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Issue Background: While service members are on active duty, opportunities to formally receive certificates and licenses for civilian employment are limited.  With the unfortunate high unemployment rate of returning veterans, 7.7% amongst the entire veteran community and a shocking 12.1% amongst Iraq and Afghanistan veterans alone, it is as important as ever to enable our veterans to utilize the skills and experiences they received while on active duty in the civilian workforce.

Action Required: Contact your Representatives and Senators and urge them to consider and cosponsor H.R. 4115 and S. 3235, the Helping Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Return to Employment (HIRE) at Home act.  These bipartisan bills were introduced by Representative Steve Stivers (R-OH-15) and Representative Tim Walz (D-MN-01) in the House on 29 February 2012 and Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE) on 24 May 2012. The bills would amend title 38, United States Code, to require, as a condition on the receipt by a State of certain funds for veterans employment and training that the State ensures that training received by a veteran while on active duty is taken into consideration in granting certain State certifications or licenses.

Details (To Be Put Into Letter):
Many service members receive the exact same training as their civilian counterparts, during their rating/Military Occupational Specialty (M.O.S.) specific schooling.  Currently, the majority of service members who hold the precise training needed for certain employment must still go through identical civilian training to be licensed or certified by a state.  This redundancy in job skills training and qualification assessments not only hinders a veterans ability to gain employment, but often serves to compound the issue by requiring a veterans to retrain for extended periods of time, sometimes paying out of their own pockets to do so.

H.R. 4115 and S. 3235 would ensure that states consider the specialized military training and experiences gained by veterans while on active duty as filling all or some of the state certification and licensing requirements.  The legislation can specifically apply to such individuals seeking employment as a commercial truck driver, certified nursing assistant or emergency medical technician.Furthermore, the legislation requires states to share vital information regarding the criteria and evaluation process to the Secretary of Defense to improve training for military occupational specialties so that veterans can receive certifications or licenses when they return to the civilian workforce. These bills are important in helping veterans obtain certifications which will ease their transition from military to civilian life while lowering the high veteran unemployment rate.

Take Action: Use the “Contact Congress” feature to immediately email and/or write to your Senators and Representatives. Use the ‘Details’ section as a sample letter for our “Contact Congress” feature.

You can e-mail the ‘Details’ section or edit as you desire. This is the quickest and most effective method of expressing your views to Congress. Also, contact friends and family and urge them to use Contact Congress as well. Please direct any questions concerning this issue to our Director of Legislation, Anthony Wallis, at 703-548-5800 or at

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