In a well-attended session at #MACoCon, moderated by the Honorable Senator Doug Peters, panelists covered county- and state-level efforts to stand up for veterans, reviewed best practices, and introduced the Veterans Services Specialist (VSS) Program in state government. During the panel, goals of the Office of Veterans Affairs were explained to attendees, which include:
–Retain Veterans: Create a connection between veterans and employers to ensure each person has an opportunity to train and work in the county.
–Outreach: Create an effective outreach program designed to highlight programs and initiatives for veterans, families and children.
–Quality of Life: Create programs addressing home purchasing, homelessness, education and community familiarization.
Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks emphasized that the office has served approximately 2,000 people in the first quarter of 2019. Panelists also educated attendees on how paramount the importance of collaboration across all levels of government – particularly because Maryland is home to 400,000 veterans. Attendees also learned that Maryland’s fastest growing demographic of veterans is women (13%) and that there are now more living veterans from the Gulf Wars (Desert Storm onward) than the Vietnam War, which was surprising for many attendees to hear.
Panelists included Dana Burl, Outreach Director, MD Department of Veterans Affairs; Angel Alsobrooks, County Executive, Prince George’s County; Kimberley Huerta, Sr. Director of Compensation & Chair of Veterans Associate Resource Group, Perdue Farms.
The 2019 MACo Summer Conference – “Winds of Change” on August 14-17 focused on the changes being seen at every level of government and constituent services and how counties are harnessing that momentum for the good of all Marylanders.