VA Educational and Vocational Counseling Program

VA Educational and Vocational Counseling Program

September 14, 2019 0 By Ronny Jaskolski


♪♪♪ Good morning! You must be here for
the Educational and Vocational Counseling,
Chapter 36 VA outreach event. We’re just about to get started. Welcome everyone. I’m Eric Ramirez with the
Department of Veterans Affairs. There is something that
everyone here has in common. You’re about to separate
from the military or you’ve recently separated and
you’re ready to hit the ground
running as you prepare for
your civilian future. The good news is VA has personalized vocational,
educational, and adjustment
counseling available to help you make the
best use of your VA benefits as you map out a
path to your future. Sir, what is the
benefit of this counseling? I’m currently transitioning and
don’t really have a problem I’m just trying to
figure out a new career. Let me explain. Counseling doesn’t mean
that you have a problem. The VA has trained Vocational
Rehabilitation Counselors, who provide career counseling. The counselors are there to
provide guidance to help you to
make the best use of the
benefits you’ve earned. So, let me
get this straight… the benefit is
called Chapter 36, Educational and Vocational
Counseling, and… VA counselors provide the
counseling services? So if I want to apply, I ask for
a Chapter 36 application, right? Yes,
you got that right. So, you’re probably wondering,
What’s in it for me? Why should I fill out
this application? I’m going to tell you why. Your transition back
to civilian life may have some challenges. So there’s counseling available
to help you adjust. It will help you and
your dependents understand some of the
challenges of transition, and will make it easier. Is it really
that hard to find a job or to take some classes down
at the community college? Making the
transition from military service can be harder than you think. If you don’t believe me, take a look at what one of
our Veterans had to say. I joined the
military right out of high
school. Didn’t have college on my mind.
At all. I figured that was
enough schooling for me, until I retired from the army. It can
be very challenging and very intimidating because
a lot of veterans do say when they were in the
military it was a way of life. Somebody was telling
you when to get up what things to do
and things of that nature and when you come to a college
setting it’s pretty much you’re
on your own. You don’t know kind of where to
go because of some many years you know military
was a way of life. And to come here and kind of
make your own choices is a big
adjustment. So with the chapter 36 benefit they have an opportunity to have
a person a point of contact which a lot of veterans do like
to associate who can help them and try to navigate
both the VA benefits as well as what school resources
are available to them in order to make it a
smooth transition. I first
learned about chapter 36 educational and
vocational counseling when I met with a VA counselor
on my college campus. The counselor set me down and
we started a simple test to identify my abilities
aptitudes and interests. You know, so I’d have a better
idea what I might be good at and what jobs maybe most
compatible with me. The test didn’t take long at all
and it helped to confirm that I was on the right track
for the college classes I
had planned to take. So it was reassuring. You know when
they initially come they kind of
do that assessment the career assessment it really
kind of gives them a clear
picture about different things that
they may not have thought about as they transition into
the civilian world. Because a lot of times
they look at the MOS and say well how can I
really apply this to when I go to civilian world. So again with the career
assessment it really kind of
takes a look at both their aptitude as
well as their interest in kind a compiles and
really kind of gives them a black and white to
really kind of see what things are available and
what he or she may want to
pursue. It’s helpful to have someone
there to answer questions about registration, study habits
career programs and jobs. Since I had recently discharged
I also had VA benefit questions. The counselor was able to
help me with all that to. We also talked about
my career plans. He took a look at my resume and
give me some insight into the
labor market. Now, I feel more confident that
I’m not just getting a degree but I’m preparing myself for
marketable job in the future. So you see, it’s not always
easy. But VA has help available. So write down this website
www.benefits.va.gov It’s loaded with information.
Now, as you make
this transition, you’re going to ask yourself
some tough questions:
Now what? How am I going to earn a living?
Should I go to work or college? Technical School or University? VA has vocational assessmentsthat could really help you in
answering those questions,narrowing down your choices
and even help you to
identify civilian careersthat are similar to the duties
you performed in the military.As a civilian,
what if I can t find the type of
job I performed in the military?A counselor
can work with you to
research your local labor marketand identify other
potential jobs thatmaybe you hadn’t even
considered, jobs you might
really enjoy.With the help of a counselor,you could also learn about other
employment resources likeVeterans Employment Center…
An online tool that connects
Veterans and employers.Through VEC,
you could create a winning
resume and browse for jobs.As if that’s not enough,
the VA counselor can
sit down with youand provide guidance
about VA partnerships,including Department of Labor.Through DOL,
you can receive further
employment assistancefrom a Disabled Veterans
Outreach Program Specialistor Local Veterans
Employment Representative,who specifically work with
Veterans for employment.This all sounds great,
but right now,I don’t think I have marketable
skills for employment.I’m interested in training going
to college using the GI Bill.Using your
VA educational benefits,GI Bill, is an excellent way
to get the marketable
skills that you need If you know how to maximize and
most effectively use this
benefit. For example,
do you know how to choose a school that is a good fit for
you? A counselor can work with you to
evaluate some important
questions such as: How well does the school
support Veterans and Service
members? How much is the
school’s tuition? Do you know how the school’s
tuition cost effects your GI
Bill benefits? When selecting a school, you are
making an important decision regarding where you’ll
potentially spend the next one
to three years of your life. Not only that,
but you are investing
in your future, so you want to make the
best decision you can, so that you get a positive
return on your investment. Yes? This all sounds
like a lot of work. Think of it as homework,
doing a little research, so that you’re making
an informed decision about how to best use
your VA benefits. Yes, that takes a little work,
but your future depends on it. Now, here’s the easy part. Submitting an application for VA
Educational and Vocational
Counseling. All you need to do
is fill out a VA Form 28-8832. Surely you know how to fill
out a government form by now. (laughter) If for some reason you don’t
have access to VA Form 28-8832, you can submit your own
signed, written request. Then you just need to
set aside some time to meet with a VOC
Rehab Counselor. Now, let me show you
how one of our veterans managed to make this transition
with the help of
Chapter 36 counseling. As I transition from the
military I knew I had to find a
new career quickly. So before I even got started out
I started working on a resume but I didn’t really know how to
translate my military skills to
civilian employment. The last time I did
a resume I was 16. Applying for my first job as a
bagger at the local grocery
store. Things have changed a little
in the workforce since then. When I first met with a VA
rehabilitation counselor we discussed what type
of job I was looking for the outlook for that job
in the local labor market. She also took a look at my
resume and provided some really
good feedback. For one, I learned I shouldn’t
use a lot of military jargon when applying for certain jobs
because the employer may not
understand military lingo. Which means they will have a
good understanding my skills
either. I also remove my Social
Security number and birth date. I learned that a ten page
resume is probably too long. It’ll likely send my resume
straight to the recycle bin
instead of HR. The counselor really took time
with me and reviewed my
abilities, attitudes and interests
and afterward said it appeared that I have some marketable
skills. She said that it appeared that I
should have no problem getting a
job but I just need the best
showcase those skills to show an employer that I’m
the best person for the job. When I’ve told people about the
VA career counseling that I
received they’re like is that it? They can’t believe it I’m
so happy about that. But you know what
those little tips: creating a strong resume, how best to display your skills. That type of career counseling
to be the difference between me getting or
not getting a job.
For me that’s pretty major. It was just the edge I needed tostudent Veteransand their qualified dependents
to ease the transition to
student life. Now, how convenient is that? You can stop in to see the VA
counselor between classes. The VA also has what are called
Integrated Disability
Evaluation System counselors stationed on military bases
to initiate services to severely
ill or injured Service members who have been determined
medically unfit for duty. Of course, there
are time limits, so you should move
on this right away.
Step one is to submit the Educational/
Vocational Counseling
application. You remember, VA Form 28-8832. Also, take a look at the screen
to see who can apply for
Chapter 36 benefits. As you can see,
almost anyone is
eligible to apply. Service members, Veterans,
and eligible dependents. Here’s the bottom line. All of you have performed
great service for our Nation. But today is not the
end. Today is just the
beginning. Your country still
needs your strength, your intellect, your leadership. Your country still needs you to
continue serving in potential
careers such as future business
leaders, teachers, counselors,
federal workers. VA wants to help
enable you to excel as you make this transition from
uniform to civilian careers. With the help of VA Chapter 36,
Educational and Vocational
Counseling services, now is the time to
map out your future. You’ve earned it.
Don’t wait. Start planning the rest
of your life today. And on behalf of the VA we want
to thank you for your service. ♪♪♪