Governor Robert Bentley on Wednesday signed into law the Heroes for Hire Act, which will help veterans returning from deployment find new jobs or start new businesses.
"When our service men and women were called to defend our freedoms, they didn't ask questions. They simply answered the call to serve," Governor Bentley said. "We must not forget the sacrifices veterans have made, and we encourage employers to remember our veterans as they fill open positions."
The Act provides an additional $1,000 tax credit for job creation to employers who hire recently deployed, and now discharged, unemployed veterans. The Act also creates a $2,000 income tax credit to recently deployed, and now discharged, unemployed veterans who start their own businesses.
"Veterans have a unique set of skills and valuable experience that will benefit the companies that hire them," Governor Bentley said. "Many veterans also have ideas that can help them launch a new business, and we want to give them every opportunity to succeed as they return home from service."
The bill was sponsored by State Representative DuWayne Bridges and State Senator Tom Whatley.
"With wars winding down in Iraq and Afghanistan, thousands of Alabama veterans are returning home to a difficult economy in which it is hard to find a job," Rep. Bridges said. "We need to give returning veterans every advantage we can toward finding employment. Our "Heroes for Hire' bill does that by giving businesses a significant incentive for hiring a veteran who recently returned from war. Those who served on the front lines deserve to go to the front of the line for new jobs."
"We need to do right by our heroes. These men and women put their lives on the line for our country," Senator Whatley said. "This new law not only reaffirms our commitment to supporting our veterans, but also will contribute to Alabama's decreasing unemployment rate."
The Adjutant General of the Alabama National Guard added that the Heroes for Hire bill will benefit the livelihoods of veterans seeking new opportunities upon their return to Alabama.
"It is great to see the Governor and the Alabama Legislature promoting our veterans' employment," Major General Perry Smith said. "The Alabama National Guard has a higher unemployment rate than the state average, so this bill will be a great morale booster. More than that, it could be a life-changer for many Soldiers and Airmen."
The Alabama Career Center System is a valuable resource for veterans searching for a new job. The system has career centers across the state, and connecting veterans with employment is among the system's primary services. The Alabama Career Center System is managed under the authority of the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations and has additional information online at www.joblink.alabama.gov.