The VA Art Competition and Show provides veterans with an opportunity to be acknowledged for thei...read more
The VA Art Competition and Show provides veterans with an opportunity to be acknowledged for their artistic talents and skills. Participants must be active outpatients or inpatients of VA Puget Sound Health Care System before entering the competition. Find out more and how you can participate, or for more information contact Sarah Punshon at 206-277-6161 email@example.com or Jeanne Hopkins at 253-583-2905 firstname.lastname@example.org
Over the last month, the construction team has worked closely with onsite archaeologists to put t...read more
Over the last month, the construction team has worked closely with onsite archaeologists to put together 'treatment plans' to preserve archeological findings.
Footings were poured and cured for one half of Neighborhood 1.
Site work excavation and form work continues for the other Neighborhoods in preparation for more pouring footings.
Electrical work continues for stub-ups and preparation is underway to transfer to our own power source.
Underslab plumbing for the entire facility continues; which includes fire lines.
USDOT’s Small Business Transportation Resource Center has partnered with WSDOT’s Headquarters Construction Division and the Office of Equal Opportunity to provide an important workshop for your company about the contracting and subcontracting process with WSDOT.
This class will prepare your company to work more successfully with WSDOT, increase your knowledge regarding our contractual requirements, and help you understand how to be paid in a prompt fashion.
Guest Blogger Marny Howell, MA, CRC
Community Reintegration Services
VA Puget Sound H...read more
Guest Blogger Marny Howell, MA, CRC
Community Reintegration Services
VA Puget Sound Health Care System
American Lake Division
In this article, we are going to share with you the differences between Vocational Rehabilitation programs offered by Veterans Hospital Administration (VHA) and Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA).
VBA administers various benefits programs for our nation’s Veterans which includes a Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program. This program has several different monikers; VR&E, Ch 31, or Voc Rehab. This is a Vocational Rehabilitation program for Veterans with 10% Service Connected Disability ratings or higher. If a Veteran does not have a Service Connected Disability rating, she/he is not eligible for this program.
VBA’s VR&E program provides Veteran’s with 5 tracks of services in order to assist them in meeting their employment and rehabilitation goals. These 5 tracks are: Reemployment with Previous Employer; Rapid Access to Employment; Self-Employment; Employment through Long Term Services; and Independent Living.
Commonly, Veteran’s eligible for this program choose to pursue Retraining or Employment through Long Term Services track. VR&E/Ch 31 will assess and evaluate the Veteran’s vocational goal and labor market. If the Veteran has the ability and aptitude to achieve a specific vocational goal and the job is in demand, VR&E will likely support the Veteran’s plan. VR&E or Ch 31 pays tuition, books and fees as well as a subsistence allowance based on the number of their dependents in this track. If the Veteran does not have the capability as determined through a comprehensive vocational assessment to be successful in a traditional academic environment OR the vocational goal they have selected is not in demand, VR&E may elect to not support the Veteran in pursuing that goal and will then assist them in selecting a more realistic goal that will lead him to real employment in the future. Additionally, VR&E is capable of explaining options relating to Post 9/11 GI Bill (Ch 33) benefits while participating in their services (Ch 31).
VHA offers vocational services through our Therapeutic and Supported Employment Services department and are administered by the Mental Health Service, at Seattle and American Lake Divisions of VA Puget Sound Healthcare System. We provide vocational services to Veterans with Service Connected and Non Service Connected disabilities alike. We offer several different programs to Veteran’s interested in either returning to work or participating in work activity all under the Compensated Work Therapy umbrella.
Compensated Work Therapy/Transitional Work Experience (CWT/TWE) is a job search program combined with therapeutic work. CWT/TWE provides a work therapy setting to help Veterans identify and correct problem work behaviors as well as learn and/or hone their job search skills. Veterans must be willing to participate in weekly job search activities. Veterans must have a clinical need (not financial need) for work therapy treatment in order to improve basic worker habits, have a specific employment goal, and be capable of conducting an independent job search.
Supported Employment (SE) is a program to help Veterans participating in Mental Health Intensive Case Manager (MHICM) or Psychosocial Rehabilitation Recovery Center (PRRC) with employment goals. The purpose of SE is for Veterans to secure and maintain competitive employment. Through participation in CWT/SE, the Veteran will increase his/her level of functioning and self-esteem, expediting the recovery process, and improving his/her overall quality of life. By providing community-based employment through work skills training and development services, job development and placement services, and employment support to Veteran participants, SE implements the concept of the recovery model by helping Veterans lead normal, healthy lives that allow them to live, work, learn, and participate fully in their communities.
The Incentive Therapy (IT) program provides opportunities for Veterans eligible for VA Healthcare to participate in therapeutic work treatment at the Medical Center. The core therapeutic component in IT is work. The population served in IT are most often Veterans with chronic mental health issues lacking the emotional or physical stamina to engage in work on a full time basis. The program allows IT participants to: add structure to their day, participate in meaningful activity, interact and socialize with others, and experience a sense of accomplishment.
Through services available under VBA's VR&E Voc Rehab program or VHA's Vocational Services VA is prepared to meet all Veteran's employment needs. Please help us by sharing this information with your colleagues about the differences between these 2 programs so that Veterans are being informed correctly about resources and services for which they are eligible and/or entitled to receive.
From over 45 nominations submited by veterans served, fellow Vet C...read more
2015 Vet Corps Awards
From over 45 nominations submited by veterans served, fellow Vet Corps members, supervisors, and college presidents faculty and staff 13 Vet Corps members and 1 regional coordinator where recognized for thier hard work and dedication to the veterans of Washington State. June 30th marked the end of the 2014-15 Vet Corps service year seeing over 9,000 individual veterans across the state connected to made aware of or educated about the services avaialble to them on and off the college campus. Vet Corps celebrated this extreamly succesful year with an end of year service project and awards ceremony in Longview Washington.
Veteran of Vet Corps
Glen Boje, Miguel Escalara, Martin Jonquiere, Stephen Killian, Jaime Yslas
This award is for all Vet Corps members that have served a third year or more with the program. For the highest level of dedication any Vet Corps member can demonstrate and achieve, this award acknowledges selflessness, fidelity, service longevity and unwavering loyalty to helping the veteran population.
Angel Gonzalez City Univeristy Seattle
This award is given to an outstanding Vet Corps member who has worked tirelessly at a new location for Vet Corps, to reach an entirely new community of veterans. This award is granted to truly dedicated and industrious individuals that work to build relationships, pool resources, assess a new site and provide outreach to a new population of veterans.
Vet Corps Peace Prize
Robert Gumm Spokane Community College Colville
This award is given for outstanding communication, dispute resolution, cooperation, compromise and an always peaceable foresight. This person must be dedicated to group cohesion and team harmony.
Innovation, Invention, & Institution Award
Rachel Hayes Bellvue College
This award is given to a member who has generated novel and valuable ideas and used these ideas to develop new or improved processes, methods, systems, programs or services. The award recognizes creative ideas that have improved the veteran community.
Diversity leadership Award
Mark Von Weber Edmonds Community College
This award goes to a champion of diversity and minority support. This awardee honors the diverse population of our world, and works to increase mutual understanding. This Vet Corps Member promotes the appreciation and wisdom of the many cultures that influence modern society and a globalized world. Building diplomatic relationships, this person instills values that promote tolerance and understanding across boundaries of language, land, and time.
Excellence in Professionalism
Dan Nessley Growing Veterans
This nominee is consistently dedicated to professionalism in dress and demeanor. Ceaseless etiquette and the utmost respect were demonstrated throughout the year. Adhering to high values and principles of integrity, honesty and fairness, this individual consistently addresses others with courtesy and kindness.
Site Collaboration Award
Martin Jonquiere Pierce College Puyallup
This award is presented to the Vet Corps member that has provided outstanding service to individual students or student groups on their campus on a consistent basis, whether through collaboration, personal advising, development of programs, or improvements to college systems and policies that affects students.
S.T.A.R. Award (Service, Teamwork, Attitude & Reliability)
Michael Cox Spokane Community College
This award is given to members that consistently excel in their position; has made outstanding contributions in the area of service and dedication; has promoted teamwork and collaboration; has worked tirelessly to improve their surrounding veteran community; and who has consistently done so with a positive and forward-thinking attitude.
Vet Corps Coordinator of the Year
Melissa Crouse South Sound Regional Coordinator
Regional Coordinator carries with it duties both to the colleges, as well as the veteran clients, the WDVA and the Vet Corps member themselves. Coordinator of the year is an award that is reserved for some one that exemplifies the Vet Corps mission of “Empower and support those who served, their families and our communities”
Vet Corps Member of the Year
Jaime Yslas Seattle University
Honoring the qualities of leadership, service, integrity and commitment, this member carried out his or her volunteer responsibilities the entire year with unwavering diligence and compassion. Using the same criteria as Member of the Month and Quarter, this award goes to the Vet Corps member that served the veteran population and Vet Corps throughout the year as an outstanding servant leader, colleague, mentor, team member and friend.
VETERANS: Walla Walla VA Project Clears Final Hurdle, Groundbreaking Set for July 1
May 15 ...read more
VETERANS: Walla Walla VA Project Clears Final Hurdle, Groundbreaking Set for July 1
May 15 2015
Land transfer to federal government completed this week, marking final step in approval process
80-bed facility will serve veterans from 10 counties near Walla Walla
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) is pleased to announce that after more than a decade of planning, the Walla Walla State Veterans Home project has cleared its final procedural hurdle and will be built on the grounds of the Jonathan M. Wainwright VA Medical Center. Groundbreaking is set for July 1st. When the home opens next year, it will serve 80 veterans and create 100 local jobs.
Senator Murray is proud to have secured $23 million in federal funding last year to move the project forward.
“I am so glad to see the culmination of many years of collaboration and hard work by local, state, and national stakeholders result in the construction of such an important facility for our veterans,”said Senator Murray. “This facility is badly needed in Southeast Washington to help fulfill the promise we have made as a nation to care for veterans, and I am proud to have been a voice for this community in the Senate as we fought to support Walla Walla veterans.”
“Without the tenacity of Senator Murray and her willingness to go to bat for the Walla Walla State Veterans Home at the Federal VA level, we would not be here today talking about a groundbreaking ceremony,” said Lourdes E. Alvarado-Ramos, WDVA director. “Words cannot express how excited your Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs is to move forward with this project with our outstanding partners and community members.”
“I sincerely appreciate Senator Murray's personal effort along with her combined diligence, tenacity, commitment and leadership in helping to broker the land transfer between the Federal Department of Veterans Affairs and the Washington State Veterans’ Program,” said Jerry Cummins, Mayor of Walla Walla. “Senator Murray has been a leader in assisting both local Washington State veterans as well as veterans throughout our nation obtain medical and health care services they both need and deserve. Senator Murray has been and continues to be a champion for veterans and is committed to improving health care for veterans.”
The transfer of land to Washington state to build the Walla Walla State Veterans Home, a skilled nursing facility, was approved in February, and the official land transfer occurred this week from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. For more than a decade, Senator Murray has worked with veterans, community leaders, and local officials to support the large veterans community in Eastern Washington. She has consistently pushed VA officials, including numerous VA Secretaries, to commit funding for the Walla Walla State Veterans Home project. Washington has state veterans homes in Spokane, Kitsap County and Pierce County, but the southeastern corner has yet to have a state veterans home.
On March 5, the Veteran Owned Business Opportunity Showcase offered key insights and seminars gea...read more
On March 5, the Veteran Owned Business Opportunity Showcase offered key insights and seminars geared toward Veteran Owned and Service Disabled Veteran Owned government contractors and businesses who wish to do business with state and federal agencies.
Our thanks to the Washington PTAC who worked with WDVA to combine VetBOSS with Alliance NW to create a full day event where VOSB/SDVOSB could not only network and learn about opportunities for them, but also show them where they fit in the larger picture of state and federal government contracting.
Washington State’s Outstanding Service to Veterans Awards recognize individuals who devote time a...read more
Washington State’s Outstanding Service to Veterans Awards recognize individuals who devote time and energy to improving the lives of Washington's veterans.
The awards - co-sponsored each year by the Governor's Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee (VAAC) and the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs - are presented at a special luncheon in Auburn, following the awardees participation in the City’s annual Veterans Day Parade. The 2014 Award Recipients are:
Superior Award - Keirsten Lyons.
Keirsten works for the American Red Cross in Spokane as Regional Service to Armed Forces Director. She single handedly developed a non-existent Service to Armed Forces program into one of the most robust programs nationwide. She works tirelessly to develop and implement meaningful programs supporting service members, their families and veterans in 22 counties. One of Keirsten’s critical actions was to reinstate a Red Cross Office on Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane.
Distinguished Service Award - Robin Baker.
Robin works for the Department of Defense as the JBLM Director of Transition Assistance Program (TAP). Robin is a veteran and the anchor for the successful transition of 1000 of veterans to our communities. She employs innovative, out-of-the-box thinking that produces partnerships, programs and initiatives bringing veterans unemployment below state average, reducing risk for homelessness and incarceration and increasing access to higher paying jobs through apprenticeship programs.
Distinguished Service Award - Keith Reyes.
Keith has been instrumental in reactivating the Military Order of Purple Heart Chapter 12 in the Seattle area. Keith was instrumental in creating a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Program at the Mt. Vernon Veterans Affairs Community Base Outpatient Clinic.
Distinguished Service Award – Lloyd Gabriel.
“Gabe” is a former Army/Air Corps Prisoner of War from WWII. As a member of the American Ex-Prisoners of War organization, he was very instrumental in assisting his fellow POW’s and their spouses in applying for federal and state benefits. For many years Gabe has been the cornerstone of the Tri-Cities Chapter of the American Ex-Prisoners of War, serving as their Service Officer and editor of their newsletter.
Distinguished Service Award- Robert Donaldson.
Robert is instrumental in assisting over 6,000 veterans and their families file for their federal and state benefits. He constantly mans the American Legion booths at various conferences statewide and he provides valuable information to veterans and their families. He has been an active member of the American Legion, holding positions as District Commander, District Vice-Commander, and Membership Chair and as the Western Washington Vice Chair for Disaster Preparedness. As the District Chair for Disaster Preparedness he is responsible for getting the Pierce County Posts prepared to assist residents of Pierce County in the event of a disaster. He has been a key person in creating four new American Legion Posts in Washington State.
2014 Team Award- WA National Guard Joint Services Support Program (WNG JSS).
The WA National Guard Joint Service Support Program assists members of all reserve components in Washington State. They offer short term as well as long term financial assistance to members of the National Guard and Reserve. For fiscal year 2014 they assisted a total of 1,037 service members with direct financial assistance totaling over $363,000.00. For 2014 they assisted 369 members with their employment needs. This group volunteered a total of 14,239 hours for Family Program events. They are dedicated to meeting the needs of the members of National Guard and Reserves.