U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill today offered an amendment to the Senate Budget Resolution currently under consideration, aimed at boosting hiring for veterans through certification of job skills obtained while on active service.
McCaskill's proposed amendment would encourage states, which each have their own credentialing and licensing requirements, to adapt their standards to account for the skills and experiences gained by military servicemembers during service in the U.S. military. Military veterans often face roadblocks to quickly entering the civilian workforce following their service, because they have to pursue state licenses for skills for which they were already trained during military service.
"The aim here is to make sure the men and women who've fought for our freedoms have their high-level training and skills recognized in the civilian job market, and the states have a critical role to play," said McCaskill, a member of the Senate Veterans Jobs Caucus and daughter of a World War II veteran. "Once we remove unnecessary licensing roadblocks, we can get more of our veterans back to work quickly because they won't have to grapple with these illogical obstacles."
McCaskill previously passed legislation through Congress that required federal agencies to recognize relevant military training and skills when certifying veterans for private sector skills-allowing veterans to bypass redundant training and quickly transition into the civilian workforce. Many positions within state governments involve lengthy certification requirements, and do not recognize the specific training of military veterans when considering qualifications for hiring these positions-forcing the veterans to spend significant amounts of time and money training skills they have already mastered.
McCaskill was also a leading advocate for the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, which provides tax credits to employers that hire veterans, extends education benefits to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, and takes steps to help veterans translate their military experience into relevant skills sought by civilian employers.
Last year, McCaskill led a Senate hearing to examine progress made by government contractors in the hiring of military veterans. McCaskill also supported and helped pass legislation to ensure that the military training received by the nation's veterans is considered and valued when those veterans seek employment opportunities.