A Message from the Director
WDVA Vet Corps Program Receives AmeriCorps Grant
By WDVA Director, Alfie Alvarado-Ramos
I’m pleased to announce that the AmeriCorps Grant, which funds our Vet Corps program on higher education campuses, has received its second year of funding to the tune of $636,000!
Vet Corps members serve a vital role on higher education campuses and communities across our state helping to ensure veterans and their families are successful in their higher education pursuits. We also rely on our Vet Corps to help connect veterans and families to their earned benefits and refer them to local resources such as health and mental health care.
AmeriCorps funds come from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and service programs, and Serve Washington, the state’s commission on service and volunteerism. Grants are awarded in 3 year cycles and a continuation during that cycle is not guaranteed, rather it is based on meeting performance targets and other AmeriCorps requirements.
The $636,000 will allow WDVA to provide 50 Vet Corps Members on Washington’s higher education and community partner sites across Washington. Last year, Vet Corps members were responsible for outreach to 897 veterans and or family members on and off campus, connecting 368 individuals to services and benefits. In addition, they provide services such as food pantries and clothing closets that contribute to family members and non-veteran students.
Following an independent evaluation, it was found that veterans served by Vet Corps have a higher likelihood of being retained with a 6% higher retention at colleges in collaboration with Vet Corps when compared to similar schools not participating in the program.
In 2020, we hope to receive the 3rd and final installment of the grant and another $636,000 to pay living stipends for the 50 Vet Corps members.
Are you interested joining our team? We are currently recruiting for Vet Corps members to begin service this fall. In addition to the modest living stipend, Vet Corps members receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, or scholarship, upon completion of their service. Those interested in serving can learn more by visiting www.my.americorps.gov, then search for Vet Corps.
Team Rubicon Visits Veterans Farm at Orting
Team Rubicon recently visited the Veterans Farm at Orting to assist with the demolition of a vacant building that has been on the grounds for more than 20 years. The group of volunteers also assisted with the clearing of trees, bushes and branches that were taking up space on the farm.
This work will now lead to even more veterans and their families able to enjoy the Veterans Farm at Orting. We would like to send a huge THANK YOU to Team Rubicon for their assistance on the farm.
To watch a short video slideshow of the work done at the farm, please watch and enjoy this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIeoPSd4hBw&feature=youtu.be
Washington State's Largest Veterans Resource Providers Conference - Serving Those Who Served
REGISTER NOW: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/4th-annual-serving-those-who-served-conference-registration-57046515664
For more information on this event, please contact MellisaR@dva.wa.gov
NOW HIRING: Certified Nursing Assistants - Walla Walla Veterans Home
Are you a CNA looking for a career that allows you to give back to your community
and provide compassionate care to Veterans? Contact Recruiters@dva.wa.gov for more information
Concert at Walla Walla Veterans Home
Walla Walla Veterans Home residents were recently treated to a private concert by two Walla Walla Symphony members. The residents enjoyed watching the springtime rain clouds over the beautiful Blue Mountains created a perfect backdrop for this special musical experience.
Learn more about the Walla Walla Veterans Home by visiting:
Port Orchard Veterans Home Residents Show Off their
Creative Arts Talents
Port Orchard Veterans Home Residents recently received recognition for their creative talents for the Federal VA Creative Arts Competition.
We would like to send congratulations to the following residents for their achievements in the fine art categories at the Regional level of the VA Creative Arts Festival at American Lake.
Michael Walsh- Watercolor– 1st place
Barbara Robinson- Colored Drawing– Honorable Mention
Linda Smith- Craft Coloring Kit– 2nd place
Kendall Wilson- Watercolor– 2nd place
Richard Jones- Mixed media wood and flags – Honorable Mention
Learn more about the Washington Veterans Home in Port Orchard by visiting:
Spokane Veterans Home Residents Celebrate St. Patrick's Day
Spokane Veterans Home Staff and volunteers had some fun with our veterans playing one of their favorite games, Bingo.
The veterans enjoy playing different games and visiting with each other and the many wonderful volunteers. It's not all just easy playing, the veterans especially enjoy helping each other or calling each other out for selecting the wrong numbers and for falsely calling out Bingo!
Learn more about the Spokane Veterans Home by visiting:
Reno Day at Washington Soldiers Home
Residents, staff and family members tested their luck during a day of Reno-themed games and activities. They enjoyed a day of fun playing games like backgammon, poker, mini bowling, checkers and more. We would like to thank the many volunteers that made this event possible!
Learn more about the Washington Soldiers Home by visiting:
Remember Our Fallen Heroes - Forgotten Heroes Interment
For more information on this event, please contact Rudy Lopez at RudyL@dva.wa.gov
Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Event Held by VERG
Recently, Washington State Veterans Employee Resource Group (VERG) honored 67 Vietnam Veterans in a reception at the Washington Department of Revenue. During the event, Chris Liu, Director Department of Enterprise Services and Vietnam Veteran, gave a poignant speech which touched everyone in the room. Afterward honorees received a VERG Welcome Home Challenge Coin.
We would like to send a special thank you to the VERG Committee for all the work you do to help integrate the experience, values, and knowledge of both veterans and service members in state employment.
Learn more about the Veterans Employment Resource Group or VERG at: http://www.dva.wa.gov/about-wdva/washington-veterans-employee-resource-group-verg
Washington Service Corps Volunteers to See Nearly 11 Percent Stipend Increase Next Year
Written by James Trujillo, Washington Service Corps, 360-999-7960
Washington Service Corps volunteers to see nearly 11 percent stipend increase next year
OLYMPIA - Volunteers serving in the Washington Service Corps next year will receive the second highest living allowance of all AmeriCorps members in the state.
Increased funding from both the Employment Security Department, which administers the Service Corps program, and from community organizations which host the volunteers will bring member stipends to $1,450 per month.
“The cost of living has increased significantly in the last few years, and we were looking for ways to respond,” said James Trujillo, director of the Washington Service Corps, a program under the national AmeriCorps umbrella. “We want community service to be viable for everyone, no matter their economic background. This increase is an improvement, but we recognize we have to do more.”
The only other AmeriCorps program in Washington with a higher stipend is the Washington Conservation Corps, which gives its members about $1,840 per month.
Stipend levels for AmeriCorps volunteers vary across the country. The federal Corporation for National and Community Service funds 80 percent. The state as well as local public and private organizations that host volunteers make up the difference. They also pay for other member expenses and operational costs.
“This stipend increase helps to support the outstanding efforts of our Washington Service Corps members,” said Employment Security Commissioner Suzi LeVine. “Our volunteers help meet crucial needs in under-resourced communities across the state. The impact of their service should not be underestimated.”
The announcement about the stipend increase comes in time to celebrate the nationwide AmeriCorps Week March 10-16.
Next year’s increase will be the biggest, but not the first in Washington Service Corps history. From 2015 to 2017, the Service Corps stipend totaled $12,548 for 10 ½ months of service, if the member completes the full term. In 2017, the stipend went up to $12,630 and in 2018 to $13,732. For the 2019-2020 program year, the total stipend will be $15,225.
Centralia Farmers Veterans Business Event
Veterans Learn New Skills - WDVA Apprenticeship Program
Six Transitioning Service members attended the Sheet Metal Skilled Trades Rotation on March 28, 2019, where they got the chance to learn about a new career as a Sheet Metal Apprentice and also build a tool box in the hands on project portion of the event. Participants were allowed to keep the tool box they built.
The Skilled Trades Rotation is a free voluntary training event where individuals acquire trade and craft skills. Participants visit a Training Site, get a block of instruction, and then complete a 2-4 hour project. The event is open to transitioning service members, Military Spouses, Military High Schoolers, and Veterans.
Upcoming Skilled Trades Rotations are:
April 25- Advanced Manufacturing
May 16 – Ironworkers
June 28 – Carpenters.
If you are interested in reserving your spot for future skilled trades rotations please sign up at the following link: www.eventbrite.com/d/united-states--washington/skilled-trades/
Article via NorthwestMilitary
WDVA Hot Jobs - APPLY NOW
More Info: Please visit Employment to see the opportunities that we have!
You can also contact a recruiter at Karimah.Ly@dva.wa.gov
Hired a Veteran? Sign Up Today at www.YesVets.org
After you’ve notified us that you’ve hired a veteran, we will contact you to arrange delivery of your YesVets decals, to be prominently and proudly displayed at your place of business.
Thank you for your support of those who served!
Visit www.YesVets.org for more information and to signup!
View our WDVA Calendar to stay updated with upcoming events to attend
MAY 2019 EVENTS
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WDVA Web Calendar: www.dva.wa.gov/calendar
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