Veterans Job Training Legislation To Be Subject of Hearing

April, 2002


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America's Veterans

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Legislation that would establish a President's National Hire Veterans Committee to furnish employers with information about the training and skills of veterans and disabled veterans is to be the subject of an April 18 hearing in the House Veterans Benefits Subcommittee.

The proposed legislation, dubbed the Jobs for Veterans Act (H.R. 4015), is a bipartisan effort. It is authored by Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson, chairman of the subcommittee, and is co-sponsored by the ranking member on the subcommittee, Democrat Silvestre Reyes, along with House Veterans Committee chairman Chris Smith, like Simpson a Republican, and ranking member Lane Evans, a Democrat.

"The sole purpose of this bill is long-term, sustained employment for America's veterans," Simpson said. "This bill is about providing accountability and incentives for state Job Service programs to secure jobs for veterans."

According to Simpson, the legislation, if enacted into law, would reform an outdated system and enhance current job training programs. The legislation would provide priority to veterans in any job-training program funded in whole or in part by the Department of Labor.

The bill also would require the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment and Training to establish and implement an accountability system to measure the performance of veterans employment and training staff funded through some $200 million in annual staffing grants to the states.

Accountability is a major priority for the bill. States that provide the highest quality of services or have made significant improvements in service will receive greater funding. States will have more flexibility in managing the grants that staff the Disabled Veteran Outreach Program and Local Veterans Employment Representatives Programs.

The bill also would require the Secretary of Labor to establish a one-stop job training and placement service for military personnel and veterans.

The President's National Hire Veterans Committee that the legislation would establish also would facilitate the hiring of veterans and disabled veterans through America's Career Kit National Labor Exchange.