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Shapiro Administration Educates Veterans’ Groups, Organizations About Tool Relating Military Experience to Civilian Job Requirements

Presentation to veterans’ services council is the latest in a series highlighting Pennsylvania’s innovative military occupational crosswalk 


Harrisburg, PAThe Department of State (DOS) continued expanding awareness of its innovative ‘Occupational Crosswalk’ tool that helps veterans and service members translate their military experience into civilian career opportunities by giving a presentation on the tool yesterday to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Veterans’ Services. 

The presentation by DOS Deputy Policy Director Andrew LaFratte was the latest in a series of efforts to inform veterans, service members, and their families about the Department’smilitary occupational crosswalk, which launched in February.The crosswalk is a series of charts for each occupation licensed by the Department that compare licensing requirements with typical duties, training, qualifications, and related credentials associated with military occupations. 

Governor Shapiro has made it clear he is strongly committed to improving how government works and to creating economic opportunity for Pennsylvania’s veterans,”Secretary of the Commonwealth Al Schmidtsaid. “This groundbreaking resource helps military professionals overcome barriers to licensing and employment and more quickly apply their skills in professions that allow them to support themselves and their families.”   

LaFratte, who played a pivotal role in the crosswalk’s creation, was first invited to present on the project during a U.S. Department of Defense military-to-civilian research forum in April 2023. There, he explained to nearly three dozen attendees how the crosswalkcompares qualification details from nearly 300 military occupations to the initial requirements for Department of State licensure for related professions. 

“Andrew’s April presentation marked the second time in three years he was asked to speak to the Department of Defense on a DOS initiative,”Schmidt said. “In 2021, Andrew delivered a presentation to the research forum focused on the findings of a DOSstudyrelated to reducing barriers to occupational licensure for veterans and military spouses.” 

In May 2023, LaFratte also appeared as a guest on “Regulation Matters: a CLEAR conversation,” a podcast series byThe Council on Licensure, Enforcement, and Regulation (CLEAR). Theepisodeprovided LaFratte with the opportunity not only to discuss the development of Pennsylvania’s crosswalk but also to offer advice to other organizations, states, and jurisdictions interested in replicating the resource. 

“As Andrew pointed out on the podcast, Pennsylvania is home to nearly 850,000 veterans, which puts the commonwealth fourth in the nation in terms of veteran population,”Schmidt said.Andrew’s hard work creating this crosswalk and educating veterans’ groups and communities about this useful tool is one example of the Shapiro Administration’s commitment to veterans.” 

The crosswalk was created underAct 35 of 2022, which also does the following: 

  • defines a military applicant as a service member, veteran or militaryspouse; 

  • allows a professional or occupational license to be issued even if a military applicant does not meet educational requirements for that license if the applicant has been engaged in active practice for at least two of the previous five years prior to applying and passes all required exams forlicensure; 

  • provides expedited license application reviews and discretionary temporary licensure for militaryapplicants; 

  • provides initial licensure fee waivers for military spouses who must relocate because of a service member’s militaryorders; 

  • allows service members to reactivate an expired professional or occupational license without a penalty if the reactivation coincides with a deployment and is completed within one month of returning from thedeployment; 

  • provides service members with continuing education extensions for up to six months following a deployment; and 

  • requires consideration of acquired military experience when determining qualification for licensure. 

For more information about professional and occupational licensing in the commonwealth, visit theDepartment of State’s website. 

LaFratte, who has worked for DOS since 2019, holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public & International Affairs and is a former William Penn Fellow for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  



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