Governor Jay Inslee took measurable steps to show executive support to our state’s Veterans on May 10, 2013.
“Hundreds of military personnel separate from the service each month, and select Washington State as their home after serving our country with distinction. We honor their service and commitment by supporting their transition to civilian life.”
Through Executive Order 13-01, Inslee asks “private and public leaders throughout our state to help veterans and their families in effectively navigating this transition, and increase our collective efforts to help them obtain living wage jobs.” He is expecting state government to lead the effort and serve as a “model employer.”
Edmonds has been on the forefront of showing their honor and support of our military and veteran families through the MVP Program that provides merchant discounts to those who have served and through the Mayor’s 29 FEB 2012 Year of the Military Veterans Proclamation.
Edmonds could very well be joining other cities across America in naming a park in honor of our veterans – one that would provide more than just green grass but also years of education through an interactive monument.
The Governor’s order also provides a pathway for certified Veteran-Owned Businesses to be awarded “at least 5 percent of all procurement contracts.” This effort alone promotes financial incentives to present and future veteran owners as an encouragement to navigate the frustrating procurement channels so the state could benefit from potential leading-edge products and services.
The five-point Executive Order to better veteran transition also encourages private industry and orders state agencies to come up with Veteran Employment Plans and establishes the charter for a Veterans Employee Resource Group, which will provide advice and assistance on Veteran recruitment, retention and development.
Years of foundational work under the Gregoire administration went into the plan prior to Governor Inslee adopting and signing the order. The Executive Order is set to launch a Military Transition Council and a Centralized Data Share Agreement, which will improve how our Veterans transition back into our communities and correspond with state agencies.
Bottom line: With such improvements on the horizon, we could very well see some of the very best talent our nation has choose Washington as their home state and become solid contributors to our communities, which will only make our state economy more sustainable in the years ahead.
Michael Schindler, Navy veteran, and president of Edmonds-based Operation Military Family, is a guest writer for several national publications, author of the book “Operation Military Family” and “The Military Wire” blog. He is also a popular keynote and workshop speaker who reaches thousands of service members and their families every year through workshops and seminars that include “How to Battle-Ready Your Relationship” or “What Your Mother-in-Law Didn’t Tell You.” He received the 2010 Outstanding Patriotic Service Award from the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.