Brown unveils jobs plan for vets

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen.Sherrod Brown has announced his plan to reduce unemployment among returning Ohio troops.

Currently Ohio’s unemployment rate for Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans is at 13.9 percent, which is nearly double the rate for the rest of the state. Since 2002, the number of veterans who receive unemployment has dramatically gone up, from 44, 810 to 89, 725 according the the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Sen. Brown announced the Troop Talent Act of 2013, a plan to help veterans utilize skills they picked up in the military and translate them to civilian life.

“Veterans who serve their counry in order to protect our freedoms deserve every opportunity to find work when they come home. They are among our most talented civilians, but but are too often unable to get credentialed for the training they’ve received. That is why I support the Troop Talent Act of 2013, which would ensure a clearer and easier path to matching military skills with civilian accreditation. It is the right thing to do for our military men and women and would strengthen our country’s workforce while lowering its unemployment rate,” Brown said.

The legislation would have three key facets to accomplishing Brown’s goals. First, it would improve the translation of military skills to civilian credentials by giving servicemembers more information during their miltary careers.

The Troop Talent Act would also encourage the Department of Defense (DoD) to provide more information to organizations about military training and education.

Second, it would re-establish a committee devoted to the credentialing process within the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Third, the bill would expand the current DoD program for credentials. The DoD already has a pilot program to match up service members skills for jobs like mechanics, health care, supply and logistics, and truck drivers. The Troop Talent Act would include information technology, which is one of the fastest growing fields in the nation.

Brown was a co-sponsor of the VOW to Hire Heroes Law, which supplies job training to veterans between ages 35 and 60, and is currently co-chair of the Senate Air Force Caucus.

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