Coordinated statewide effort to expand veterans’ employment opportunities
LA PLATA, Md. (October 4, 2010) – Today at American Legion Post 82 in La Plata, Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown joined Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Ed Chow and over 100 veterans, advocates, community leaders and elected officials to announce Maryland’s creation of the ‘Warrior to Worker’ initiative. This new initiative is a coordinated statewide effort to expand veterans’ employment opportunities within State government and to promote employment, education and training opportunities for veterans throughout Maryland.
“We have an obligation to serve those who have served. This Labor Day, we thank those brave Americans who defended our freedom along with the men and women who helped build the foundations of our strong communities,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “Since taking office, we have championed efforts to make the transition from combat to the community easier. Two years ago, we passed the Veterans Behavioral Health Act that improves mental and behavioral health and transitional services for veterans. Today, we launch the new Warrior to Worker initiative to help veterans transition from the combat workforce to the civilian economy.”
Earlier in the day, Governor Martin O’Malley signed an executive order creating the Governor’s Warrior to Worker Council. The new Council will focus on recruiting veterans for employment positions within State government and educating, training and employing veterans through higher education and training systems.
“Today’s announcement is yet another example of Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown’s commitment to supporting our Maryland veterans. I look forward to leading this effort to help those veterans who need employment to get back to work,” said Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Edward Chow, Jr.
Maryland’s Warrior to Worker initiative will support the state’s participation in the national Helmets to Hardhats program – a free, non-profit program that connects National Guard, Reserve, retired and transitioning active-duty military members to quality career opportunities and full-time, paid apprenticeships in the construction industry – and the Maryland’s Commitment to Veterans (MCV) initiative. MCV is a coordinated effort managed by the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs to connect veterans across the entire spectrum of state government with services, benefits and employment opportunities.
“The veteran holds dear those qualities which define his or her time in the military: duty, hard work, integrity and selfless service. Governor O’Malley’s ‘Warrior to Worker’ initiative will afford Maryland State agencies – and Maryland citizens – exciting new opportunities to benefit from the dedication, experience and integrity of our skilled servicemen and women, who have so heroically represented at home and abroad,” said Dennis Robinson, an Army veteran who fought in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
The O’Malley-Brown administration has fought hard to protect and expand veteran services. In 2008, Lt. Governor Brown led efforts to pass the Veterans Behavioral Health Act and chairs the Veterans Behavioral Health Advisory Board. This legislation provided veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with expanded access to behavioral and mental health services to ease the transition from combat to the community. In 2009, the Maryland General Assembly partnered with Brown to expand this program to all veterans. Brown also championed efforts to protect veterans scholarship and veteran business loan programs.
Lt. Governor Brown has spent a quarter century as a member of the United States Armed Forces. He is currently a Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves and is the nation’s highest-ranking elected official to have served a tour of duty in Iraq.