With nearly 700 veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan out of work in the Rochester / Finger Lakes Region, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today held an important roundtable meeting with veterans and business leaders at Klein Steel Service in Rochester to discuss solutions. Senator Gillibrand, who began work on the Senate Armed Services Committee this month, discussed her plans to provide tax credits for businesses who hire vets, provide more job training for veterans, and establish better methods to prepare troops that are leaving the service for the difficult job market.
"Too many Rochester / Finger Lakes veterans are coming home to a very bad job market and struggling to find work," Senator Gillibrand said. "They fulfilled their duty to our country, and now we have a moral responsibility to provide veterans with a good paying job and real economic opportunity. The work ethic and character of these veterans make them the most productive and successful members of our workforce, but we have to make sure they have all the tools they need to be successful. The members of our military put their lives on the line to keep us safe, yet struggle to find jobs when they come home. We need a comprehensive approach including job training and employment assistance to the men and women returning home, and tax breaks for businesses who hire our veterans."
The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that over 15 percent of veterans who have served post 9/11 are unemployed, which is an increase from 12.6 percent unemployment just one year ago. Estimates based on this data and U.S. Census data show that an estimated nearly 700 Rochester / Finger Lakes veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan are unemployed.