The Senate today unanimously approved the Helping Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Return to Employment (HIRE) at Home Act, a bipartisan amendment co-authored by Senators Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Mike Johanns (R-NE), which encourages states to consider the training service members receive during active duty when determining eligibility for state licenses and certifications. The amendment was passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act.
"With a high unemployment rate among young veterans, we need to do everything we can to provide our service members with the jobs they deserve," Pryor said. "By eliminating the expensive and time-consuming hurdles service members often face, the HIRE at Home Act will help ensure our returning veterans come home to new job opportunities."
Johanns, a member of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, said, "As many of our military heroes return home to civilian life, it's important that we do all we can to ensure their success. By streamlining Department of Defense training practices and state requirements for similar civilian jobs, this amendment removes roadblocks for veterans using the skills gained in the military as civilians. It's a small way to say "thank you' to our returning service members and I'm glad the Senate approved this common-sense measure."
Pryor and Johanns said the HIRE at Home Act will encourage states to consider the specialized military training and experience service members acquire on active duty as filling all or some of the state certification and licensing requirements. Specifically, the bill will apply to individuals seeking employment as commercial truck drivers, certified nursing assistants or emergency medical technicians.