People with military training or spouses of active duty military may find it easier to obtain licenses and certifications for jobs thanks to a bill signed by Gov. Phil Bryant today.
Senate Bill 2419 will help qualified military spouses quickly obtain licenses for many professions such as teaching, accounting, cosmetology, engineering and real estate brokerage. Licenses for physicians, nurses, dentists, dieticians and other medical jobs are also included. The bill will also allow individuals with military training to count their experience toward requirements for job licenses, certifications and registrations.
The measure is part of Gov. Bryant's effort to connect veterans and military families with job opportunities in the state. In January, the governor proclaimed 2013 as the Year to Hire Mississippi Heroes, and several employers in the state have signed a pledge to hire veterans. First Lady Deborah Bryant also actively supports Mississippi's military and military families.
"Military personnel and their families are vitally important to Mississippi's communities and economy," Gov. Bryant said. "This measure will help ensure our uniformed men and women can apply their valuable training to new jobs after completing their military service, and it will allow us to better support military families by helping spouses of transferred active duty personnel quickly obtain the work licenses they need."
State licensing boards can grant either a permanent or temporary occupational license to military spouses who hold a license in another state with similar requirements and who are moving to Mississippi due to active duty transfer. Individuals who receive a temporary license can still begin working in the state while applying for permanent credentials.
"Our military personnel are the best-trained in the world and much of that training would apply to special licensure," said Maj. Gen. Augustus Collins, Mississippi's adjutant general. "Most Mississippi employers already know the work ethics and value of our veterans and we appreciate the additional endorsement with this legislation."
The Mississippi Department of Employment Security helped draft the legislation and is working to educate employers on the benefits of hiring individuals with military training.
"Senate Bill 2419 will make it easier for veterans to move from military jobs to similar civilian jobs and for military spouses to find work so that they can provide for their families," said MDES Executive Director, Mark Henry. "MDES can now help employers hire Mississippi Heroes faster, with the knowledge that our veterans have the skills and training necessary for them to succeed."
Gov. Bryant and MDES are also hosting three Pledge to Hire Mississippi Heroes job fairs this year. The first, held March 8 in Jackson, drew more than 500 job seekers. Participating employers estimate making more than 300 hires this year as a result of connections made at the event.
Additional job fairs will be held on April 9 at the Biloxi Civic Center in Biloxi, Miss., and on June 27 at the Itawamba Community College Belden Center in Tupelo, Miss.