Governor Deal enacts plans to help employ veterans

Nathan Deal at an event earlier in the year. / File

Governor Nathan Deal and the Governor's Office of Workforce Development, in partnership with the Georgia Department of Labor launched several statewide workforce development initiatives aimed to aid Georgia's returning veterans Wednesday morning at the Georgia Jobs for Veterans Employer Breakfast in Atlanta.

According to the press release issued, an estimated 80,000 new veterans are expected to enter Georgia's workforce by 2016. These new programs will help ensure veterans have a smooth transition back into the civilian workforce.

"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 Governor 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.

Other state departments including Driver Services is also lending a hand with programs of their own.

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, Muscogee County, Georgia will open its doors to active duty military, veterans, Guard and Reserve starting Monday, Nov. 12. â" a day the DDS is typically closed.

"It is fitting that this program in Midland begins on Veterans Day," said DDS Commissioner Rob Mikell. "DDS is proud to assist this exceptionally-talented group of men and women as they complete the requirements to enter the trucking industry," he added.

The Troops to Trucks Program in Midland will continue each Monday through June 2013.

The Governor's Office of Workforce Development launched Operation:Workforce ( which serves as an online one-stop for veteran resources and services in Georgia. The website will host job listings from companies across the state of Georgia who are looking to fill their positions with hard working veterans and kicked off the "Hire a Georgia Veteran campaign".