Virginia Tech’s Center for Geospatial Information Technology has been working to improve informational databases across service lines of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services.

The work of the center, which is based in the College of Natural Resources and Environment, will help 15,000 veterans access educational, employment, and support resources across Virginia.

The Center for Geospatial Information Technology’s involvement with the effort came at the request of Virginia Tech’s Institute for Policy and Governance, which had supported a database serving the Virginia Veterans and Family Support Program, formerly the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program, for six years.

The institute, affiliated with the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, proposed enhancing and expanding the existing database management system to serve multiple service lines within the Department of Veterans Services and turned to the center to leverage its breadth of programming capacity and expertise. Management of the project transitioned to the center in July 2016.

“The Institute for Policy and Governance laid the foundation for us to build a new database that will be more reactive to the needs of the various service lines of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services,” said Center Operations Officer Brandon Herndon, who served as the lead on the project.

The Center for Geospatial Information Technology developed a new database for both the Virginia Veterans and Family Support Program and Veterans Education, Transition, and Employment, a directorate of five organizations that helps veterans access educational and employment opportunities. The center worked to determine the specific needs of each organization and to facilitate communications between veterans and their dependents and schools, businesses, hospitals, and other service providers.

The new system went live in February 2018, with all organizations full transitioned by June 2018.

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