Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (CA-45), a longtime supporter of American veterans, today voted for legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives which will provide U.S. veterans with training and employment services to help them better qualify for jobs after they return from their service.
"We have an obligation as a nation to assist the men and women who serve in our Armed Forces in successfully transitioning back into civilian life," Congresswoman Bono Mack said, "and this is an obligation that I take very seriously. This is one way we can help those who have bravely defended our nation's freedoms. This help is more important now than ever, with our economy struggling and after a decade of fighting terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq."
Among other things, the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act of 2011 (HR 2433) will:
* Expand Education & Training: The VOW Act temporarily provides 100,000 unemployed veterans of past eras and wars with up to one year of Montgomery GI Bill benefits to qualify for jobs in high-demand sectors, from trucking to technology.
* Improve the Transition Assistance Program (TAP): The VOW Act will make TAP mandatory for most service members transitioning to civilian status, upgrading career counseling options, and resume writing skills, as well as ensuring the program is tailored for the 21st Century job market.
* Simplify Licensing & Certification: Working with governors and the states, the VOW Act will break down the barriers for transitioning service members to find meaningful employment in their military occupation (e.g., combat medics and aircraft technicians).
* Protect Our National Guard & Reserve: Fourteen percent of our National Guard and Reserve are currently unemployed. The VOW Act will strengthen the protections provided by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployments Rights Act (USERRA) to clarify that hostile work environments violate the employment rights of our citizen soldiers.