WASHINGTON — The Pentagon said Wednesday that it has created a website to help veterans who face difficulty returning to jobs or finding new ones after deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Michael Dominguez, principal deputy undersecretary of Defense, said the program, dubbed TurboTAP, seeks to improve on the Transition Assistance Program by letting National Guard and Reserve members get job data, build a resume online and do a job search, all in one place.
Veterans also can access "helpful checklists" regarding key things they should be doing after leaving the military and get direct e-mail access to Labor Department career centers at the site, www.turbotap.org.
The announcement comes as several government panels review ways to improve services for veterans. In addition to problems of red tape and backlogs for those seeking disability benefits, some veterans said they had difficulty finding jobs or returning to their old ones after repeated or extended tours.
Unemployment among veterans ages 20 to 24 consistently outpaces non-veterans of the same age group, Labor Department statistics show. In 2005, the jobless rate hit 15.6% -- the highest in at least two decades -- before dropping last year to 10.4%. Still, that figure exceeded the 8.1% rate in 2006 for non-veterans in that age group.
At a Senate panel hearing Wednesday, lawmakers expressed concern that the government wasn't doing enough to advertise or coordinate an array of job programs offered by Labor and other departments.