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In an ongoing effort to support returning veterans to re-establish themselves in viable careers, the Department of Veterans Affairs has established a vocational, rehabilitation program called Compensated Work Therapy (CWT). The program enables veterans with both physical and mental disabilities to recover and regain independence, self-esteem and stability. Success stories abound and number in the thousands. Compensated Work Therapy provides a boon to potential employers looking for high quality employees and to veterans committed to making a new start. You can’t hire better than our returning vets. This is what the CWT program can do for you.For Veterans

The goal of the CWT program is to match up each veteran’s interests and skill sets with job opportunities and provide him or her with long-term, satisfying employment. This helps to support an increase in the rate of each individual’s successful reintegration back into their families and communities. The CWT program also provides for a highly supportive environment and vocational assistance.

Many CWT locations include Incentive Therapy (IT), a nominally paid, pre-employment program consisting of diversified work experience for veterans with severe mental illness and/or physical disability.

Some locations also include, vocational assessment and training through their Transitional Work Program (TW). TW participants are screened and supervised by work site staff as they participate in a short-term, matched work assignment within the program, prior to employment. Homeless veterans and those with substance abuse problems as well as those with mental or physical impairments are typically found eligible for this arm of CWT services.

Other CWT programs include Sheltered Workshops, which create a simulated work environment, and the Supported Employment Program, which assists veterans suffering from serious mental illnesses such as psychosis to acquire viable and satisfying employment.

Rehabilitation-focused, Transitional Residency Programs are also provided at a number of CWT locations. A full listing of all of the benefits for veterans can be accessed here.

For Employers

The CWT program creates a liaison relationship between members of the CWT staff who oversee highly skilled, work-ready veterans seeking employment, and employers looking to reduce overhead and maintain high levels of corporate efficiency. The program utilizes a well-tested and established working model, honed over many years, which boasts multiple success stories. The CWT staff is well-versed in the nuances of labor force shortfall and human resource development. All veterans who participate in the program are pre-screened and ready to go to work.

Veterans can be placed in positions on either a long or short term basis, based upon the needs of the employer. The CWT team eliminates the need for an employer/employee relationship unless and until the employer chooses to permanently hire the veterans assigned to them, which happens quite often.

Health care, workers compensation insurance, vacation time, sick time and FICA are supplied by the program, eliminating cost to the employer.

Complete information including how employers can work with CWT to meet their ongoing goals can be accessed here. CWT programs are available at most VA Medical Centers. A listing of program locations by state can be accessed here.

Corey Whelan is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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