Home → Meetings and Minutes
Meetings & Minutes
Veterans' Employment Training Committee Meeting 4/13/2010April 13, 2010: 10:00 AM Frances Perkins Room-Commerce Center
Agenda: Susbstance Abuse and Mental Health Services, 211 Opportunity, Post 9/11 GI Bill and Troops to Teachers.
Ed Clift welcomed the Team.
Present: Ed Clift, Garrett Oswald, Don Foster, Robert Haley, Dave Keaton, Paul Luce, Chaplain Andy Gibson, Warren Cook, MG Bill Libby, Steve Wallace Cynthia Swaney, Peaches Bass, Jon Guay, Barry Peaco, and Jerry Smith.
Chaplain Gibson...Presented information about the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). He started by offering a "history" of inter-agency cooperation between ESGR, MAP and the Maine Military Community Network. He discussed the Family Program, Military One Source, and the State's Yellow Ribbon Program. He also discussed the presence of Maine's Military Clinical Outreach Network that provides service members, Veterans and families in putting together pshchological health strategies. Maine will be sending a Team (14) to the SAMHSA Policy Academy in early June. The Academy will provide an environment conducive to the process of strategic decision-making within the context of strengthening behavioral health care systems and services for returning service members, Veterans and their families. The academy provides support to policy makers and decision-makers in developing a coordinated State-level Action Plan that can be realistically implemented to assist the aforementioned target groups. Maine has a network of local groups/individuals providing multi-faceted medical-related services upwards to some 1,000 professionals and volunteers. Chaplain Gibson stressed using the following website for more information about the Maine Military & Community Network: "www.Maine.MCN.org".
Bob Haley...Director of the State Approving Agency for Veterans' Education & New England Troops to Teachers covered the process to access the GI Bill (...particularly the new Post 9/11 GI Bill). Bob's agency does outreach, promotion, approves licensing and testing, and works with a large number of partners and stakeholders. He shared somewhat of an "unknown feature" of his program. That being that dependents of a 100% totally and permanently Disabled Veteran (..or deceased) can receive a stipend of $925/month starting at age 18 and continuing for up to a total of 45 months as long as they remain a full-time student. There's been a huge increase in the use of the Post 9/11 GI Bill. The Bill provided opportunities for OJT and apprenticeship as well. He related requirements for eligibility (...served under Title 10 for at least 90 days or 30 consecutive days if released for disability)and must be accessed no longer than 15 years from the last date of release from active duty. It covers tuition and fees, provides a housing allowance, and a stipend for books/supplies. Bob stressed using the GI Bill website for more information: "www.gibill.va.gov". Also available is a Hotline: 1-888-GIBILL-1. He offered that the website was probably the best choice.
Steve Wallace...Provided the "Florida Defense Alliance" as a vehicle to replicate as a single source for information to assist service members and their families. Currently, their website is getting some 60,000 hits/month. Simply, it's a model to replicate and be used as a comprehensive site. As Steve offered..."The best place to start for sure." The website is: FDA@eflorida.com.
Warren Cook...Warren provided and discussed a brief snipit from the Maine Troop Greeters Documentary, "The Way We Get By." This documentary truly highlights how well-received the Maine Troop Greeters are by service members passing through Bangor on their way to the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. He also related how dedicated the "greeters" were and how, for some, it had become their mission in life to be a greeter.