U.S. Rep. McSally Testifies On Bill to Expand Job Training Opportunities for Veterans
WASHINGTON, DC–U.S. Representative Martha McSally today testified before the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs in support of her bill to increase veterans’ access to skills training programs. Specifically, her legislation, the Veterans’ Entry to Apprenticeship Act, will allow veterans to use the post-9/11 GI Bill benefits they have earned to cover costs of pre-apprenticeship programs that are approved by the Department of Labor and proven to increase the likelihood of gainful employment.
“Having served in the United States Air Force myself for 26 years, I know how difficult it can be to navigate the job search as a private citizen,” Rep. McSally said during the hearing. “Our veterans are seeing daunting rates of underemployment and our national skills-based workforce is shrinking. We must find creative solutions to bolster the resources we already offer our veterans. Expanding job training opportunities for veterans not only makes sense for our veterans but is also a win for businesses.”
View Rep. McSally’s testimony before committee
Although Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that unemployment rates of veterans have decreased overall since 2011, their rate of underemployment is actually increasing. However, businesses and organizations want to hire veterans. According to a 2016 report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Hiring Our Heroes program, veterans were ranked third on employers' list for priority recruitment. Meanwhile, America faces a growing shortage of qualified skills-based and trade-based workers. The Veterans’ Entry to Apprenticeship Act would address this disconnect by empowering veterans to learn about new careers, acquire new, trade-based skills, qualify to meet minimum standards for other federal apprenticeship programs, and get a leg-up on apprenticeship applications.
The bipartisan bill now has 13 cosponsors and awaits further action by the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.