The U.S. Department of Labor is looking for a new tool to help match employers with members of the military who are transitioning to the civilian workforce and it’s willing to pay for it.

During the National Council for the American Worker meeting held Wednesday at the White House, U.S. Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia announced a Veterans’ Employment Challenge competition aimed at developing a new tool to help transitioning service members of the military in their job searches.

Employers recognize the value that veterans offer, yet may miss opportunities to attract and retain them. Service members transitioning into civilian employment often struggle to frame their unique experience and technical skillsets for employers. While many platforms exist to match military occupational specialties with potential job opportunities, new technology can better utilize existing data to highlight and promote the unique skill sets of transitioning service members.

The Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment Training Service (VETS), with in-kind support through participation in testing and review from the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, established the competition to challenge developers to create a better tool to match transitioning service members and employers. The competition will be conducted through five phases, enabling developers to further engage users in the design process and gather feedback on working prototypes.

“The skills and work ethic that our nation’s service members bring into civilian life add incredible value to employers and our economy,” Secretary Scalia remarked. “This challenge is an opportunity for the Department to draw on the creative expertise in the private sector to develop tools that help veterans find jobs.”

“When Federal agencies work together, our Nation accomplishes great things. Through the Veterans’ Employment Challenge, we are able to provide a tool which tens of thousands, or even millions, of veterans, may use to obtain well-paying jobs,” said White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier. “We must ensure we maximize opportunities for our veterans to capture jobs with their existing skills, but also are given opportunities to upskill toward pathways that put them on trajectories toward even greater earning and fulfilment. American veterans are one of the greatest human capital assets to the U.S. workforce, and we aim to generate an innovative solution to support our veterans with the release of this multi-agency competition. I’d like to thank the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Labor for their leadership in launching this great initiative to champion employment for our veterans.”

The Department will choose and award up to five semi-finalists $20,000 each. It will then select up to three finalists and award them $100,000 each. Finally, the Department will award a pilot prize of $300,000 and a grand prize of $300,000. In total, the grand prize winner will receive awards totaling $720,000.

Learn more about the competition’s rules and application process. The first phase of the competition opened on Dec. 11 and closes on Jan. 24, at 5 p.m. EST.

VETS’ mission is to prepare America’s veterans, service members, and their spouses for meaningful careers, provide them with employment resources and expertise, protect their employment rights, and promote their employment opportunities.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.