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McNerney Leads Charge to Reduce Unemployment Among Veterans

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-11) today announced the bipartisan Hiring Heroes Act of 2011, which will help reduce unemployment among veterans. Congressman McNerney co-authored this legislation to help veterans transition from military service to civilian life and find jobs after serving our country.

"Veterans have earned the thanks of a grateful nation when they return home, and employers can benefit from the unique skills, sense of duty, and professionalism veterans possess," said Rep. McNerney. "Unfortunately, recently-returned veterans are experiencing high unemployment rates. The Hiring Heroes Act takes major steps to address this by helping our men and women in uniform obtain good jobs when they come home."

Among other provisions, H.R. 1941, the Hiring Heroes Act:

* Makes sure that every veteran participates in the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) and makes sure the program delivers individualized assistance to each returning veteran. The TAP program provides information to members of the armed forces within 180 days of separation or retirement about the transition from military service to civilian life.

* Encourages federal agencies to hire veterans.

* Provides additional Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) benefits to qualifying veterans. VR&E benefits are provided to veterans with service-connected disabilities for rehabilitation and employment services such as job training and job placement assistance.

* Creates a competitive grant program for nonprofits that help veterans find employment through job training and mentorship initiatives.

* Requires the Department of Labor, the Department of Defense, and the VA to work to reduce and eliminate barriers between military training and civilian licensing requirements for specialized work.

"Taking aggressive steps to help returning veterans find good jobs is the right thing to do and will benefit the economy," said Rep. McNerney. "Employers and veterans alike will benefit from the Hiring Heroes Act, and I look forward to working with a bipartisan group of my colleagues to move this bill forward."

Congressman McNerney co-introduced the Hiring Heroes Act on Monday with Reps. Sanford Bishop (D-GA), Bob Filner (D-CA), C.W. Bill Young (R-FL), Norm Dicks (D-WA). Companion legislation was introduced in the Senate earlier this year.

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