The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee approved legislation last week intended to make a dent in veterans’ unemployment.
The $1.5 billion bill, H.R. 2433, would allow 100,000 unemployed veterans aged 35 and older to attend college for up to one year through the Montgomery GI Bill. The bill also calls for improvements in transition assistance, job placement and professional licensing for veterans, reported Air Force Times.
“Through the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act, we will create the most qualified, most skilled veteran workforce since World War II to compete in today’s tough job market,” Committee Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), the legislation’s sponsor, said in a written statement.
The measure differs somewhat from a bill passed by the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee in June — S. 951, the 2011 Hiring Heroes Act — that focuses on hiring unemployed veterans from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both, however, would require personnel to attend the Transition Assistance Program before leaving the military. That program is put on by the Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs departments.
The latest job figures show that nearly 1 million veterans are unemployed, including more than 600,000 veterans from past conflicts.
The House is expected to consider H.R. 2433 later this month.