the fact of reducing military budgets, combined with the need to reduce unemployment costs associated with transitioning military veterans (nearly $1 billion a year on veteran’s unemployment checks alone) and the business needs of American companies of all kinds in an ever-more competitive marketplace make the viable translation of military skills to the commercial environment one of the most effective cost savings and profit producing projects imaginable. Key assumptions: Veterans that have been employed in the civilian world have been repeatedly recognized by their employers for a wide variety of desirable characteristics not generally noted in their civilian counterparts (Harrell & Berglass, 2012). Quantifying these qualities in terms of business profitability should provide a
  5. 5. Running head: VETERANS 5 convincing argument for business managers to retrain their Human Resources/hiring departments to not only cooperate and participate in a government-sponsored veterans certification program, but also adjust their own hiring logarithms and Internet hiring ‘bots’ to account for these certifications. Likewise, the academic world of colleges, universities and technical training schools will also wish to assist in the accreditation of these certifications, in order to streamline their own student flow to successful graduation. Finally, the Federal government and Department of Defense in particular should be extremely interested in coordinating and orchestrating the certification and accreditation process as well in order to reap the benefits of reduced expenditures both now and in the foreseeable future. Thus, and in accordance with the methodologies provided, described and taught in our text, it is my intention to bring this project forward, not only through this course, but also for my remaining courses so that it can be brought to the direct attention of the Senate Armed Services Committee as an actionable solution to an ever-increasing problem (Heerkens, 2002).
  6. 6. Running head: VETERANS 6 References Harrell, C. & Berglass, N. (2012). Employing America’s Veterans: Perspectives From Businesses. Center for a New American Security. Retrieved from http://www.cnas.org/files/documents/publications/CNAS_EmployingAmericasVe terans_HarrellBerglass.pdf Heerkens, G. R. (2002). Manager’s Guide to Project Management. McGraw-Hill Companies; ; ISBN 978-0-07-137952-6. Hoffer, E. F., Dekle, J. W. & Sheets, C. (2014). Social Work with Service Members, Veterans, and their Families. Health & Social Work. February 2014, Vol. 39 Issue 1. Retrieved from http://eds.b.ebscohost.com.proxy- library.ashford.edu/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=7ba87d80-7412-49f5-a7c7- b4bc52429d93%40sessionmgr110&vid=2&hid=117 Loughran, D. S. (2014). Why is Veteran Unemployment so High? RAND National Defense Research Institute. Retrieved from http://www.rand.org/content/ dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RR200/RR284/RAND_RR284.pdf Nunez, E. (2014). Dissecting Veteran unemployment in the United States. Classy Awards Collaborative Exchange. Retrieved from http://www.classyawards.org/ exchange/dissecting-veteran-unemployment-in-the-united-states/ O’Connell, C., Wenger, J. W., Hansen, M. L. (2014). Measuring and retaining the US Army’s Deployment Experience. RAND Corporation. Santa Monica CA. Retrieved from http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports /RR500/RR570/RAND_RR570.pdf Tarantino, T. (2013). The Ground truth on Veteran’s Unemployment. Time Magazine,
  7. 7. Running head: VETERANS 7 March 22, 2013. Retrieved from http://nation.time.com/2013/03/22/the-ground- truth-about-veterans-unemployment/ Whittaker, J. (2011). Unemployment compensation (insurance) and military service. Congressional Research Service. Washington DC. Retrieved from http://assets.opencrs.com/rpts/RS22440_20110113.pdf.