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Public Statements

Introduction of the Hire Veterans Act of 2011

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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* Mr. BILBRAY. Mr. Speaker, as Americans celebrate Veterans' Day this year it is important to take time and reflect on the infinite contributions and sacrifices the men, women, and families of those who have served in our Armed Forces. Our commitment to veterans should not end with their service, we must show our gratitude by offering them every opportunity to experience the American dream that they fought to protect.

* With a veteran unemployment rate of 22 percent nationwide, much more needs to be done to create an environment that helps the private sector hire men and women who have served our country in uniform, more than 250,000 of whom live in San Diego County. That is why I am pleased to introduce the Help Inspire and Retrain our Exceptional (HIRE) Veterans Act of 2011 along with my colleague, Congressman JOHN BARROW of Georgia.

* Over the next two years, as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan begin to wind down, more veterans will find themselves searching for jobs in the civilian workforce. One of the biggest obstacles for unemployed veterans is connecting to employers. The HIRE Veterans Act of 2011 helps overcome this obstacle and provides opportunities to valuable members of our community with the resources they need to transition from the armed services to a civilian workforce. This legislation will authorize grants to be awarded by the Department of Commerce to local Chambers of Commerce to create job training, apprenticeship, and internship programs for local veterans.

* The time to act is now. As part of the record, I am submitting letters of support from the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce and the San Diego North Chamber of Commerce. These letters emphasize the importance of this legislation and describe how local Chambers and businesses can help HIRE veterans.

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