The U.S. Senate is poised this week to take up the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, a bill that would help veterans find jobs as they transition back to civilian life.
"I urge the Senate to put politics aside and pass the VOW to Hire Heroes Act so we can help the veterans who so selflessly fought for our country get back to work," said Congresswoman Mazie Hirono. "With more than 6,000 unemployed veterans living in Hawaii, it'd be shameful to turn our backs on them."
The VOW to Hire Heroes Act is a piece of President Obama's American Jobs Act. It offers a $5,600 tax credit for employers who hire veterans who've been out of work for more than six months. Companies hiring a veteran with a service-connected disability who has also been out of work for over six months can receive up to $9,600 in tax credits. In addition, employers hiring a veteran who has been out of work for more than four weeks can receive a $2,400 tax credit.
The bill also includes career counseling and up to one additional year of Montgomery GI benefits for older veterans for job training.
"Last week, we honored many of Hawaii's World War II heroes, some of whom benefited from the GI Bill and went on to become teachers, doctors, lawyers, engineers and business-owners in Hawaii," said Congresswoman Hirono. "We know helping veterans transition back to work is not only the right thing to do, but can create another "greatest generation' of leaders. President Obama's initiatives as well as the VOW to Hire Heroes Act will help us stand up for our veterans."
A range of veterans' organizations from the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Disabled American Veterans have announced their support for these proposals.
In addition, President Obama today announced a series of initiatives designed to help veterans find work. The "veteran gold card" provides Post-9/11 vets with additional services, such as personalized case management and counseling, at the 13 One-Stop Career Centers in Hawaii. Veterans can also utilize two new websites -- the Veterans Job Bank which already features more than 500,000 postings and My Next Move for Veterans -- to help with their job searches. Veterans can find valuable information at the National Resource Directory website.