On May 9, 2014, Rep. Suzan DelBene from Washington state’s 1st District introduced new legislation that will promote skills training for U.S. military service members and Veterans who are re-entering civilian employment.
The House bill is being dubbed the Manufacturing Jobs for Veterans Act. If approved, the legislation would draw $50 million in grants from the Department of Labor over five years in order to create and expand programs that promote on the job training, apprenticeships, and even licensing and certification programs through employers and state and local agencies.
The congresswoman says that it is our responsibility, as a nation, to provide ways for those who have served and risked their lives in war to sustain themselves and their families when their service is complete.
“The Manufacturing Jobs for Veterans Act will help our nation’s returning heroes find long-term employment, and encourage our manufacturers to tap into one of the most skilled workforces available – America’s Veterans,” Rep. DelBene said.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2013 there were more than 720,000 out of work Veterans. The unemployment rate for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans was consistently near or above 9% for the entire year. Though many can blame a stagnant job market and a suffering economy, the non-Veteran unemployment rate was 7.4% for Americans in the same age range.
Rep. DelBene, like many other Americans, recognizes that Veterans represent a largely untapped resource, ripe with skilled, able-bodied workers, many of whom have training and experience in skills that can translate to civilian jobs.
Currently, there as many as 600,000 vacant jobs in the manufacturing industry, requiring capable workers with proper training and certifications. Many of the nation’s manufacturers have reported difficulties in finding skilled workers to fill their open positions.
The Manufacturing Jobs for Veterans Act would open the door for Veterans to gain the skills and certifications needed to man these open positions, killing two birds with one stone. Veterans with the right skills and mindsets will be granted access to training needed to find employment and provide for their families.
MilitaryConnection.com encourages Veterans to contact their congressman and demand that they are supporting legislation that has their best interests in mind.
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