Gov. Nathan Deal today signed into law House Bill 188, the Veterans Licensure Bill, during an award ceremony at the Clay National Guard Center in Cobb County. In an effort to facilitate the transition back to the civilian workforce, the legislation will help to expedite the licensure process for select in-demand occupations for Georgia's returning veterans.
"Georgia is a military state, with more than 770,000 veterans living here, but many of our veterans returning from deployment face challenges finding employment," said Deal. "The licensure bill will better serve our returning heroes by ensuring that they move into qualified trade positions more quickly upon their return. Director Tricia Pridemore and her staff at Workforce Development did a tremendous job in their efforts on this legislation, and I commend them for their work on behalf of Georgia's veterans. Georgians also owe a great debt to the Georgia National Guard and Adjutant Gen. Jim Butterworth for the focus the organization has placed on helping veterans find fulfilling employment."
The new law creates a committee that will determine whether or not waivers should be provided for veterans based on their military skills, training and testing for the following licenses: Electrical Contractor Class I, Journeyman Plumber, Conditioned Air Contractor Class I, Residential-Light Commercial Contractor, and Utility Foreman. The committee will also determine whether veterans' spouses will be able to obtain a license in these five areas if they currently hold a license from another state.
By 2020, Georgia expects more than 60,000 vacancies in the five skilled trades named in HB 188, and by 2016, Georgia will see more than 60,000 members of the military leaving active duty for civilian life.
The working group will be comprised of the division director of the Licensing Boards, members of the relevant boards, and members from the Governor's Office of Workforce Development. The legislation does not change requirements for certification, including testing and applying to the board for a license.