This week, the Veterans Policy Leadership Institute (VPLI) released its inaugural State and Local Policy Recommendations Report for 2016. This report describes innovations, best practices, and promising investments states and local communities are making across the country to improve outcomes for veterans, service members, and their families, with a particular emphasis on ensuring that policy changes are driven by data. The report is available online at the VPLI website, and printed versions will be sent to policy leaders around the country as well.
“This report recognizes the enormous amount of good will toward America’s service members, veterans, and their families, as exhibited by the incredible support provided for reintegration by states and local communities across the country,” said Caleb Cage, who chaired this effort on behalf of the VPLI. “We wanted to not only identify great successes, but also to encourage these same governments to ensure that current and future efforts are coordinated and integrated in ways that are sustainable and driven by data.”
The VPLI’s 2016 State and Local Policy Recommendations Report is the result of a yearlong effort that brought together veterans and veteran leaders from around the country. This small committee worked to identify state and local practices currently underway or being pursued and to place them within a broader context to ensure that they are maximize a state or local government’s ability to best serve those who have served their nation. The committee worked to ensure that the proposed recommendations were comprehensive, substantive, and measurable.
The 2016 State and Local Policy Recommendations Report provides comprehensive recommendations in four areas: systems-level, education, employment, and wellness. The systems-level recommendations are intended to be overarching in nature, illustrating the mechanisms necessary to coordinate various lines of effort at the state and local level. The remaining categories of recommendations, education, employment, and wellness, recommend improvements that, together, are intended to ensure that returning veterans and their families can access the services, benefits, resources, and opportunities that are available to them in their home states and communities.
The VPLI is a non profit research and policy institute located on the campus of the University of Nevada Reno (UNR) and in partnership with UNR and the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV). The goal of the VPLI is to advance veteran outcomes through research, policy change and a focus on state and local systems change in Nevada and across the country. The VPLI is designed to fill a void in the national policy conversation around how to advance veteran outcomes by leading a state and local policy focused discussion anchored in research, data, metrics. This focus will mean the difference between failing and thriving for thousands of our nations most valuable assets: our veterans and military families.