Rep. Gabbard Introduces HIRE Vets Act

July 29, 2015, 11:25 AM HST · Updated July 29, 11:26 AM
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Tulsi Gabbard. Courtesy photo.

Tulsi Gabbard. Courtesy photo.

By Maui Now Staff

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D, 2nd District) and Rep. Paul Cook (R, CA-8th District) introduced the HIRE Vets Act of 2015 (H.R. 3286).

This bipartisan bill would promote a voluntary and efficient program of private sector recruiting, hiring and retaining of veterans who served honorably in the US military.

Specifically, the bill would create an awards program recognizing the “meaningful, verifiable efforts undertaken by employers—both large and small—to hire and retain veterans.”

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Reps. Cook and Gabbard designed the program to be self-funded.

Through the US Department of Labor, the HIRE Vets Act would allow businesses to display “HIRE Vets Medallions” on products and marketing materials. These medallions would be awarded as part of a four-tiered system—Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum—associated with specific hiring and retention goals each year.

The program would also establish similar tiered awards for small and mid-sized businesses with less than 500 employees. To ensure proper oversight, the Secretary of Labor would be required to provide Congress with annual reports on the success of the program with regard to veteran employment and retention results.

“Through their service, veterans develop unique skills, experience and leadership that make them especially valuable to employers,” said Rep. Gabbard. “There are many obstacles veterans face as they transition from military to civilian life, but finding a job should not be one of them. Our legislation will both incentivize employers to hire veterans, and recognize employers that provide a supportive work environment to retain veteran employees.”

“The HIRE Vets Act is an opportunity for Americans to see which companies truly live up to the employment promises they make to veterans,” said Rep. Paul Cook. “Veterans who serve this country honorably shouldn’t struggle to find employment, and this bill creates an innovative system to encourage and recognize employers who make veterans a priority in their hiring practices.”

Rep. Gabbard is a twice-deployed combat veteran and member of the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees. She continues to serve as a Military Police Captain in the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard.

A member of the House Natural Resources, Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees, Rep. Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a colonel in the US Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.

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