Kitsap Applied Technologies (KAT) now provides disabled veterans the opportunity to overcome the limitations and barriers to individual employment goals. Utilizing a focused training methodology called V.E.S.T. (Veterans Education and Skills Training) we are helping Veterans gain the skills and confidence needed to make the often difficult transition back into the civilian workforce.
KAT offers safe facility-based training that reduces stress levels and allows individuals to relearn basic life tasks in a proper social context. Participants acclimate gradually back into the work world in full responsive mode. It is easier to understand the process by following the journey of a successful job candidate, click to see story ( One Vet’s Path )
You will learn to identify your personal stress factors and utilize coping skills before they have a chance to sabotage your intended outcome. You will learn proactive coping strategies to help you reduce stress levels and provide you with the tools you need to succeed.
The KAT Veterans Program is designed to serve veterans who have left active duty due to medical issues and service-connected disabilities. The program provides “extended evaluation” services leading to integrated community employment or help for individuals to live more independently. Depending upon the individual needs the services may include vocational skills training, endurance development, career discovery, social skills training, and group discussion. The participant is referred to Kitsap Applied Technologies through the Veterans Administration and must have a preliminary disability rating of 20% or greater, must qualify and apply for vocational rehabilitation and employment services, must have an honorable or other than dishonorable discharge, and freely elect to participate in the program. The veteran’s training will not only be on strategies in pre-employment and employment preparations but on retention of their employment as a working-lifelong commitment. Disabled veterans in the program will learn to become valued and trusted assets with long term commitments in their status as an employee.
Assessments will be performed on their progress in the program. Vocational education will entail open classroom discussions of a variety of work-related subject matter. Recent estimates from the Veteran Affairs department inform us of a possible 3200 additional eligible veterans will be coming home this year.
According to the National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics there are approximately 832,200 veterans in Washington state alone. There are approximately 22,234,000 in the entire United States.
2.3 million veterans have served with distinction on the battlegrounds of Iraq and Afghanistan. The unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time since September 2001, a group referred to as Gulf War – Era II Veterans, was 12.1 percent in 2011.
The jobless rate for all veterans was 8.3 percent. 26% of Gulf War – Era II veterans reported having a service-connected disability in August 2011, compared with about 14 percent of all veterans.
Young male veterans (18 to 24) who served during Gulf War Era II had an unemployment rate of 29.1 percent in 2011, higher than that of young male nonveterans (17.6 percent).
As of 3/31/2012 338,658 veterans are considered 100% disabled while 3.42 million are receiving VA disability compensation.
Approximately 99,000 veterans are unemployed.
Anxiety disorders or other acute trauma can overwhelm the individuals’ ability to cope in employment environments.
How to enroll
In cases where a VET has been determined to have employment barriers and employment is considered reasonably feasible, we want to assist the Vet in reaching employment goals. The V.E.S.T. program seeks to:
· Evaluate, train, and improve one’s ability to achieve vocational goals in a suitable occupation
· Provide services needed to overcome barriers for suitable employment; and
· Enable the client to achieve maximum independence in daily living
The first step is yours. Let your Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor know you are interested in V.E.S.T. After being assessed by your VRC as a disabled veteran in need of an extended evaluation under Chapter 31 (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3106 (c), Pub. L 99-576), the VRC will contact KAT of your interest in the V.E.S.T. program. The V.E.S.T. Program Manager will arrange for an initial interview and you will decide together whether the program, its goals, and its setting is right for you. If they are, you will receive assistance to determine a start-date and an appropriate schedule fitting your individual need.
This is your program and we are here to assist you. You will perform an array of work-related tasks, attend vocational education meetings, and expand your work tolerance and coping strategies. The program will be designed in way to overcome your barriers to work and improve your job retention skills. The program is oriented towards assisting you in achieving your future employment or educational goals.