This project was designed as a tool for leadership in the Illinois Department of Employment Security to transform the Disabled Veterans Outreach Program. Nationally funded, the lack of synergy challenged the program’s collective ability to empower the successful transition of veterans back into the workplace. This study was conducted using BGU’s incarnational and reflective leadership perspectives to implement continuous quality improvement processes (CQIP) and enact change from within. The absence of cohesion among the veteran Employment representatives arose in part due to the lack of a consistent process to train new employees and an intentional training program for existing staff. With the goal of adding value, internal solutions were sought, approved, and ultimately presented to executive leadership as a viable option that embraced existing resources. In accordance with the department’s goal to empower veteran job seekers, this project provides research and a tool that supports the internal strengths already approved by leadership.
The research revealed that the program has passionate, committed, and intelligent leaders as the first point of contact for Intensive Services whose talents were being underutilized. Policies and procedures that were not consistently enforced made management of line staff complicated. In appreciation of this public service opportunity, this project includes the development of a best practice manual – the Journey of Building Skills (J.O.B.S.), which was presented as a communication tool to capture work processes. Once documented and sanctioned by the current leadership, the goal became to share the lessons learned through print and virtual formats across the state that would inspire change.