These men and women have served their country, but they often find it difficult to find work in the country they defended.
Staring at a 22 percent unemployment rate for veterans between the ages of 18 and 24, Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown called for swift passage Thursday of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011. The provision would be a component of the American Jobs Act passed by Congress with a Senate vote Thursday.
“This is a veterans bill, this is a jobs bill and this is an investment in our nation,” Brown said Thursday during a media teleconference. “Our commitment to our servicemembers should not end when they leave the military. They risk their lives to protect this nation and too
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often they return home having to fight each day just looking for work.
“Just as we invest in our service members in times of war, we should bipartisanly do so here in peace,” he said. “Today, the unemployment rate for veterans, ages 20 to 25, is nearly 22 percent — that means more than one in five young veterans cannot find a job to support their family or ease their transition back into civilian life.”
There are 3,925 veterans in Auglaize County and nearly 100,000 in Ohio.
The VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 would provide critical tax credits to companies that hire unemployed veterans, would create the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) to assist servicemembers moving on to civilian life to help them secure 21st Century jobs through resume writing workshops and career counseling and would expand education and training opportunities for older veterans by providing up to 1-year of additional GI benefits to go toward education or training programs at community colleges or technical schools.
The act also would provide a tax credit of up to $9,600 for hiring veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been looking for a job for more than six months.
“We know that veterans have developed so many skills as members of the service and that is why we feel they could be ideally placed to contribute so much to our economy,” Brown said. “That also is why so many provisions of the bill is agreed upon by members of both parties. “
Nate Davis, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom who served in the U.S. Marine Corps and is director of Veterans Affairs at Xavier University, discussed the efforts of a businessman who offered him a job “which was something he didn’t have to do.”
“This type of effort is particularly important and why I believe the tax credit to hire veterans and the Hire Heroes Act is important because it would provide a benefit to those who reach out and do the same thing which is to hire veterans,” Davis said.