Today, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (IL-08) and Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) took part in a roundtable at American Legion Post 24 in Alexandria, Virginia to discuss the Troop Talent Act of 2013. The Troop Talent Act of 2013 was introduced by Congresswoman Duckworth in the House of Representatives and Senator Kaine in the Senate. More than 80 representatives from the American Legion, Veterans Service Organizations, and businesses attended the roundtable and discussed the importance of the bipartisan legislation.
The Troop Talent Act of 2013 improves the alignment of specialty skills acquired in the military with civilian certifications or licenses required for post-service employment. The legislation will also enable Military Tuition Assistance (MTA) and the Post 9-11 GI Bill to be used on courses and programs that guarantee a credential or industry certification after successful completion. 66 members of the House of Representatives and 10 members of the Senate have signed on as cosponsors of the legislation. Both Duckworth and Kaine, members of the House and Senate Armed Service Committees, are attempting to move the legislation forward through the National Defense Authorization Act in the coming weeks.
"The unemployment rate for Veterans who have served in the military since 2001 is nearly 10%," said Duckworth. "That number is simply unacceptable. Our Veterans guarantee the quality of their work with their life and civilian employers are in need of that level of dedication and expertise. The Troop Talent Act will enable Veterans to make the transition to the private sector more easily and help our businesses thrive at the same time. Senator Kaine and I look forward to moving this bipartisan legislation forward."
"None of us can feel good if we hear the unemployment stats that our veterans are facing in a tough economy," said Kaine. "As we draw down out of Afghanistan and as more transition from active to veteran life this challenge could compound if we don't tackle it. It's something that we owe to those who serve. It's also good for our country and economy. Military training is an enormous public investment in skills. We should take advantage of those skills and talent that is there among our folks who are transitioning out of active duty for the benefit of our entire society."