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The NRD is Country – and State – Strong

Jan. 17, 2012 | By victoriaholmes

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VIRIN: 120117-N-ZZ098-3027

By Joe McAtee, National Resource Directory Communications Coordinator and Army Veteran

Working in the D.C. area as I do, it is easy to get wrapped up in what’s going on at the federal level, and forget about the activities that occur at the state level that have just as much impact on peoples’ lives. While there are many great national programs and services managed by the Depts. of Defense and Veterans Affairs, there are also plenty of others at the state level that provide effective assistance and support to military and Veteran families where they live and work. That’s why it’s so valuable to have the resources on the National Resource Directory (NRD) organized by state.  It helps users find the organization or agency that they need without confusion or clutter. Even further, state-specific searches on the NRD can be filtered with any keyword. So users looking for housing assistance in, say, Virginia, can easily find the most relevant resources for them. Last month, we began a campaign to highlight some of the activities at all 50 state departments of Veterans Affairs on the NRD’s  Facebook page and through our Twitter feed. We’ve still got plenty of states to go, but just by highlighting some of the more informative pages or initiatives from those VA offices, we’re already showing that state-level resources are making an impact and are available to assist and support constituents. Another tool we created to help showcase these resources is  the NRD State Widget, which can be embedded into any website, like the Arizona version that’s been added to  Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ website. Widgets can be customized by state, subject, size and color.  Resources will display directly within the widget once it is embedded and will update automatically as new resources are added to the NRD, so there is no further maintenance required. Moving forward, the NRD is looking at providing the capability to create widgets using multiple states for those organizations whose audiences may live within driving distance of services offered in more than one state—something we know well here in the Washington area, where people regularly go between D.C., Virginia and Maryland. We also plan to provide the same functionality for the Veterans Job Bank, an employment search portal to hundreds of thousands of Veteran-committed jobs powered by the NRD. So no matter what state or territory you live in (well, except for the Johnston Atoll – sorry Johnston Atollians!), the NRD has something for everyone. And if you know of a great state resource and don’t see it listed on the NRD, please use the Suggest a Resource feature on the website or email us at info@NRD.gov. Whether you need to locate health care facilities, information on accessing pensions, stop-loss pay or other benefits, transitional housing assistance, grief counseling or affordable child care, the NRD is home to resources that can help you with programs at the national, state or local level.
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