Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Chino) released the following statement after introducing H.R. 1251, the Veteran Excellence through Education Act of 2013, her first bill as a member of Congress on the tenth anniversary of the onset of the Iraq war:
"As our men and women return from serving in the military, many will have to make decisions regarding their career paths much often requiring additional training and education," said Congresswoman Gloria Negrete McLeod. "Acquiring an education can equate to a better paying job and may make the difference in employment prospects during tough economic times."
A recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report described the unemployment rate among younger veterans continues to outpace the share of out-of-work civilians with nearly one in 10 ex-service members from the Iraq and Afghanistan eras looking for jobs. Younger male veterans have a higher collective unemployment rate of 9 percent in February. Whereas younger female veterans saw a higher unemployment rate of 11.6 percent the same month. In raw numbers, 203,000 post-9/11 veterans or about 9.4 percent were unemployed in February.
"While there are a number of schools that provide targeted comprehensive services for veterans, there are still many colleges, specifically campuses that serve a diverse, underrepresented student population, that struggle to provide such services," explained Congresswoman Negrete McLeod. "In remembrance of the tenth anniversary of the Iraq war, I have introduced my first bill as a member of Congress called the Veteran Excellence through (VET) Education Act which creates a competitive grant program aimed at helping these schools provide academic and related support services for all enrolled veterans, many of which served in Iraq or Afghanistan."
Such colleges and universities in or around Congresswoman Negrete McLeod's constituency that would benefit from this bill include: Cal State San Bernardino, Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State Fullerton, University of La Verne, Loma Linda University, and UC Riverside.
This bill would also:
Support the establishment of Centers for Veteran Student Success on campuses to provide a single point of contact to coordinate support services for veteran students
Provide personal, academic, and career counseling services
Provide assistance with special admissions and transfer of credit from previous postsecondary education or work experience
Assist in obtaining student financial aid
Provide housing support for veteran students living on campus or commuting veteran students
Coordinate academic advising and admissions counseling with military bases and national guard units in the area