By Debbie Gregory.
In what can only be called a great step forward in making sure that veterans are assisted in securing great jobs, California Republican Rep. Paul Cook’s “HIRE Vets Act” was signed into law.
The bill passed the House of Representatives overwhelmingly in February and passed the Senate on unanimous consent in March. Rep. Cook had reintroduced this bipartisan bill earlier this year.
HR 244, Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans Act of 2017 is designed to promote the recruitment, hiring and retaining of veterans in the corporate sector.
“Veterans who serve this country honorably shouldn’t struggle to find employment and this bill creates an innovative system to encourage and recognize employers who make veterans a priority in their hiring practices,” said Rep Cook.
Through the U.S. Department of Labor, the HIRE Vets Act would allow businesses to display “HIRE Vets Medallions” on products and marketing materials. These medallions would be awarded as part of a two-tiered system, Gold and Platinum, associated with specific hiring and retention goals each year.
To ensure proper oversight, the Secretary of Labor would be required to provide Congress with annual reports on the success of the program with regard to veteran employment and retention results.
While the bill does not address recruitment, hiring or retention of disabled veterans, it is a step in the right direction.
Each year, nearly 200,000 service members transition from active duty to civilian life. The HIRE Vets Act would recognize qualified employers for meeting certain criteria designed to encourage veteran-friendly businesses.
“Our military men and women have the skills and experience that are an asset to employers in every sector of our economy,” said U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R.MO), a member of the Congressional Veterans Jobs Caucus.