Veterans Jobs Bill Passes US House

November 17, 2011, 3:25 PM HST · Updated November 17, 3:27 PM
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By Wendy Osher

Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono discusses issues with Korean War veterans Joe Lopez and Thomas Tanaka during the Pacific American Foundation Roll Call of Honor in Remembrance Ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl. May 29, 2011. Courtesy file photo.

A bill aimed at helping veterans find jobs is one signature away from becoming law.

The US House yesterday passed the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, a bill that offers tax credits of up to $9,600 to employers who hire unemployed veterans.

“There are so many veterans in Hawaii who are eager to transition into civilian jobs and bring so many skills and talents to the table,” said Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii).

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The tax credits for businesses includes:

  • a $2,400 tax credit for employers who hire a veteran who has been out of work for four weeks;
  • a $5,600 tax credit for hiring a veteran who has been out of work for more than six months;
  • and up to $9,600 in tax credits for companies that hire a veteran who has a service-connected disability and also has been out of work for over six months.

In addition to tax credits, the measure strengthens the Transition Assistance Program to help veterans find jobs as they are discharged from military service.

Veterans between the age of 35 and 60, who are ineligible for other education programs, are provided with job training under the bill.  It also creates a fast-track to licensing for veterans to use their military specialty in civilian life.

“This legislation is a win-win,” said Rep. Hirono, “businesses are encouraged to hire great employees and veterans are able to get back to work.”

The US Senate passed the bill on the eve of Veterans’ Day in a 94-1 vote.  The measure now advances to President Obama for his signature.

 

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