Labor Department Launches New Initiative

The state Labor Department has launched a new Experience Counts Initiative that helps veterans transfer military service into certification for civilian jobs and enlists staff at state Career Centers to help place veterans in these jobs.

“As we see our service men and women returning, we must ensure the highest level of services greet them at home. And that begins with jobs,” said Peter M. Rivera, state labor commissioner. “I am proud to announce another Experience Counts program and urge all veterans to visit their nearest New York State Career Center to see what opportunities are available in their region.”

In 2011, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the Experience Counts initiative, which directs certain state agencies who qualify and license professions, to grant credit toward those credentials for military experience. Occupations include: bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks, certified nursing assistants, computer support specialists and security guards.

The Department of Labor has 91 career centers.

The first Experience Counts program involved access to commercial drivers’ licenses when the Department of Motor Vehicles waived the road test and all associated fees for military members with recent experience driving trucks and heavy equipment in service. More than 250 CDLs have been issued to veterans through this program, with 112 being hired as of January 2013.

The newest component of Experience Counts certifies veterans to become a licensed armed security guard through an on-site training program.

The program is available free of charge and is available at all of the Department of Labor’s New York State Career Centers. Once veterans are trained and licensed, Career Center staff will connect them to one of the more than 8,300 available security jobs statewide.

The training is a partnership with the state departments of State and Division of Criminal Justice Services, which ensured it was adequate for certification. The Department of Labor offers the certification for free, waiving fees normally charged by independent providers.

Of the currently 8,327 security guard jobs available statewide, there are 822 in Western New York available.