VAA Dispatch
Oct. 15, 2013

Top 10 states hurt by the government shutdown
Wall St. Cheat Sheet via USA Today
With America two weeks into the government shutdown temper tantrum, politicians have mostly acted like spoiled children — retreating to their rooms of incompetence and only coming out to collect their allowances. The standoff is costing taxpayers millions of dollars per day, with some states feeling the effects more than others. In order to gauge which parts of the nation are taking the biggest financial hits from the shutdown, WalletHub conducted a study by using several key data sources. Interestingly, the report finds that states won by the Republican Party in the 2012 presidential election could feel the most pain with a prolonged government shutdown, as 15 Red States ranked in the top 25.More

Secretary: Shutdown to rob 5 million veterans of their benefits
U.S. News & World Report
More than 5 million veterans, as well as some active-duty service members, will not receive crucial benefits after Nov. 1 if the government shutdown continues for much longer, the secretary of Veterans Affairs said. Eric Shinseki, a retired Army general, told members of Congress that the ongoing government shutdown affects his department's ability to dispense compensation, employment and pension payments, vocational and rehabilitation services, as well as education under the GI Bill.More

Republican National Committee hits Democrats on House-passed veterans bill
Talking Points Memo
The Republican National Committee announced it was releasing a set of robocalls urging top Democrats and three senators up for reelection in 2014 to take up a House-passed veterans' benefits bill. The robocalls come after the House-passed a bill meant to ensure veterans continue to receive benefits during the shutdown. More

Sanders: Seniors, disabled veterans deserve more help, not cuts
Veterans Today
With senior poverty in the United States significantly increasing, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., expressed deep concern that Social Security recipients, disabled veterans and federal retirees may receive only a 1.5 percent cost-of-living adjustment in 2014.More

Absolutely everything you need to know about how the government shutdown will work
The Washington Post
A government shutdown started Oct. 1. The House and Senate couldn't agree on a bill to fund the government and time had ran out. So, it's shutdown time. Let's take a look at how this works.More

CEO: Vets are IT for tech jobs
Business 2 Community
Karen Ross, CEO of Sharp Decisions, keeps challenging the status quo. A female founder of a 20-year-old technology company, she now is convincing U.S. companies to utilize veterans.More

VA: Most employees to stay on, but shutdown would halt some services
Stars and Stripes
More than 95 percent of Veterans Affairs employees would not be furloughed if a government shutdown happens, but the move could still halt some key services for veterans.More

Veterans: We're interested in hearing from you
In an effort to enhance the overall content of VAA Dispatch, we'd like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As a member of VAA, your knowledge and experience in the industry can be of great help to your fellow members. And we're hoping you'll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there's no word or graphical limit, and our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you're interested in participating, please contact Ronnie Richard to discuss logistics.More

Disney offers free veteran hiring program workshop
The Walt Disney Company
Disney is offering a free workshop to encourage and support hiring of military veterans on Nov. 14. The complimentary one-day seminar at Disney World in Orlando will feature an array of experts and the tools, policies and networks used in the Disney veteran program. At the close of this workshop, participants will have an entire veteran staffing program that can be implemented immediately. More

VA will continue to decide veteran-owned status
Federal News Radio
The Veterans Affairs Department decided to remain the final decider on all acquisition protests to whether a company is a service-disabled veteran small business, a veteran-owned small business or not. In an interim final rule issued recently in the Federal Register, VA announced it would not cede the control of deciding on socio-economic status protests to the Small Business Administration. More

Job search: Finding a world-class sales organization
By Teresa Hiatt
It’s getting close to the start of 2014, the economy shows signs of life, and businesses are cautiously beginning to release the pent-up demand for products and services. This is great news for salespeople, as companies will now begin trying to attract and employ good sales teams, ending a long dry stretch of hiring freezes. Top salespeople are now in demand, and it is worth a little research to take advantage of the "boom times" and land a job at a "world-class sales organization." Here are five indicators of a world-class sales organization that can be used to evaluate the next job offer.More

Military tuition on hold
Inside Higher Ed
The U.S. military's decision to stop paying financial aid for active-duty service members during the shutdown is jeopardizing their academic progress and forcing some to withdraw from classes, according to officials at colleges with large military populations.More

Subcommittee examines VA pain management practices
Veterans Today
The House Veterans' Affairs Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on pain management programs and the use of medications, particularly opioids, to treat veterans experiencing acute and chronic pain. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, pain is the most frequent complaint for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and studies show that more than half of VA's male primary care patients report experiencing chronic pain.More