WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) announced today that he is co-sponsoring legislation to help New Jersey’s veterans get back to work. The “VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011” combines components in the President’s American Jobs Act and additional initiatives to boost employment opportunities for veterans. In New Jersey, unemployment among veterans stands at 12 percent.
“This Veterans Day, let’s truly honor our heroes by doing all we can to expand job opportunities and job training for those men and women in uniform returning home and those already home,” said Menendez. “When they transition to civilian life, they need to know we will be there for them, that businesses are willing to help them start new careers or continue where they left off. That’s why I am proud to co-sponsor the VOW to Hire Heroes Act.”
Specifically, VOW would provide tax credits to incentivize private companies to hire veterans and expand training and transition resources to ensure veterans have the skills they need to access employment opportunities back in their communities.
Menendez believes a grateful nation not only goes to a Veterans’ Day observance or marches in a Memorial Day parade, as we should—a grateful nation shows its gratitude in the health care we provide our veterans, in how we how we take care of their disabilities, and how we take care of their survivors, for those who make the ultimate sacrifice. That’s why he fought for legislation to create a new GI bill that expands educational assistance to those who have served on active duty since 9/11. He also helped pass legislation to increase funding for veterans health care and for a process to deliver timely, predictable funding for the VA health care system, ensuring resources will be there to care for our veterans.
Components Of The VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011
- Unemployed Veterans Tax Credits: New tax credit of up to $5,600 for hiring veterans who have been looking for a job for more than six months, as well as a $2,400 credit for veterans who are unemployed for more than 4 weeks, but less than 6 months.
- Increased Wounded Warriors Tax Credit: Doubles the existing tax credit up to $9,600 (from $4,800) for hiring veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been looking for a job for more than six months.
- Expanding Education & Training: The VOW to Hire Heroes Act provides 100,000 unemployed veterans of past eras and wars with up to 1-year of additional Montgomery GI Bill benefits to qualify for jobs in high-demand sectors, from trucking to technology. It also provides disabled veterans up to 1-year of additional Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Benefits.
- Facilitating Seamless Transition: This bill would allow service members to begin the federal employment process prior to separation in order to facilitate a truly seamless transition from the military to jobs at VA, Homeland Security, or the many other federal agencies in need of our veterans.
- Improving the Transition Assistance Program (TAP): The VOW to Hire Heroes Act will make TAP mandatory for most servicemembers transitioning to civilian status, upgrade career counseling options, and resume writing skills, as well as ensuring the program is tailored for the 21st Century job market.
- · Translating Military Skills and Training: This bill will also require the Department of Labor to take a hard look at what military skills and training should be translatable into the civilian sector, and will work to make it easier to get the licenses and certification our veterans need.
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