House passes Walz bill to help veterans find jobs
Austin Daily Herald
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Legislation introduced by U.S. Reps. Tim Walz, D-Minn., and Jeff Denham, R-Calif., to make it easier for veterans to find jobs using skills they learned through military training passed the House of Representatives with unanimous bipartisan support.
Walz and Denham introduced the Veteran Skills to Jobs Act in the House earlier this year. The legislation addresses the high rate of veteran unemployment by streamlining the federal certification process and cutting through bureaucratic red tape, making it easier for veterans to use skills they honed in the military to find work at home. Companion legislation was subsequently introduced by Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.
“Our goal as a nation is to provide those who serve with the opportunity to achieve the American Dream,” said Walz. “We must do all we can to ensure our veterans are finding careers that give them the opportunity to utilize their skills, support their families, and have passion for their work … Today’s vote inches us closer towards making this common-sense, job creating legislation the law of the land.”
Rather than have servicemembers go through redundant training for jobs they already qualify for, Walz’s legislation directs the head of each federal department and agency to treat relevant military training as sufficient to satisfy requirements for federal license. Veterans with the relevant training would be able to get back to work immediately.
“With 200,000 servicemen and women transitioning to the civilian workforce each year, we must ensure that they are able to find jobs,” said Denham. “I personally have dealt with this problem as a crew chief in the Air Force. Despite being trained to maintain some of the most complex aircraft in the world, when I left the military I was told I needed to go to school for three years in order to perform that same job in the private sector.”
Walz and Denham have received widespread support and praise for their sponsorship of the Veteran Skills to Jobs Act, from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Legion, and several other Veteran Service Organizations.