APWA’s Workforce Development Committee is partnering with the US Department of Labor (DOL) Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) to provide an overview of the resources available through the VETS program and the opportunities that exist for hiring veterans in public works departments and local governments across the country.

As an industry, the public works field needs quality candidates who can face the challenges of being a public servant while having the ability to be fluid and move from priority to priority. This is where the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) can help fill a need by providing or connecting organizations with veterans, transitioning service members, or military spouses. The opportunities range from on-the-job training to apprenticeship programs to internships and sponsored work placement options. Many of these individuals are familiar with the public works medium from the work they completed, handled, or oversaw during their military service.

an image of a military veteran in fatigues

The Best and Brightest

Some of the best and brightest Americans serve our nation. Research shows that veterans, service members, and military spouses are more productive in the workforce and tend to have higher retention rates, larger labor participation rates, and lower unemployment rates. Critical and key roles could be filled with this group of potential employees.


Regional Veterans’ Employment Coordinators (RVECs)

RVECs work to help employers find service members, veterans, and military spouses. They engage with local, regional, and national employers and connect them with federal, state, and local resources to facilitate veterans’ employment. Find your regional office contact here.

VETS Employer Guide to Hiring Veterans

This is a guide to familiarize employers with VETS' many programs, partnerships, and resources. Employer resources can also be found on the VETS Employers website.

American Job Centers (AJCs)

This is a no-cost resource to help you reach veterans. The American Job Center network, part of the one-stop system, provides universal access to an integrated array of labor exchange services so that workers, job seekers, and employers can find the services they need.

These centers have representatives familiar with the local veteran population. Employer services, in addition to referral of job seekers to available job openings, include assistance in development of job order requirements, matching job seeker experience with job requirements and skills, assisting employers with special recruitment needs, arranging job fairs, assisting employers in analyzing hard-to-fill job orders, assisting with job restructuring, and helping employers deal with layoffs. Job seekers who are veterans receive priority referrals to jobs and training as well as special employment services and assistance.

Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP)

Build an apprenticeship program or incorporate your existing program into a Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP). An apprenticeship is an industry-driven, high-quality career pathway where employers can develop and prepare their future workforce. Among other benefits, veterans can use their GI Bill for added financial support, and as an employer, you may be eligible for a tax credit.

Department of Defense SkillBridge Program

Provides transitioning service members with the opportunity to develop additional skills and experience to facilitate their employment in the civilian sector upon transition from military service. The military provides their full salary and benefits.

Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP)

Gives partners (employers) first access to a unique and talented group of professionals—military spouses. Military spouses are skilled, diverse, and motivated with a strong work ethic.

Hiring Our Heroes (HoH)

The Departments of Labor and Defense have a partnership with the US Chamber of Commerce’s HoH Foundation to host career summits and hiring fairs throughout the US and overseas at numerous military installations. This avenue gives employers direct access to transitioning service members and military spouses during the events at no cost to the employer. Resources for hiring veterans are available and organized into three categories: prepare, recruit, and empower.

Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program (HVRP) and Incarcerated Veterans Transition Program (IVTP)

Grant programs that assist in reintegrating veterans, including some veterans who may have been incarcerated, into the workforce.

Jobs for Veterans State Grants (JVSG)

This program provides federal funding through a formula grant to State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) to hire dedicated staff to provide individualized employment services to veterans and eligible persons with significant barriers to employment, enabling employers to fill their workforce needs with job-seeking veterans.

Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E)

Employers can help veterans with disabilities return to work by offering job training, internships, and employment opportunities. Salary subsidies, assistive technology, non-paid work experiences, and special employer incentives may be available from the VA.

Transition Assistance Program (TAP)

This is an interdepartmental effort to support our nation's transitioning service members, our future veterans, and their families.

  • Military One Source provides a list of all military installations. Most military installations offer opportunities to connect with transitioning service members and their spouses through in-person and/or virtual installation hiring events and job board postings. You can use the search and filter functions to find a military installation in your area to discuss these opportunities. You can also select “Transition Assistance Program” in the Program or Service drop down to find military installations in your area with the program.
  • The Employment Navigator & Partnership Pilot (ENPP) has networks and communities of partners that serve the military community.

HIRE Vets Medallion Program

The HIRE Vets Medallion Award is the only federal-level veterans’ employment award that recognizes a company or organization’s commitment to veteran hiring, retention, and professional development.

USDOL VETS Partner Programs

American Corporate Partners

Offers employers mentorship opportunities with transitioning service members and veterans.

Helmets to Hardhats

Connects employers to veterans seeking careers in the construction industry.

Military Officers Association of America (MOAA)

MOAA has partnered with Indeed.com to create a job board, helping connect all servicemembers, veterans, retirees, and military spouses with more than a million employers, for free.

LinkedIn Talent Solutions

Provides resources for employers to connect with veterans.