On Wednesday, March 8, 2012, Representative Denham (CA) introduced the Veterans Skills To Jobs Act, H.R. 4155, to streamline the bureaucratic processes for veterans with relevant training to get jobs when they return home. The unemployment rate for post 9/11 veterans is 17.3%, and the national veteran’s unemployment rate stands at 8.3%. This is unacceptable. Denham’s legislation directs the head of each federal department to treat relevant military training as sufficient to satisfy training or certification requirements for federal license, and get veterans back to work.

Licensure and certification are the two primary types of credentialing. Federally issued occupational licenses cover many areas including the aerospace, communications and maritime sectors. Seven states have passed laws to expedite the licensing of transitioning veterans, including Washington, Virginia and Utah. All of these states’ laws require state licensing boards to take into account relevant military training when issuing licenses. These states determined that the legislation would entail no additional costs.

“Matching qualified veterans with federal licenses which require their expertise is good for veterans, good for the economy and good for the country. The American Legion fully supports enacting the ‘Veteran Skills to Jobs Act,’ and applauds your leadership in addressing this critical issue facing our nation’s veterans and their families,” stated the National Commander of The American Legion. The American Legion’s full letter of support can be found at – http://denham.house.gov/sites/denham.house.gov/files/documents/American%20Legion%20Letter%20of%20Support.pdf.