Bank of America is Hiring!

At Bank of America, we honor and respect where you’ve been, and want to help you get to where you want to go. We’re connecting our nation’s service members, veterans and their families to the training, education and resources that put you on the path to financial stability and career opportunities. That includes a commitment to hire 10,000 active duty, guard and reservists, as well as veterans over the next few years, and tools and resources to assist with a successful transition to civilian life.

Working with our partners at, we created a series of courses designed just for military members seeking to enhance their business and communications skills as they enter the job search, or change their career. Known as “Military Learning Pathways,“ the courses are relevant, timely, and built based on feedback from our own employees who recently made the transition.

Best of all, the Military Learning Pathways can be accessed day or night, from around the world, without any sign-up requirement or fee. To access the Pathways, go to our Military Transition and Careers web site ( and select “Transition Resources.” From there you’ll be directed to our Military Learning Pathways on
• Entry Level- Communication and Business Skills
• Entry Level- Personal Development
• Advanced- Communication and Business Skills
• Advanced-Personal development
• Finances: Manage Your Money

Also available on our Military transition and careers site is a Military Transition Action Timeline ( which puts in one place the critical items to consider starting at 18 months prior to your transition. The timeline offers details for securing a civilian or government job, starting your own business and going back to school. We have Self-Study Guides to help develop your workplace and business knowledge, including tips on resumes, interviews, office etiquette — and much more. Also available is information on our great military and veteran service organization partner which offer additional resources for transitioning military and their families.

Working together, protecting your fellow soldiers was your way of life. Returning to civilian life can be difficult without a team to support you. With thousands of veteran employees among us, you can find the support you need with our team. In addition to our transition resources, our Military Support and Assistance Group is a nationwide community of veterans, employees with family members serving in the military, and supporters which offers mentoring, networking, as well as volunteer events to give back.
Learn more about joining us at Bank of America at our Military transition and careers web site. We thank you for your service and our entire company stands behind you!

VFW-SVA 2017 Legislative Fellowship Program

The application deadline for the 2017 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship has been extended to October 28, 2016. First held in 2015, the program mentors 10 student veterans as they research policy areas affecting veterans and the military. Once their research is completed, the fellows will advocate for legislative and regulatory fixes related to their selected issues. Part of that advocacy includes attending the VFW’s National Legislative Conference in March where fellows will join more than 500 VFW members in promoting the VFW’s legislative agenda by meeting with members of Congress. Last year, fellows also briefed staffers from the White House and both the Senate and House Veterans’ Affairs Committees. The program, with all travel expenses covered, is for VFW members who attend a college or university with a Student Veterans of America chapter. For more information, including the topics for research and the application link, click here:

Student loan forgiveness programs

Student loan forgiveness programs

Student loan forgiveness programs seem too good to be true. How do you qualify?

Student loan forgiveness programs are the Holy Grail for student loan borrowers. Everyone wants free money to pay off their loans, but these programs can be hard to find. Yes, there are some programs being offered by the Department of Education, but what many borrowers don’t realize is that there are a lot of specialty student loan forgiveness programs available.

It’s estimated that over 50% of student loan borrowers qualify for some type of student loan forgiveness. While not all programs may pay off the full loan balance, any amount helps. Here are ways to locate student loan forgiveness programs.

Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

The Department of Education maintains several different student loan forgiveness programs. The most popular one is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which offers student loan forgiveness to individuals that serve the public for at least 10 years. However, there are other popular student loan forgiveness programs that borrowers may be able to qualify for as well.

Along with the stand-alone programs, the Department of Education also combines student loan forgiveness into several student loan repayment plans. These “secret” student loan forgiveness programs offer student loan forgiveness at the end of the repayment term, for any remaining balance on the loan. For example, the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Plan offers loan forgiveness at the end of 20 years of payments. Income based repayment offers loan forgiveness after 25 years for existing borrowers and 20 years for new borrowers.

State Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

Beyond the Federal student loan forgiveness programs, almost every state in the United States offers various student loan forgiveness programs. There are currently over 120 different student loan forgiveness programs in 45 of the 50 states, and in the District of Columbia. These student loan forgiveness programs cover a variety of borrowers, but focus mainly on specialty professions – such a healthcare fields, legal services, and more.

Some states, like Kansas, have very few restrictions – including one program where you simply must live in a designated county and you can receive loan forgiveness regardless of your career choice.
However, it can be tough to locate all of the different state-sponsored student loan forgiveness programs. Luckily, there is a great resource to connect borrowers with student loan forgiveness programs. The free tool is: Student Loan Forgiveness Programs by State. Simply go to the tool and click on your state, and you can see all of the student loan forgiveness programs that your state offers.

School-Based Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

Many colleges and universities have started offering student loan forgiveness programs as well. These programs are typically designed to help alumni while also fulfilling a public good.

For example, Columbia Law School offers a generous student loan forgiveness program where the university will gradually repay the student loan debt of graduates who remain in the public service for at least three years. Harvard offers a similar program for medical students who completed their residency and are pursuing a career in public service health care.

Most schools don’t typically advertise these programs, and the amount of funds they have are usually limited. For students interested in these programs, contact your alumni office or your financial aid office. The programs are typically handled out of one of these offices, based on where the funds are coming from.

Other Options

Finally, some counties also offer smaller student loan forgiveness programs tailored to the specific needs of the community. These programs are designed to bring college graduates or professionals with certain skills into the community. When moving into an area, especially a rural area with a need of a special skill set (such as dentistry or nursing), check with your local county offices and see if they offer any student loan forgiveness or incentive programs.

Sometimes these programs fall under a different name as well. Make sure you are checking for student loan forgiveness, student loan assistance, and student loan repayment programs. All of these variations are essentially free money to help you pay down your student loan debt.


Veteran Employment Situation Report – October 2016

Veteran Employment Situation Report
Issue 16-11
Friday, November 7, 2016

Welcome to the October 2016 VetJobs Veteran Employment Situation Report (VESR) covering veteran unemployment for SEPTEMBER 2016. The VESR is published on the Friday of the month when the Department of Labor (DOL) releases the unemployment reports which is generally the first Friday of the month.

This report is in four parts.

1. The first section will be an editorial providing a brief overview of the economy.

2. The second section covers specifically the employment situation of veterans.

3. The third section covers current labor metrics and the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report on the labor market.

4. The fourth section covers where the new jobs were created and where one would currently have the best chance for finding employment.

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The staff of VetJobs asks that you please keep those being affected by hurricane Matthew in your prayers. Contribute to a charity of your choice as the need for help once Matthew clears out will be substantial.

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Today’s Department of Labor (DOL) unemployment report is the last one before the election. The report will be cited by both parties as they try to hype their positions. The unemployment numbers that were released today reflects a weak economy – the numbers were not a favorable report.

The overall national unemployment rate rose marginally from 4.9% to 5.0%. The national veteran unemployment rate remained constant at 4.3%, 0.7% lower than the national unemployment rate. This again confirms that veterans are getting jobs at a better rate than non-veterans.

New job creation in America is stagnant for a whole host of reasons such as over regulation, high taxes, shortages of qualified labor, etc. Given the size of the American economy, the United States needs to be creating 200,000 to 250,000 new jobs a month. September saw only 156,000 new jobs created. Nonfarm job growth for 2016 has averaged 178,000 per month, compared with an average gain of 229,000 per month in 2015, again reflecting a declining economy. On average we are creating 51,000 less jobs per month in 2016 than in 2015. Not a good situation for those in the job market.

As an observer of labor trends, to me the real indicator of what is happening is the Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) which rose 0.1% from 62.8% in August to 62.9% in September. The LFPR is a reflection of those that could be working but are not.

A country cannot have a thriving economy when 37.1% of its workforce is not working. Someone has to pay for the individuals to eat, provide medical care and housing, none of which is free. The reality is nothing in life is free. Somebody, somewhere, eventually has to pay the bill!

The stock markets all reacted negatively on today’s report and opened down on the news that manufacturing, mining, education and other major sectors lost jobs. It will be fun to see how the political candidates try to spin today’s labor report. And see how many candidates stay close to the truth!

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America is definitely in the political season! This year’s presidential race is probably the most tumultuous since the 1820s. No matter whether you are on the left or the right, trying to find accurate facts about the economy during this time frame can sometimes be hard due to the politicization of almost everything. So let us take a look at the economy, both world and the United States, from a 30,000 foot view. From today’s labor report, things are not as rosy as some politicians are claiming. And driving a lot of America’s problem is debt.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warns that global debt has hit a record high of $152 trillion, weighing down economic growth and adding to risks that recovery could turn into stagnation or even recession. In a worst-case scenario the IMF also fears that a wave of populist politics across the US and Europe could send globalization into reverse with protectionist policies hitting international trade, investment and migration, sending the world plunging into a prolonged period of stagnation. The warning came after the IMF cut its growth forecasts for a series of countries around the world, leaving Britain the fastest growing economy in the G7.

The IMF downgraded its forecast for the United States economy estimating growth in 2016 at 1.6%, down from the 2.2% it predicted back in July and down from the 2.6% growth in 2015. Contrary to many politicians, the American economy is contracting.

“At 225% of world GDP, the global debt …is currently at an all-time high. Two-thirds, amounting to about $100 trillion, consists of liabilities of the private sector which can carry great risks when they reach excessive levels,” the IMF said in its fiscal monitor. “The sheer size of debt could set the stage for an unprecedented private deleveraging process that could thwart the fragile economic recovery.”

This debt burden is mounting at a time when slow growth means inflation and interest rates will remain low, making it hard for companies, individuals and governments to earn their way out of debt. The IMG says a combination of low growth, high debt and weak banks could push the world in a dangerous financial and political direction.

I mention the above IMF report because the United States, as the world’s leading economy, has the same debt problem. Our current debt is 20 trillion and growing daily. It is an old axiom of business and banking that you cannot borrow your way out of debt. The more debt a country has, the weaker it becomes. America and the rest of the world is hooked on debt.

Complicating the economic picture in the United States is the number of announced layoffs by U.S.-based companies rose in September to the highest level in two months. This is from global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Employers announced plans to cut 44,324 jobs last month, a 38% increase from August, when total job cuts of 32,2188 fell to lowest total since May. The good news on layoffs is that despite the monthly rise, September’s total was 25% below the announced job cuts a year ago.

The biggest job cutter last month was the education sector, rising by 363% to 8,671. Cuts in the computer industry in September totaled 4,152 jobs. The sector’s year-to-date layoffs were second only to the energy sector, which announced 98,733 cuts for the nine-month period. The report comes a day after ADP and Moody’s Analytics reported that companies in September created jobs at the slowest pace in six months. Again indicating that the American economy is still not recovered.

As I have mentioned before, employers are complaining that they cannot find enough “qualified” candidates to fill their jobs. What should be obvious to our politicians is that the skill sets required for jobs in the economy has changed but the skill sets of the labor force have not. As a result, America has a lot of people available to work, but not enough qualified people for the jobs available.

That is a systemic problem in our education system. Let’s hope our politicians wake up to the issue and start putting resources into channels that will qualify our workforce for available jobs.

Thank you for reading.

Ted Daywalt

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General Summary from CPS Veterans Report

The BLS CPS report states there were 20,832,000 veterans left in the United States in August, down 25,000 from the 20,857,000 veterans in August. As I have said many times, since the Vietnam War the trend of veterans in the United States has continuously been decreasing. America has lost two-thirds of its veterans since the Vietnam War. This is an important issue for veterans as with decreasing numbers, they are losing the political power they had in the past. This is not lost on politicians running for office and may help explain problems at the Veterans Administration.

BLS CPS reports there were 10,622,000 (51.1%) veterans in the workforce in September. That represents an increase of 130,000 from the 10,522,000 (50.4%) veterans in the workforce in August.

461,000 (4.3%) veterans were unemployed in September, up 8,000 from the 453,000 (4.3%) veterans who were unemployed in August. 10,180,000 veterans were not in the workforce in September, a decrease from the 10,335,000 who were not in the workforce in August. This number shows there are a lot of veterans sitting on the sidelines and not participating in the workforce. This is also true of civilians where over 90 million are not participating in the workforce. In spite of what politicians may say, you cannot have a thriving economy with so many people not participating in the workforce.

The really good news continues to be that the overall veteran unemployment rate is still lower than the national unemployment rate. The fact that the veteran unemployment rate of 4.3% is lower than the national unemployment rate of 5.0% is great news for the veteran community. And again demonstrates that veterans are in high demand in the civilian work place. The September 4.3% veteran unemployment rate again confirms that veterans are obtaining employment at a better rate than nonveterans.

Younger Veterans

In September there were 215,000 veterans in the 18 to 24-year old cohort, down from 225,000 in August. Of those, 158,000 (73.6%) were in the civilian labor force, of which 146,000 (67.9%) were employed and 12,000 (7.7%) were unemployed. For comparison, the national 18 to 24-year old unemployment rate in September was 8.1% (1,222,000).

There were 1,749,000 veterans in the 25 to 34-year old veteran cohort in September, up 1,000 from August. Of this group, 1,381,000 (79.0%) were in the workforce of which 1,306,000 (74.7%) were employed and 75,000 (5.4%) were unemployed, a sharp decrease from the August rate of 6.6% (94,000). 368,000 were not in the workforce. For comparison, the national unemployment rate for the 25 to 34 year olds in August was 5.0% (1,786,000)

Older Veterans

The unemployment rates for the older veteran cohorts are as follows:

September                          August                           July
35 to 44 year olds    2.7% (54,000)           4.2% (83,000)             5.6% (110,000)
45 to 54 year olds    4.3% (120,0000       4.0% (113,000)           3.1% (85,000)
55 to 64 year olds    4.7% (114,000)          3.6% (83,000)            4.7% (111,000)
65 year olds and over 4.5% (85,000)      3.7% (71,000)             4.0% (76,000)

The above numbers indicate that older veterans in August and for the last three months found jobs at a better rate than non-veterans given that the national unemployment rate was 4.9% and is 5.0% for September. Most economists view unemployment rates of below 4.5% to 5.0% as just the normal churn of people moving between jobs. Some refer to it as natural unemployment. No matter what one calls it, the overall numbers for veteran unemployment are very strong when compared to their civilian counterparts.

It is heartening to see that the 35 to 44 year old veteran unemployment rate has consistently fallen the last three months. This is the age group when many leave active duty following a 20 year career and seek civilian employment. These statistics would mitigate they are finding work.

Women Veterans

There were 2,017,000 women veterans in September. 1,283,000 (63.6%) were in the civilian labor force of which 1,233,000 (61.1%) were employed, and 50,000 (3.9%) were unemployed, down 37,000 from the August women veterans unemployed of 87,000 (7.0%). 734,000 women veterans were not in the workforce in September. The national unemployment rate for women in September was 4.7% (3,456,000). These numbers confirm that women veterans are definitely getting jobs at a better rate than their civilian counterparts during September!

Gulf War II Veterans

There were 3,935,000 Gulf War II era veterans in September. 3,170,000 (80.5%) were in the workforce. Of those, 3,030,000 (77.0%) were employed and 139,000 (4.4%) were unemployed, down from the 147,000 (4.7%) in August. 766,000 Gulf War II era veterans were not in the labor force.

Black Veterans

There were 2,520,000 black veterans in September, of which 1,530,000 (60.7%) were in the civilian work force. 1,422,000 (56.4%) were employed and 108,000 (7.0%) were unemployed. The national Black unemployment rate in September was 8.0% (1,575,000).

As in the past, the national Black unemployment rate is higher than the Black veteran unemployment rate. These numbers confirm the advantages of minorities joining the military to obtain employment skills and work experience. From these numbers, the Black veterans are definitely finding jobs at a better rate than their Black civilian counterparts!

Asian Veterans

There were 316,000 Asian veterans in September of which 212,000 (67.2%) were in the workforce. 211,000 (67.2%) were employed and the number of unemployed was not statistically reportable. This is a statistical anomaly, but it does occasionally occur. Basically the Asian veteran unemployment rate is near zero percent. 103,000 were not in the labor force. The national Asian unemployment rate in September was 3.7% (356,000).

Hispanic Veterans

There were 1,504,000 Hispanic veterans in September of which 920,000 (61.2%) were in the workforce. 857,000 (57.0%) were employed and 63,000 (6.9%) were unemployed. 584,000 were not in the workforce. The national unemployment rate for Hispanics in September was 5.9% (1,572,000).

White Veterans

There were 17,406,000 White veterans in September of which 8,548,000 (49.1%) were in the workforce. 8,223,000 (467.2%) were employed and 324,000 (3.8%) were unemployed. 859,000 White veterans were not in the workforce. The national White unemployment rate in September was 4.0% (4,962,000).

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3. From the BLS

Erica L. Groshen, Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning that Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 156,000 in September, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 5.0%. Job gains occurred in professional and business services and in health care. Thus far this year, nonfarm job growth has averaged 178,000 per month, compared with an average gain of 229,000 per month in 2015. Incorporating revisions for July and August, which reduced nonfarm payroll employment by 7,000 on net, monthly job gains have averaged 192,000 over the past 3 months.

Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 6 cents in September to $25.79. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.6%. From August 2015 to August 2016, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 1.1% (on a seasonally adjusted basis).

Turning to data from the survey of households, most major labor market measures continued to show little or no change in September. The unemployment rate, at 5.0%, and the number of unemployed people, at 7.9 million, were essentially unchanged over the month and have shown little net movement since August 2015.

Among the unemployed in September, 2.0 million, or 24.9%, had been searching for work for 27 weeks or more. The labor force participation rate, at 62.9%, and the employment-population ratio, at 59.8%, changed little over the month. Both measures have shown little movement in recent months, but were up by 0.5% point over the year.

Among the employed, 5.9 million worked part time for economic reasons in September, little different from August. (These involuntary part-time workers would prefer to work full time, but had their hours cut back or were unable to find full-time jobs.)

Among people who were neither working nor looking for work in September, 1.8 million were marginally attached to the labor force, about the same as a year earlier. Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, numbered 553,000 in September, also about the same as a year earlier. (Marginally attached to the labor force refers to those who had not looked for work in the 4 weeks prior to the survey but wanted a job, were available for work, and had looked for a job within the last 12 months.)

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For those people looking for work, the following paragraphs from the BLS commissioner’s report indicates where the new jobs were created. If you are looking for a job, these areas may offer employment opportunities.

Professional and business services employment rose by 67,000 in September and by 582,000 over the year. Within the industry, employment in management and technical consulting services increased by 16,000 over the month, and employment continued to trend up in administrative and support services

Health care added 33,000 jobs in September, with gains in ambulatory health care services (+24,000) and hospitals (+7,000). Over the past 12 months, health care employment has grown by 445,000.

Employment continued to trend up in food services and drinking places (+30,000) in September. Over the year, this industry has added 300,000 jobs.

Employment also continued to trend up over the month in retail trade (+22,000) and was up by 317,000 over the year.

Mining employment was flat in September; the rate of job loss in the industry had been moderating in recent months.

Employment in other major industries, including construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, changed little over the month.

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Thank you for reading the VetJobs Veteran Employment Situation Report (VESR). If you have any questions, please contact Ted Daywalt at or call 877-838-5627 (877-Vet-Jobs).
Should you know of others who may want this information, they can sign up for the report by sending an email request to If you want to be removed, use the same email.

Ted Daywalt

P. O. Box 71445
Marietta, GA 30007-1445
770-993-5117 (o)
877-838-5627 (o) (877-VetJobs)
770-993-2875 (f)
678-777-8262 (c)

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This is how the Old Glory Relay brings veterans and their communities together

Team Red, White & Blue’s mission is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity. This effort is focused on bridging the civilian-military divide through a shared interest in physical activity like running, hiking, CrossFit workouts, and yoga classes, along with participating in social and service-oriented events. Spread across 199 chapters all over the world, the 110,000-member veteran’s group established in 2010 is geared toward creating a place for former servicemembers to meet and do a little PT — and invite their friends and family along to join them. But while having lots of members and a host of chapters across the country is a great thing for a young veteran service organization, there’s a challenge in keeping it all connected. That’s why Executive Director Blayne Smith and his colleagues decided to link up with Team Red, White & Blue’s various members with a little run among friends.

And what if this little run wasn’t so little? What if it spread across the entire country?

“We really wanted this to be a unifying event for the organization and to demonstrate the power and the inspiration that comes with a community of veterans working on an epic undertaking together,” Smith said. “We figured if we could run a single American flag averaging 60 miles a day … that would be a demonstration of the good that we could do together if we all worked together formed as a team and committed to a big goal.”

So in 2014, on a shoestring budget and with just a couple company reps doing most of the logistical legwork, the Old Glory Relay was born. Now spanning 4,216 miles and involving upwards of 1,300 runners and cyclists, the 2016 Old Glory Relay will see an American flag passed between participants — including veterans and their supporters — down the West Coast, across the desert Southwest, through the Deep South, and ending in Tampa, Florida, after 62 days culminating in a Ruck March on Veterans Day.

“For this year we decided to go even bigger. It’s a bit more ambitious, it’s a longer route but more members and more chapters will get to participate,” Smith said. “There’s something really powerful about running a few miles carrying an American flag. It’s really invigorating to run with it and hand it off to the next person knowing you’ve done your part to get it across the country.”

With the support of the presenting sponsor, Microsoft, along with other partners, Amazon, Westfield and Starbucks, the race began at the Space Needle in Seattle on Sept. 11. The relay will be following a route through Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles through the end of the month. The relay then turns east, through Phoenix, Tucson and San Antonio before crossing the South through the Florida Panhandle to Tampa.

Team Red, White & Blue has done a ton of legwork to prepare for the relay, mobilizing local chapters to help carry the flag and get their communities energized to cheer runners along. Smith said school kids, local police and fire stations and residents along the way all turn out to motivate the runners and keep the relay going. And while the event is geared toward unifying the chapters and its members in a good cause, it’s the spirit of shared sacrifice and appreciation for the men in women who served in uniform that really makes the Old Glory Relay special.

“This is what happens when you slow people down enough to move on foot through a town with an American flag and see what happens. All those human connections start to happen,” Smith said.

“America is a beautiful place. But the most beautiful terrain in America is the human terrain, and you don’t see it if you don’t slow down. And that’s what this is all about.”

You can support Team Red, White & Blue and the Old Glory Relay by following the, sharing your own photos and videos with the hashtag #OldGloryRelay, and by tracking Old Glory via the “” webpage for up-to-the-minute information on the runners’ and cyclists’ status.

Text OGR to 41444 to learn more and donate!