In August 2014, the White House challenged the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to create a community campaign designed to increase economic opportunities for Veterans and their families. In response to the President’s request, VA launched the Veterans Economic Communities Initiative (VECI) in May 2015. The Initiative embedded Economic Liaisons in communities across the U.S. to facilitate collaboration among local stakeholders with the goal of linking Veterans to all their economic empowerment benefits, ultimately helping them reach their full potential in their local communities.
DolJenn played a key role in the creation of VECI by providing infrastructure support and strategic direction; including the identification of key metrics, development of criteria for strategic partnerships, and creation of training and development curriculum/materials for onboarding core personnel. DolJenn was instrumental in the deployment of VECI nationwide by staffing 18 of the 44 resources to serve as Economic Liaisons and providing management oversight to the entire VECI Team.
DolJenn helped drive accountability and ensure a unified approach to outreach and engagement activities by emphasizing the utilization of metrics to demonstrate scale and test the impact of EL performance. For the baseline activity metrics, clear objectives and methodologies for measurement were established.
The metrics dashboard implemented to track success of the Economic Liaisons demonstrated that the DolJenn Team exceeded expectations with over 125K new job commitments shared by employers and tens of thousands of Veterans impacted at community meetings including hiring events. DolJenn ELs participated in Economic Development Advisory Council Meetings, Mayor’s Veterans Commission Meetings and various key boards where their contributions regarding Veteran economic mobility were valued and became part of solutions.
DolJenn staffed Economic Liaisons in the following locations:
Atlanta, Augusta, Austin, Baltimore, Columbia, Dallas, Los Angeles, Norfolk (2 ELs), Northwest Florida, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, Richmond, San Antonio, Sacramento, San Diego, and Washington, DC