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.”