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Veteran Readiness And Employment Service Executive Director Departs After Historic Transformation And Improvements

Will Streitberger VRE Service Director

There is a change happening in Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) executive leadership following historic transformations to improve the program for veterans.

The recently departed executive director William Streitberger will be missed after years of massive improvements, and I wanted to take a few minutes to extend my gratitude.

Will moved on to run the Chicago Regional Office as the agency transitions to new leadership of its many programs. He started his VA career at that location as an Employment Coordinator after serving in the Navy.

I’ve been working to help improve VR&E for over a decade to include some degree of interaction with program senior leadership. I was first introduced to Will when he took over the program in 2018 and met him in person a year later. He seemed like a great leader and overall solid guy. Hopefully his next adventure running the Chicago office is a successful one.

I asked for comment from VA for my readers to summarize what has changed. Below in italics is a summary provided by through the agency’s Public Affairs team about his accomplishments while leading VR&E.

Historic Accomplishments Per VA:

Mr. William Streitberger, Executive Director, Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) Service, has recently accepted a new position as Executive Director, Chicago Regional Office. Over the past two and a half years, Will has been a constant advocate for Servicemembers, Veterans, and their Families, overseeing and shepherding in VR&E’s historic modernization efforts to transform the program into a modern, efficient, and streamlined benefit delivery model. Some of these accomplishments include: 

Renaming/Rebranding- the new name, Veteran Readiness and Employment, puts the emphasis on the Veteran and VA’s mission to help them reach their employment goals. By renaming the program, VR&E eliminated confusion about benefits and services offered, and removed barriers to program access. 

VA Video Connect Tele-counseling ushered in a modern and convenient way for program participants, both urban and rural, to have more options and increased access to face-to-face counseling services in support of their continued program requirements and management.  This innovation was especially critical in maintaining service delivery and continuity of operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

eAuthorization/eInvoicing is an electronic authorization/invoicing platform that enables vendors to receive electronic authorizations from and submit electronic invoices directly to VR&E, significantly reducing the amount of time needed to receive, process and pay vendors, ensuring timely program participation and support.

Electronic Virtual Assistant (eVA) is an Artificial Intelligence platform that streamlines routine bi-directional electronic communication, scheduling and document transfers with VR&E program participants through text messaging or e-mail.

Modern Case Management System (CMS) is part of VR&E’s modernization initiative to reengineer processes to support a modern and efficient digital and paperless environment and allows for state-of-the-art rehabilitation workflows.

Centralized Mail and Printing modernized the current business process and improved service delivery by reducing administrative constraints and maintaining business continuity during contingent operations (COVID-19).

Veterans Benefits Management System eFolder enabled VR&E to become a paperless claims processing environment for the secure and efficient handling of Veteran data and case management activities across the enterprise.

Employment Services Modernization placed the emphasis on developing key employer partnerships at the national and regional level, matching “job ready” Veterans with solid career opportunities in keeping with their training, interests, aptitudes, and abilities.

Standardized Service Delivery Model exponentially reduced the amount of variability in the way that services were delivered across the country and set participant expectations for consistent and standardized delivery of benefits and services.

Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Counselors – 291 were added to field offices to significantly reduce caseloads and provide increased availability of counselors to directly serve Veterans participating in the program.

M28C Manual Modernization converted current M28R to Live Manual (M28C) in the VR&E Knowledge Management Portal to improve service delivery to Servicemembers, Veterans, and their families, promote consistency of Policy and Procedures nationally, and streamline agency guidance that is clear and concise with real time updates.

These landmark accomplishments reshaped the manner and means by which Veterans receive services through the VR&E program. Each was built on the need to create a customer experience consistent with that of what they are accustom to in their daily personal lives.  Without Will’s dedication and commitment to program excellence, VR&E could not have achieved its 21st Century benefits delivery model and provide Veterans with the benefits they have earned in a manner that honors their service.

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18 thoughts on “Veteran Readiness And Employment Service Executive Director Departs After Historic Transformation And Improvements”

  1. My VA has a policy which restricts a wide variety of appointments to VVC, only. This includes annual exams with primary care doctors. How can you do a complete physical examination via VVC? You can’t. My local VA was constructed not too long ago, with all the bells and whistles. Now it just sits there, almost completely empty. If you try to enter it without an appointment, you get arrested for trespassing. Think about how messed up that is. But the employees are happy. They get to sit around all day and not be bothered by us pesky veterans, with a pay raise. The VA is for its employees. We veterans are disposable to them.

    1. Agree…
      Exactly why I do not bother with the VA.
      Ben, VR&E sent that survey again. Why? At the start of a new administration too…. political…in my opinion and not about helping the veterans.
      Questions have not applied to me and do not apply to me. They ask information only suited to them.
      I have never been approved for Chapter 31.
      Since having been denied in 2015, I have been sunk with standing up against situations that have been happening for the purpose of straightening them out to stop the incorrect information, to stop the negative impact, and to clean up the negligence whether intentionally or unintentionally.

  2. TO: Benjamin Krause

    Have you read the actual ‘Mission Act’?

    There is supposed to be a nation survey conducted surveying ALL Veterans to determine if any of the v.a.s need to be closed due to VERY BAD management and EXTREMELY BAD care. Why has it not been done yet?

  3. With the new administration in the WH, I see all improvements wiped out, just like the executive orders are accomplishing from the previous administration. Quality care and service will go away, if we ever had it.

    1. Hello Edward, for a period of 32 years the V.A. has shown a blatant disregard for my conditions. Mainly due to money because they don’t want to honor our service. In fact all of the prior Secretaries of the V.A. showed zero accountability? It’s a sham, coverup, scheme, and overall slap in the face to our veterans. You see only does the V.A. care when someone commits suicide then they seem to. When it’s the V.A. that caused it and isn’t accountable regardless of it’s new leader.

      1. Benjamin and all, in a recent VA career event they had online presence featuring helping veterans stay out of the hospital. This was on LinkedIn. I briefly saw it in passing. I never access anything on LinkedIn. I just occasionally view headlines. Ben and all, it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out how to help people no matter how sick the person is. It is called treating the person with respect and truthfulness. It is also called addressing a person’s environment as well and not just pumping pills for the purpose of the green. It is called face to face therapy and not holding the veterans hostage for a lifetime while trying to keep them sick in order to maintain control. It is called incrementally building back one’s life. Yes, this has been done and continues to be done in spite of the dagger. Veterans come to the VA with hope for life. The federal government comes at the veterans with the daggers. Why is modality like this?. I am sure they can answer. They claim to be the experts and the rocket scientists. Though, Ben, it does not take experts and rocket scientists to deliver people back into their lives. It takes honoring due process, common sense, and respect for people’s lives. It is called two sidedness in mutual respected relationships not the double standards. Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness heals many. 🗽🇺🇸👍😁

  4. This position will be converted to something janitorial with a bean counter at the top expect a doctrine of “no further help, no further assistance, use the fast track to shut down claims and above all , obfuscate-prevaricate-delay or deny, but shut-em down.

    Just saying it like it is. Ain’t nothin’ new goin’ on round here.

  5. On 2 occasions I was asked to jump thru the hoops in order to be assisted but denied none the less. It was a bias setup by a counselor who used my past VR&E records to try and say you qualified before with a 10% rating. But now at 90% you don’t qualify confirming my bogus unfair denial by the Los Angeles regional office, VR&E program managers. It’s another coverup afforded to a team which shows no care for disabled American veterans but only for their illegal cause!

  6. The only change in the VA in the last 4 years are the attempt to privatize by sending us offsite. The new computer system in Spokane is a failure with most of my accessible data now inaccessible. The new programs now raved about such as telehealth was started way before 6 years ago. My brother has been waiting for results for his disability for over a year. I hear this statement of how great the VA has done in the past 4 years yet my experience tells me different.

    1. Agree. Same players. This is why the whole federal government needs to be dismantled. Because it is a sham. I agree with the millennials even though I am a little older. But what they have been witnessing is not Capitalism. We have been being sunk under the state with them having been controlling everything for years since the Reagan administration almost.

      1. System is broken. The system is broken because of the same players for years and years. All to serve themselves.

  7. Um why under his leadership have the Atlanta, GA VARO “FUBAR’d” my VR&E case: March 09, 2020 CUE motion, supplemental claims and Higher Level Reviews? He was cc’d on all emails?

      1. LOL…because it wasn’t rough before now?

        Please. The VA is a massive bureaucracy that is focused on the same things all bureaucracies focus on—protecting the bureaucracy and growing the bureaucracy while enriching those who do either of those things.

        So long as the Executive permits the VA to maintain an adversarial relationship with those it (legally) exists to serve, and so long as Congress remains focused on ensuring that the VA cuts service delivery costs, no single person or group of persons will bring about a noticable effect on the VA as it is experienced by Veterans.

        As Veterans do not, as a general bloc, vote in their own interests, it is hardly surprising no one in elected government is responsive to calls for change voiced by Veterans.

        It is easy to maintain “positive optics” on “Veteran’s Issues” as far as the wider electorate is concerned. Which makes actually pleasing veterans is a non-starter; who spends political capital securing votes they are going to get anyway? No one.

        The first time a dozen four-term Senators get fired—no matter what their Party affiliation—everybody in Politics will pay attention. As long as Veterans are more afraid of voting for the “wrong” letter, we will get exactly what we get now—nothing we don’t fight tooth and nail for.

        SFH

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