Monday, November 7, 2011

DAV STAND UP FOR VETERANS: Improving Jobs Outlook for Veterans

The following was received as a DAV Action Alert:

Improving the jobs outlook for veterans remains problematic. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Economic News Release of October 7, 2011, noted the unemployment rate of veterans, generally, was 8.1 percent for 2011 compared to 8.0 for 2010.  Veterans of the current wars (September 2001-present), have an unemployment rate of 11.7 percent for 2011 compared to 10.2 for 2010. Women veterans' employment statistics are worse still with an unemployment rate of 14.7 percent for 2011 compared to 9.2 percent for 2010.

The Administration, working to reverse unemployment trends in the veteran population announced the initiative "We Can't Wait: Supporting Our Veterans." The plan presses specifically for enhanced employment opportunities for medics and corpsmen through a "Call for a Career-Ready Military."

The goal is to help medics use their military training to meet states' licensure and certification requirements for jobs as nurses, physician assistants or other health care jobs once they leave the military. The Administration plan would give priority to nurse training programs that serve veterans through grants awarded to the Health Resources and Services Administration. DAV has long supported definitive action in this area and encourages Congress to support legislation to advance this initiative.

We call for Congressional action to help turn this negative veteran employment trend around by passage of those provisions of the American Jobs Act of 2011, S.1549, introduced by Senator Harry Reid (NV) on September 13, 2011, which impacts veterans' unemployment. The bill, if passed, presses for a Short-Term Unemployed Tax Credit of 40 percent of the first $6,000 of wages (up to $2,400) for employers who hire veterans unemployed at least four weeks, and the Long-Term Unemployed Tax Credit which offers 40 percent of the first $12,000 of wages (up to $4,800) for employers who hire veterans unemployed longer than six months.

There have also been significant veterans' jobs proposals introduced in both the House and Senate that should receive final Congressional action and be sent to the President for his approval:

H.R. 2433, the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act of 2011, introduced by Rep. Jeff Miller (FL), was approved by the House on October 12 and is now awaiting action in the Senate. This legislation would offer college training to unemployed veterans and allow 100,000 unemployed veterans ages 35 through 60 to apply for job training benefits through the Department of Labor.

S. 951, the Hiring Heroes Act of 2011, sponsored by Sen. Patty Murray (WA), was approved by the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee on July 18 and is also awaiting action by the full Senate. This legislation would require all transitioning servicemembers to participate in the Department of Defense Transition Assistance Programs (TAP) and authorize the Department of Veterans Affairs to carry out a demonstration project for the credentialing and licensing of veterans to work in jobs equivalent to their military specialties.

We ask that Congress and the Administration work together and break the gridlock holding back these efforts to help veterans find gainful employment following their honorable military service. 
Please Contact Your Elected Officials Today by clicking on the below link!
Thank you for anticipated cooperation.
Al Labelle
Legislative Director
Disabled American Veterans
Department of Wisconsin

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