Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today announced a new measure that will ease the hiring and certification process for veterans entering the civilian workforce has passed both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate this week, and now heads to President Obama’s desk to be signed into law in the coming days.
Specifically, the bipartisan Veterans Skills to Jobs Act requires agencies to recognize relevant military training and skills when certifying veterans for federal occupational licenses. Senator Gillibrand advocated for this important measure while meeting with New York veterans this spring.
“After fighting for our country overseas, our veterans shouldn’t be in the fight of their life to find a job here at home,” Senator Gillibrand said. “The skills that our veterans have are unmatched. If you can drive a high-tech armored vehicle or navigate complex sets of data in a war zone, those are skills that can be put to use in good-paying jobs right here. This measure cuts red tape that stands in the way and holds veterans back from swiftly finding a job, and succeeding in the economy.”
Currently, veterans are held back by the bureaucratic red tape of the federal certification process that prevents them from immediately applying for jobs they are already qualified for. To speed the credentialing process for veterans and get them into the workforce sooner, the Veteran Skills to Jobs Act requires agencies to recognize relevant military training and skills when certifying veterans for federal occupational licenses. Instead of spending time retraining, veterans would be able to receive a federal license if it is determined their military experience is enough to fulfill the license requirements.
After hosting a series of roundtable discussions across New York State with local business and veterans leaders to discuss innovative ways to connect veterans with civilian jobs, Senator Gillibrand helped pass the bipartisan VOW To Hire Heroes Act to address unacceptably high rates of unemployment among veterans by ensuring that all troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have the necessary tools for a seamless transition from military service to the civilian workforce.