WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Rep. Jeff Miller, issued the following statement regarding President Obama's Employing America's Veterans initiative:
"I am delighted that President Obama is willing to join forces with Congress to stem veteran unemployment. One of my top priorities as Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs has been ensuring that America's veterans can find meaningful employment when they return home. Today, almost 1 million veterans find themselves out of work. I am sure all Americans would agree this is unacceptable.
"As the sponsor of the Restoring GI Bill Fairness Act of 2011 that was signed into law this week, we not only provided America's veterans with choice in their higher education goals, but we also took a major step forward in having the most qualified workforce since World War II.
"In May, I made a commitment to challenge America to institute policies and programs that will reduce veteran unemployment to less 5% over the next two years. The first step I have taken toward that goal is the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act of 2011 (H.R. 2433), the VOW Act. I am proud that this bill has garnered the support of dozens of Veterans and Military Service Organizations.
"The VOW Act is comprehensive legislation to help provide America's veterans with the training and skills necessary to compete in the 21st century marketplace. It does this by:
- Extending training benefits to unemployed veterans to teach them new skills for high-demand jobs;
- Making career and transition courses mandatory for servicemembers leaving the military;
- Strengthening re-employment protections for National Guard and Reservists; and
- Improving licensing and credentialing processes for new veterans.
"In addition, in July, I introduced the Tax Credit to Hire Veterans Act of 2011 (H.R. 2443). This bill not only assists America's veterans, but also helps our small businesses, the engine of our economy.
"I call on all Americans to help us in this effort. As Iraq and Afghanistan veterans come home, and as Vietnam, Cold War, and Persian Gulf War veterans can't find, or lose their jobs, our economy is losing some of its best and brightest leaders and workers. This must be our sacred obligation to all who have served."
For more information on the VOW Act, please visit: Veterans.House.Gov/Jobs
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Sean P Eagan
Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans