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Opening Statement of Hon. John Boozman, Ranking Republican Member, and a Representative in Congress from the State of Arkansas

Good afternoon Madam Chairwoman and today’s witnesses.  Since its inception, the mission of the DVOP/LVER program has been to place veterans, especially disabled veterans in suitable employment.  Recent changes to the law have refocused the duties of the DVOPs and LVERS and added flexibility to the system by authorizing states to fill those positions with half-time employees.

However, there continues to be controversy regarding the performance of the system.  We continue to hear that employment office managers divert veterans staff to serve other non-veteran clients.  We also hear that competition would bring improved performance throughout the system.

Last year, at the suggestion of VETS, we removed language from what eventually became PL 109-461, that would have added specific data reporting requirements so that VETS could implement the common measures.  Now that a year or so has passed, I will be very interested to hear whether common measures are providing a sufficiently robust picture of how we are doing in placing veterans compared to their non-veteran counterparts.

 I am also open to any suggestions our witnesses may have to improve the system. It is vital that our employment programs enable veterans to find suitable employment that promotes their wellness and quality of life.

Madam Chairwoman, thanks for bringing this issue to the front and I yield back.