The HIRE at Home Act, legislation to help veterans get back to work, received a hearing today in the Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity. The bipartisan legislation introduced by Congressmen Tim Walz (D -- MN) and Steve Stivers (R -- OH) will make it easier for returning veterans to find employment when they get home.
"No one who fights for our country overseas should have to fight for a job when they come home," said Walz. "We must do all we can to ensure our veterans are finding careers that give them the opportunity to utilize their skills, support their families, and have passion for their work and this bill will work to do just that."
"With the number of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, we need to make every effort to help our returning troops get back to work right away," Stivers said. "There is no reason if someone can perform a job when serving in a war zone, they can't do the exact same job back home, once they leave the military."
The HIRE at Home Act would streamline the state certification process, making it easier for service members to utilize skills they have acquired in the military to find jobs in their communities. For example, someone who is trained by the military as truck driver or nursing assistant would not have to waste time and money on redundant trainings to do the same job at home. By allowing military training in a comparable field to count toward certification in the private sector, it will help veterans get back to work more quickly, making the transition to civilian life that much easier.
Specifically, the bill would apply when a veteran is seeking State certifications or licenses for a state tested nursing assistant, EMT, certified nursing assistant, registered nurse or commercial truck driver. To encourage states to comply with this change, the bill requires states to take veterans' past training into consideration for certification in order to be eligible to receive certain grants from the federal government.
Eight states have already passed legislation that develop a process to evaluate military training and experience to meet requirements for certain licensing occupations. These states are Washington, Utah, Colorado, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia.