Denham Introduces The Veterans Skills To Jobs Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Yesterday, Representative Denham introduced the Veterans Skills To Jobs Act, H.R. 4155, to streamline the bureaucratic processes for veterans with relevant training to get jobs when they return home.
The unemployment rate for post 9/11 veterans is 17.3%, and the national veterans unemployment rate stands at 8.3%. This is unacceptable. Denham’s legislation directs the head of each federal department and agency to treat relevant military training as sufficient to satisfy training or certification requirements for federal license, and get veterans back to work.
“America is blessed with the strongest, most capable and professional military in the world. Unfortunately, even though many of our veterans have the training to perform a wide variety of occupations, the private sector and even other departments of the federal government do not recognize this training. The federal government has invested in our servicemen and should do everything it can to ensure that they can put their skills to work,” said Congressman Jeff Denham.
Licensure and certification are the two primary types of credentialing. Federally issued occupational licenses cover many areas including the aerospace, communications and maritime sector.
“Our commitment to our veterans is to put them to work here at home. The federal government should be an example to the states that are looking for ways to improve veteran transitions. The legislation will not add to the deficit or create any new programs but will allow veterans to avoid a lengthy adjustment to civilian life,” said Congressman Denham. “Veterans are not looking for handouts; they are looking for the opportunity to use their talents and education in the workforce.”
Seven states have passed laws to expedite the licensing of transitioning veterans, including Washington, Virginia and Utah. All of these states’ laws require state licensing boards to take into account relevant military training when issuing licenses. These states determined that the legislation would entail no additional costs.
“Matching qualified veterans with federal licenses which require their expertise is good for veterans, good for the economy and good for the country. The American Legion fully supports enacting the ‘Veteran Skills to Jobs Act,’ and applauds your leadership in addressing this critical issue facing our nation’s veterans and their families,” stated the National Commander of The American Legion. The American Legion’s full letter of support can be found here.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars also supports the Veterans Skills To Jobs Act and stated, “requiring that veterans be retrained and certified at the federal level is unacceptable and disrespectful to their training from the military. Often times, military training is substantially equivalent to the training they would be required to have for a federal license. This bill would streamline veterans to licensing and would be one step towards lowering unemployment.”