WASHINGTON, DC — About 200,000 service members transition to civilian life each year in the United States, and figuring out how to transfer skills learned in the military to the civilian workforce can be difficult.
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A new monitoring report with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has revealed that the Department of Defense (DOD) has not assessed whether key programs have been effective for the service members and veterans they serve. .
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The report looked at two programs: Credentialing Opportunities Online (COOL) and the United States Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP).
“For both of these programs, the DOD is really trying to give the military a boost once they leave the military,” said Dawn Locke, acting director of education, manpower. and income security for GAO.
According to the report, “Although the DOD has standardized performance measures for its credentialing programs across departments, it has not fully evaluated the effectiveness of the programs, resulting in a lack of evidence.”
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“Not just the number of people who go through the program, or the number of graduations or apprenticeship completions, but have the military found a job and does that job have a sustainable salary, for example ?” said Locke.
The report calls on the Secretary of Defense to gather evidence on the effectiveness of his programs.
“It’s important that the DOD help ensure that these incredible skills and experiences they gain in the military don’t go unnoticed when it’s time for them to enter the civilian workforce,” said Locke.
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In response to the report, DOD said it agreed with the findings and established department-wide policies to standardize data collection for credentialing programs.
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