Challenges

Agencies on a Mission to Match Service Members with Civilian Careers

Build a better application to match the skills of those who have served in the military with employer needs.
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As they enter the U.S. armed forces, service members are assessed for a military occupation, and the ensuing “match” can determine the military career path that follows. Whether it’s for a four-year tour or a 20-year career, this match serves as a career compass for many in uniform.

But as highly skilled service members prepare to transition from boots to briefcases, the strengths and accomplishments of their work can get lost in translation outside of the ranks.

That’s why the Department of Labor, Veterans Affairs (VA), and the Department of Defense have teamed up in sponsoring the Veterans’ Employment Challenge, a prize competition to translate a service member’s military experience into sought-after skills in the civilian workforce.

View the challenge

According to the VA, an estimated 200,000 people move through the “military-to-civilian transition” pipeline each year. It’s a process that begins 24 months before a service member’s time in uniform ends—and one that sponsoring agencies mapped with the help of real veterans.

The prize competition invites the public to design an easy-to-use application that allows employers to tap into this talent pool early, matching service members with employment opportunities based on skills and job information pulled from a variety of sources.

And why not? Though a disproportionate number of service members continue in public service or charitable organizations, the vast majority (62%) seek positions in the private for-profit sector (PDF, 3.1 MB, 1-page infographic), per the VA’s National Center for Veterans Statistics and Analysis.

The Veterans’ Employment Challenge is part of the National Council for the American Worker’s Workforce Grand Challenge – a government-wide initiative involving prize competitions ranging in size, scope and timeline. The pursued solutions will focus on improving the pipeline through education, training and retraining workers across high-demand occupations and industries of the future. The Challenge additionally addresses several broader workforce development initiatives - a key driver of transformation in the President’s Management Agenda.

Submissions close January 24, 2020 at 5 pm, Eastern. For more details, visit: https://www.challenge.gov/challenge/vets-match/