Helping Veterans Achieve Work: A Veterans Health Administration Nationwide Survey Examining Effective Job Development Practices in the Community


This article discusses a vocational service assisting veterans with mental illness to find jobs.


Veterans Health Administration vocational services assist veterans with mental illness to acquire jobs; one major component of these services is job development. The purpose of this study was to characterize the nature of effective job development practices and to examine perceptions and intensity of job development services. Vocational providers had a modest number of job development employer contacts across 2 weeks (M = 11.0, SD = 10.6) and fewer were face-to-face (M = 7.6, SD = 8.4). Over 70% of participants perceived job development to be difficult. Six major themes emerged regarding effective job development practices with employers: using an employer-focused approach; utilizing a targeted marketing strategy; engaging in preparation and follow-up; going about the employer interaction with genuineness, resilience, and a strong interpersonal orientation; serving as an advocate for veterans and educator of employers; utilizing specific employer-tailored strategies, such as arranging a one-on-one meeting with a decision maker and touring the business, individualizing a prescripted sales pitch, connecting on a personal level, and engaging in ongoing communication to solidify the working relationship. Respondents highlight several potentially effective job development strategies; tools and resources may be developed around these strategies to bolster job development implementation and allow opportunities for fruitful employer interactions.

Full Reference

Kukla, M., McGuire, A. B., Strasburger, A. M., Belanger, E. and Bakken, S. K., 2018. Helping veterans achieve work: A Veterans Health Administration nationwide survey examining effective job development practices in the community. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 41(2), 103-108.