Today, legislation introduced by Congressman Tim Walz (D-MN) and Steve Stivers (R-OH) that would make it easier for our returning veterans to utilize their skills acquired in the military to find jobs at home passed the Veterans Affairs Committee. The legislation now heads to the House floor.
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.
"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," said Walz. "This bill will work to do just that and today's vote brings us closer to ensuring our veterans who fight so bravely for us overseas, won't have to fight for a job when they get home."
"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."
Specifically, the bill would apply when a veteran is seeking state certifications or licenses, including those for a dental hygienist, radiology technician, EMT, certified nursing assistant, registered nurse, and commercial truck driver.
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.
Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) has introduced companion legislation in the Senate.
The HIRE at Home Act is a continued part of Congressman Walz's efforts to ensure our brave warriors are able to achieve the American Dream; to utilize their skills, provide for their family, and have passion for the work. The HIRE at Home Act complements Walz's Veteran Skills to Jobs Act, which streamlines the certification process for veterans on the federal level.