Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-Westchester/Rockland) today was joined by Rockland County leaders to call for immediate passage by Congress of the Veterans Job Corps initiative, which would create 20,000 jobs for veterans rebuilding and repairing local infrastructure.
"Caring for our returning veterans is a sacred responsibility," said Lowey. "For all that veterans have sacrificed for our nation, ensuring they are able to find steady work that takes advantage of their unique abilities is the least we can do. With average post-9/11 veterans unemployment above 12 percent in 2011, we can and must do better."
"After the Vietnam War, things were rough for veterans upon their return, but there were real jobs for them," said Jerry Donnellan, Director of the Rockland County Veterans Services Agency. "Today, troops who were leading forces in combat just weeks ago are fighting for jobs that do not reflect the skills and leadership they have gained through their service."
President Obama first proposed a Veterans Jobs Corps initiative in his 2012 State of the Union address, a new fund to put 20,000 veterans to work over five years repairing trails, roads, levees and recreational facilities in national parks and other federal, state, and local lands, including right here in Rockland County.
The Veterans Job Corps initiative is one of five items on President Obama's "To-Do List" when Congress reconvenes after Memorial Day.
Also on Tuesday, Lowey met with the Rockland Business Association and urged business owners to consider hiring veterans to fill open positions due to the unique skills and leadership ability they have developed through their service.
"The best way we can honor the service of current former members of the Armed Forces is to ensure they have access to the health, education, and job resources they need when their service is over," said Lowey.