Today, the HIRE at Home Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Representatives Tim Walz (D-MN) and Steve Stivers (R-OH), passed the U.S. House of Representatives. The HIRE at Home Act works to streamline the state certification process making it easier for veterans to use skills acquired in the military to find jobs in their communities.
The Walz-Stivers legislation was included in H.R. 4057, the Improving Transparency of Education Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2012, which passed unanimously this afternoon.
"As more and more of our brave warriors return home, more and more of them will be looking for work. It is our duty as a grateful nation to make certain veterans are finding good paying jobs they can support their families with and be proud of," said Walz. "The HIRE at Home Act is simply a part of that effort and will make it easier for our veterans to utilize skills acquired in the military for jobs at home. It makes no sense to force a battlefield medic to spend time and money taking redundant trainings to work as an EMT at home. I am proud this bipartisan bill passed the House of Representatives today. The Senate should take immediate action to make this commonsense bill law of the land."
Specifically, the bill would apply when a veteran is seeking state certifications or licenses for a state tested nursing assistant, EMT, certified nursing assistant, registered nurse or commercial truck driver. To encourage states to comply with this change, the bill requires states to take veterans' past training into consideration for certification in order to be eligible to receive certain grants from the federal government.
"I am proud the HIRE at Home Act has passed the House today and I call on the Senate to take action on this important bill immediately," Stivers said. "With the number of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, we need to make every effort to help our returning troops get back to work right away."
By allowing military training in a comparable field to count toward state certification, the HIRE at Home Act will help get veterans back to work and, thus, reintegrated into their lives in a healthy, safe, and efficient manner.
Eight states have already passed legislation that develop a process to evaluate military training and experience to meet requirements for certain licensing occupations. These states are Washington, Utah, Colorado, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia.
Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) has introduced companion legislation in the Senate.
"Many veterans have already demonstrated proficiency through military training and experience, and they have done so while performing in a war zone. This legislation simply encourages states to consider our service members' experience, allowing them to skip expensive and time-consuming classes or hurdles to employment," Pryor said. "I'm pleased the House of Representatives has passed this bipartisan bill, and I'm hopeful the Senate will do the same to help get our young veterans working."
The HIRE at Home Act is a continued part of Congressman Walz's efforts to ensure our brave warriors are able to achieve the American Dream; to utilize their skills, provide for their family, and have passion for the work. The HIRE at Home Act complements Walz's Veteran Skills to Jobs Act, which streamlines the certification process for veterans on the federal level and was signed by the President in late July.