As Senate Prepares to Pass First Component of American Jobs Act, Sen. Brown Outlines New Bill that Would Put Veterans Back to Work

Legislation Includes Brown’s Hiring Heroes Act That Would Provide Skills Training for Returning Servicemembers and Ensure a Smooth Transition to Civilian Life

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With unemployment for veterans aged 18-24 nearly 22 percent, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) called for the swift passage of a jobs bill he has introduced that would put veterans back to work. The bill is expected to be the first component of the American Jobs Act passed by Congress with a Senate vote scheduled for today.

“Today, the unemployment rate for young veterans is nearly 22 percent—which is simply unacceptable,” Senator Sherrod Brown said. “Our commitment to our service members shouldn’t end when they return home as skilled, experienced civilians. From leadership experience to technical and scientific skills, veterans are critical to our nation’s economic competitiveness.”

Brown was joined on the call by Nate Davis, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom who served in the U.S. Marine Corps and is currently director of Veterans Affairs at Xavier University.

The VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 would provide tax credits to companies that hire unemployed veterans and includes legislation cosponsored by Brown—the Hiring Heroes Act—that would ensure that all service members transitioning to civilian life receive the job training skills they need to find a job. Following today’s call, Brown released a county-by-county report detailing the number of veterans in Ohio.

KEY PROVISIONS:

•    Tax credit of up to $5,600 for hiring veterans who have been looking for a job for more than six months, as well as a $2,400 credit for veterans who are unemployed for more than 4 weeks, but less than 6 months.

•    Tax credit of up to $9,600 for hiring veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been looking for a job for more than six months.

•    The VOW To Hire Heroes Act makes the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), an interagency workshop coordinated by Departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs, mandatory for servicemembers moving on to civilian life to help them secure 21st Century jobs through resume writing workshops and career counseling.

•    Expands education and training opportunities for older veterans by providing 100,000 unemployed veterans of past eras and wars with up to 1-year of additional Montgomery GI benefits to go towards education or training programs at community colleges or technical schools.   

•    Provides disabled veterans up to 1-year of additional Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Benefits.
•    Allows service members to begin the federal employment process prior to separation in order to facilitate a truly seamless transition from the military to jobs at VA, Homeland Security, or the many other federal agencies in need of our veterans.

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