Assistant Department of Labor Secretary for Veterans Employment and Training Ray Jefferson addresses the 51st Washington Conference. Photo by James V. Carroll

Overhaul of TAP under way

The Department of Labor’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP) for military personnel entering civilian careers hasn’t been modernized in 19 years, says Assistant DoL Secretary for Veterans Employment and Training Ray Jefferson. By Veterans Day 2011, it will be, he promised.

“This year, we are transforming the program from the ground up,” Jefferson told members of The American Legion gathered for the organization’s 51st Washington Conference in the nation’s capital. He said it will take foresight and creativity to install a new program that best serves military personnel in transition.

Jefferson told Legionnaires it’s time to put away the Power Point slides “and do it the military way … learning by doing.”

Among the changes Jefferson described are a TAP program option that can be conducted entirely online, a 60-day period of consultation for servicemembers after they complete the program, pre-TAP assessments to determine employment readiness, skills and interests and a new emphasis on measuring long-term performance of the program.

“We cannot have transformational outcomes and impact for our veterans unless we become a transformational organization,” Jefferson said. “And we cannot become a transformational organization unless we have transformational individuals.”



  1. Although it was not available after Vietnam (I was also military during and after Vietnam)- the Army has had a program call ACAP in place to do what the Article is talking about for 20 years. It does not get alot of attention and some Commanders do not want to let Soldiers go long enough to take full advantage of it. A full PreSeparation briefing is mandatory; a 3 day job search workshop is available that includes resume writing, job searches& interviewing; the center helps schedule VA briefings, edits resumes, helps with job searches, holds seminars in Federal job applications, teacher certifications, job fairs, degreed and advanced resumes, owning your own business, etc, etc. The soldier is eligible to start he program a year from separation and can use it for 180 days after his/her separation day. Retirees can start 2 years out and use it for life on a space available basis. The other services have similiar programs building.
  2. There are far more occupations beyond security and janitorial that veterans can fill. This seems to be an attempt to provide access to those positions. I salute this endeavor and hope it is successful. Robert Ireland - Post 174 (PUFL)
  3. Thirty nine years ago the Vietnam war ended and the majority of those veterans were completely qualified for janitorial or law enforcement positions upon returning home if they could prove they hadn't been "damaged" by their service to this country. I worked in both those professions (armed security guard of a department store, janitor of the same department store (the wages for janitor were better), and Prisoner Transport Officer for an Extradition Company. At no time did I ever encounter any official (government) assistance in obtaining a job. We were left to fend for ourselves. Did this allow us the ability to reintegrate among our communities? Perhaps it did but it didn't help many veterans. This new 60-day reorientation program might allow others to adjust at a better rate than those than have gone before them. If it does, I salute both the program and the individuals that fought to make this program a reality.
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