Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today met with Alliant Energy officials and employees at their Cedar Rapids Operations Center to discuss the company's success hiring returning veterans. Alliant has made a companywide commitment to hiring veterans and has been recognized for their efforts.
Braley said, "The unemployment rate among returning veterans is going down in Iowa because the private and public sectors are coming together to get our warriors back to work. Alliant Energy is a great example of a company with a commitment to hiring veterans, and their efforts have put countless vets back to work. Combined with government incentives for veterans hiring, efforts like those at Alliant have helped bring the veterans unemployment rate in Iowa down.
Braley continued, "It seems to me like politicians in Washington could learn a few lessons about job creation from this model. Creating jobs shouldn't be about partisan politics, it should be about working together to give businesses the incentives and tools they need to get people to work."
Tom Aller, President -- Interstate Power and Light Company, an Alliant Energy company, said, "Alliant Energy is proud to support our veterans and is grateful for their service to our country. Our Congressional leaders' efforts to support our veterans benefit the communities in which our veterans call home. Our veterans' defense of our freedom is the greatest sacrifice one can make for our country. We need to continue to find ways to ensure that their return home and eventually the workforce are seamless."
The Iowa National Guard estimates that the unemployment rate among their service members recently returning from tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan fell from a high of 25 percent in August 2011 to just under 10 percent in May 2012.
According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the May 2012 unemployment rate among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans nationally was 12.7 percent -- compared with 7.8 percent among all veterans and 8.2 percent among the general population.
Braley has worked across party lines to promote polices that help get veterans back to work. In 2011, Braley introduced the Combat Veterans Back to Work Act, a precursor to two bipartisan tax credits ultimately signed into law that provided incentives to businesses that hire veterans. In October 2011, Braley hosted a field hearing in Waterloo focused on the unemployment rate among veterans. And last month, Braley introduced the Veterans Jobs Corps Act, a program to put veterans back to work improving national parks and serving as police officers and firefighters.