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Friday September 4th, 2015 8:24AM

State launches veterans' workforce programs

By Staff
ATLANTA - Governor Nathan Deal and the Governor's Office of Workforce Development (GOWD), in partnership with the Georgia Department of Labor, Thursday launched several statewide workforce development initiatives aimed at aiding Georgia's returning veterans. The announcement took place at the Georgia Jobs for Veterans Employer Breakfast.

With an estimated 80,000 new veterans expected to enter Georgia's workforce by 2016, these new programs will help ensure veterans have a smooth transition back into the civilian workforce. Scores of Georgia businesses, including several in northeast Georgia, are participating. (See link below.)

"As a U.S. Army veteran myself, I take pride in the sacrifice these men and women have made for our country and our state," said Gov. Deal. "Ensuring that these heroes find meaningful employment as they return home is one of Georgia's top priorities."

The State Workforce Investment Board has voted to grant top priority of service in Georgia's workforce system to veterans and their spouses. This policy builds upon the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA) requirements for veterans.

The Department of Driver Services(DDS) is also playing a role in this effort.

Troops to Trucks is a program that will expedite the entry of veterans into civilian employment through the transportation industry. The initial pilot program will focus on accelerating the licensing process for military personnel at Fort Benning to receive a Commercial Driver's license (CDL). Military personnel will be given exclusive service through after-hours access to select DDS centers for testing and issuance of the CDL license. The DDS center in Midland will open its doors to active duty military, veterans, Guard and Reserve starting Monday, Nov. 12
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