Veteran's Employment and Education Commission

Comission Chairman РDr. Robert Gumm,

The first American Legion employer award was established in 1947, and recognized employers across the country who had established outstanding records in the employment and retention of workers with disabilities. Later, other award categories were added to recognize outstanding employers of older workers and of veterans in general, and in 1992, the Employment Service awards were established to recognize outstanding individuals and local offices within the state employment service agencies.

These awards benefit everyone involved. They bring recognition to outstanding employers and job service personnel, they help expand employment opportunities for veterans, and they bring favorable publicity for The American Legion and its Posts.

Employer of Veterans Award – Nomination Form
Employer Service Awards – Nomination Form
Employment Service Awards – Information Sheet
Employment Service Local Office Award
Michael Guty Homeless Veterans Outreach Award – Information Sheet
Michael Guty Homeless Veterans Outreach Award
Nomination form for LVER or DVOP
Employer of Older Workers Award – Nomination Form
Employer of Veterans Award – Information Sheet


History: When the Employer Awards Program was established in 1947, its purpose was to recognize employers across the country who had established outstanding records in the employment and retention of the disabled. The National Economic Commission wanted to use its new awards program to educate employers and the general public about the many positive aspects of hiring disabled persons and thereby increase their employment opportunities.
In conjunction with its awards program, the commission also established “Employ the Handicapped Week” which was observed each October. This later became a national observance when succeeding presidents signed proclamations declaring the first full week of each October to be “National Employ the Handicapped Week.” Today, like the federal government, The American Legion observes “National Disability/Employment Awareness Month,” which is observed throughout the month of October.

History: In 1958, the National Economic Commission expanded its Employer Awards Program by creating an award for employers of older workers. Because the commission saw older workers as a valuable economic resource of proven skills, stability and experience, it wanted to encourage employers to hire and retain older workers in the work force. National ‘Employ the Older Worker Week,” was established by The American Legion and is observed during the second full week of each September. The National Economic Commission believes that this particular award category will become increasingly important over the next few years. Several major studies have concluded that there will be fewer young people entering the labor market. As a result, it will be necessary for employers to encourage older workers to stay in the labor force.

History: The National Economic Commission expanded its Employer Awards Program again in 1969 when it created an award category for employers of veterans. Originally, Departments were permitted to submit one nomination each for a large and small employer of veterans. In 1992, the number of awards for em ployers of veterans was increased. Today, Departments may submit one nomi nation each for small companies with 50 or fewer employees, medium sized >companies with work forces of 51-200 and large companies with 201 or more employees.

History: In 1990 a resolution was introduced that called for the establishment of a national awards program to recognize outstanding Employment Service (ES) Offices and employees. Since such a program would require funding, the delegates to The American Legion’s Seventy-Second National Convention voted to hold the resolution for further study. Both the National Economic Commission and the Internal Affairs Commission’s Trophies and Awards Subcommittees conducted extensive studies to determine the feasibility of establishing such an awards program. At the conclusion of those studies, both recommended approval and referred the resolution to the National Executive Committee for final approval. The NEC unanimously approved the resolution at its spring 1992 meeting.

Purpose: The purpose of the ES Awards Program is to confer national recognition annually on one outstanding Local Veterans Employment Representative (LVER), and one Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) specialist and one local ES office. LVER and DVOP specialists work for the ES and provide job counseling, testing and placement assistance to unemployed and underemployed veterans.

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