Veterans would be able to apply their military training more readily toward the federally issued licenses needed in certain civilian jobs, under legislation advancing in Congress.
The House on Monday passed the Veterans Skills to Jobs Act, which would require that relevant military training qualifies for the training or certification requirements for occupational licenses issued by the federal government, unless the military training is found to be substantially different from the requirements for the license.
“Rather than forcing veterans to go through redundant training for jobs they are already qualified for, this legislation directs the head of each federal department and agency to treat relevant military training as sufficient to satisfy training or certification requirements for federal license,” sponsoring Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) said during House consideration. “Veterans with the relevant training would be eligible to receive a federal license and get back to work immediately.”
The Senate passed a similar bill last month but another Senate vote will be needed before the plan can be sent to the White House, a spokeswoman for Denham said.
The federal government controls occupational licenses in areas including the aerospace, communications, energy and maritime sectors. States meanwhile control occupational licensing in many fields; on introducing the bill earlier this year, Denham said that several states already require their licensing boards to take into account relevant military training.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and veterans’ organizations support the bill and a recent Pentagon report cited acceptance of military training for civilian credentialing as a strategy for reducing unemployment among veterans.
In a statement released by the White House, President Obama said, “No veteran who fought for our nation overseas should have to fight for a job when they return home. That’s why I’m pleased that Democrats and Republicans in Congress have come together to pass legislation that will make it easier for veterans to put their skills to work . . . we must all continue our efforts to ensure that these talented men and women who would be an asset to any company have every opportunity to succeed after they serve our nation.”
This story has been updated.