House Veterans' Affairs Economic Opportunity Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Jobs for Returning Veterans
Washington, D.C. - On Thursday, the House Veterans' Affairs Economic Opportunity Subcommittee, led by Chairwoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD), held a hearing to learn more about veteran concerns that civilian employers and government agencies do not recognize the value of military experience. The hearing focused on federal programs that have been recently developed with the purpose of assisting veterans in transitioning military training to the civilian workforce.
"Education, training and experience obtained during an individual's military service can help contribute to our nation's skilled workforce," said Chairwoman Herseth Sandlin. "Identifying those at risk for unemployment and assisting those who may have difficulty transitioning to civilian employment is a critical part of fulfilling our promise to our nation's veterans."
Military personnel receive extensive high quality training in a wide range of military occupational specialties. The training, combined with military work experience, contributes significantly to a highly skilled workforce. Transitioning service members often have difficulty getting credit for military acquired knowledge, skills, and abilities that may be transferable into civilian credentials. Service members leaving the military seeking employment may not be able to qualify for positions that require specific certification or licensure. The inability of some transitioning veterans to meet civilian credentialing may preclude some veterans from maximizing the full benefits of their military training and experience.
"Supporting our troops is a mandate - not a slogan," said Bob Filner (D-CA), Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs. "Returning veterans have shown their commitment and dedication to our country and this nation must be united in seeing that every soldier, sailor, airman and marine is welcomed back with all the support this grateful nation can bestow."
"Once they return home, many service members have a difficult time securing employment," said Chairwoman Herseth Sandlin. "The valuable insight provided today will help provide veterans and returning service members with the resources to make the transition back to civilian life and receive the opportunities that they deserve."
Witnesses at the hearing included: Ronald F. Chamrin,, Assistant Director of the Economic Commission at The American Legion, Dennis Cullinan, National Legislative Director for Veterans of Foreign Wars, Rick Weidman, Executive Director of Government Affairs at Vietnam Veterans of America, Leslye A. Arsht, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy at the U.S. Department of Defense, John McWilliam, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Veterans' Employment & Training Services at the U.S. Department of Labor, and Keith M. Wilson, Director of Education Service at the Veterans Benefits Administration of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.