Governor Pawlenty signs Executive Order directing State Agencies to support the selection and employment of Veterans

Saint Paul -- Governor Tim Pawlenty today signed Executive Order 10-13 directing State departments and associated agencies, boards, and commissions to continuously review and revise policies and procedures, and conduct increased outreach in order to engage and employ veterans as part of their hiring or selection process.

The following is the text of the Governor’s order:

EXECUTIVE ORDER 10-13

SUPPORTING THE SELECTION
AND EMPLOYMENT OF VETERANS

I, TIM PAWLENTY, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and applicable laws do hereby issue this executive order:

WHEREAS, there are approximately 410,000 veterans residing in Minnesota, 250,000 of whom are of working age, and

WHEREAS, there are over 25,000 Minnesotans presently serving in the United States Armed Forces, including active duty as well as National Guard and Reserve forces; and

WHEREAS, service members selflessly sacrifice career advancement and development opportunities because of extended military training and deployment obligations; we therefore owe them our gratitude and commitment to assist them in reestablishing their careers upon return; and

WHEREAS, these servicemen and women receive extensive skills training in a broad range of technical areas that correlate directly to civilian occupations, and as a result of their military experience have gained leadership and management perspectives that are invaluable to employers in both the public and private sector; and

WHEREAS, veterans returning from deployments face higher unemployment rates than the general population; and

WHEREAS, veterans have the ability and enthusiasm to tackle new challenges based on the increased skills, confidence, and experience gained through military service; and

WHEREAS, veterans are intelligent, resourceful leaders who can produce positive results in the most difficult environments, bringing to bear the skills and experience necessary to make Minnesota’s workforce stronger; and

WHEREAS, there is a decreasing number of veterans in the general population and state workforce as a large number of Vietnam War-era veterans reach retirement age; Minnesota must therefore renew its efforts to attract and retain veterans; and

WHEREAS, returning veterans constitute the “Next Greatest Generation” of leaders and workers for the state and nation; and

WHEREAS, military spouses and families who are State of Minnesota employees are also impacted by deployments, experiencing workplace challenges and stress that require awareness and support; and

WHEREAS, Minnesota has a long history of hiring veterans and is committed to being the most military and veteran-friendly state in the Union, removing barriers and impediments to employment opportunities for veterans.

NOW, THEREFORE, I hereby order that:

1. To the extent permitted by law, State departments and associated agencies, boards, and commissions shall continuously review and revise policies and procedures, and shall conduct increased outreach in order to engage and employ veterans as part of their hiring or selection process. State departments and agencies must provide information so that veterans and family members are aware of and take advantage of the benefits to which they are entitled.

2. Minnesota Management & Budget (MMB) serves as the lead agency for the review and resolution of legal issues or conflicting rules and policies with respect to state veterans’ hiring practices.

a. As a supporting agency, MMB shall:

i. Disseminate information to human resources personnel regarding veterans’ hiring, retention, and resolution processes with materials approved by Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA).

ii. Coordinate training presentations conducted by MDVA and the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to the Human Resources Directors Partnership.

iii. Review materials developed by MDVA for the veterans’ “toolbox” to ensure consistency with state hiring requirements and practices and post the “toolbox” on the MMB website for access by hiring officials and human resources personnel.

iv. Make training on veterans’ hiring, retention, and resolution processes part of the CORE training for hiring manager curriculum, to be delivered by MDVA/DEED presenters.

v. Continue monitoring the incidence of employment, recruitment, retention, and retirement of veterans in the state workforce in the same format as found in the 2008 report to the Minnesota Legislature regarding state veterans’ hiring.

vi. Collect reports from state agencies regarding their efforts to increase veterans’ employment in state agencies.

vii. Consult with DEED, MDVA, and the Minnesota Department of Military Affairs (MDMA) to reconcile military nomenclature and keywords for the replacement resume review system.

viii. Submit proposed statutory changes for the next administration to promote veterans’ hiring and, as appropriate, mirror federal programs and policies regarding veterans’ hiring and employment.

3. Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) shall:

a. Provide outreach information to state agencies to assist veterans and their families regarding state and federal veterans’ benefits.

b. Lead the development of a veterans’-focused “toolbox” for hiring officials and human resources personnel, including information on MDVA’s Apprenticeship/On-the-Job Training (OJT) program.

c. Support DEED in veterans’ job search/interview skills training, including partnerships with non-profit partners.

d. Support DEED in development and execution of veterans’ business and entrepreneurial training.

e. For purposes of “Support our Troops” funding pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 190.19, Subd.#2a(2), veterans’ employment efforts and outreach is considered “outreach to underserved veterans.”

f. Act as lead coordinator of state veterans’ recruiting events. g. Provide veterans’ alternative dispute resolution information to state human resources personnel.

4. Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), as a supporting agency, shall:

a. Serve as technical expert agency for veteran employment entitlements and benefits.

b. Develop, disseminate, and present information for state human resources and hiring officials to better understand the military and veteran skill set.

c. Provide conversion tables depicting military-to-civilian skills based on military occupational categories to assist state hiring officials’ understanding of military skill sets.

d. Provide state-of-the-art training for veterans preparing for employment during all phases of their careers.

e. Partner with federal agencies to conduct veteran outreach and inform state officials of federal initiatives and goals.

f. Serve as lead agency for development of veteran business and entrepreneur seminars/webinars/training sessions. DEED is authorized to partner with non-profit agencies to develop and execute training.

g. Serve as lead agency for veteran-specific recruiting events and provide information to MMB and state agencies on opportunities to attend veteran-specific recruiting events.

5. Minnesota Department of Military Affairs (MDMA), as a supporting agency, shall:

a. Provide access and outreach opportunities to servicemembers returning from deployments during their reintegration period to address employment and job skills issues.

b. Support DEED in the development and execution of veteran business and entrepreneur training.

c. Where practical, conduct outreach to other military services and components in Minnesota.

d. Provide Yellow Ribbon training opportunities for servicemember families and employers to mitigate potential workforce challenges.

e. Task the Director of Military Outreach to serve as the coordinating staff element between the various agencies on behalf of the Governor’s office.

f. For purposes of “Support our Troops” funding pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 190.19, subd. 2(a)(3), veteran and military family employment efforts and outreach is considered “veterans’ services.”

g. Support state veterans’ recruiting events.

h. Consider veteran and military spouse employment actions an authorized use of the state enhanced Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve program.

6. All agencies, as supporting agencies shall:

a. Report to MMB, no later than November 11, 2010, their veteran-focused recruitment and retention efforts, demonstrating their support and commitment to making Minnesota a more military and veteran-friendly state.

b. Provide information to employees who are veterans on their rights and benefits as a veteran.

c. Disseminate information provided by MDVA/DEED to hiring officials, as part of their initial or ongoing professional development, regarding requirements and expectations with respect to veterans’ hiring preferences. This includes, but is not limited to, policy and procedures regarding veterans’ hiring processes, military skill translation tools, and veteran interview characteristics.

d. Conduct military/veteran specific job fairs, progressive recruiting outreach, or similar events to provide a venue for veterans to enter public service with the state where practical.

e. Continue to utilize permissive processes and procedures to support their employees who are members of the military and their families during deployments.

f. Coordinate with the Director of Military Outreach to synchronize support activities and to foster partnerships with Yellow Ribbon organizations.

g. Sponsor volunteer activities as part of the Military Family Care Initiative (www.beyondtheyellowribbon.org) where practical.

h. Engage in focused and sustained veteran recruitment efforts.

i. Submit information to MMB regarding each agency’s veteran-focused recruitment and retention efforts by November 11, 2010, to demonstrate their support and commitment to being a military and veteran-friendly state.

j. Identify, describe and provide recommendations regarding any impediments and barriers to veterans' employment, education, and access to agency services and benefits as part of the annual report required in statute.

This Executive Order supersedes Executive Order 06-02. The Governor urges agencies to continue to review policy, process, and forms to achieve the goal of making Minnesota the most military and veteran-friendly state in the Union. Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 2009, section 4.035, subdivision 2, this Executive Order will be effective fifteen (15) days after publication in the State Register and filing with the Secretary of State and will remain in effect in accordance with Minnesota Statutes 2009, section 4.035, subdivision 3.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have set my hand this 9th day of September, 2010.