U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) and Co-Chairs of the Congressional Veterans Jobs Caucus, U.S. Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), and Tim Walz (D-Minn.), announced the introduction of the United We Stand to Hire Veterans Act on Thursday.
A bipartisan bill, The United We Stand to Hire Veterans Act would streamline and consolidate duplicative government job portals to better connect current and former members of the Armed Services with employment opportunities.
“The best way to honor the hard work and sacrifices our service members make is to ensure that they enter civilian life with a quality job," Denham said. “This bill streamlines the job search process our veterans go through, making it as easy as possible for them to find employment.”
The bill will work to cut through bureaucratic red-tape and make it easier for veterans to find jobs.
Veterans returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq face an unemployment rate that is 3 percent higher than the national average. Today, the Departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs operate duplicative portals aimed at veterans and service members searching for public and private sector jobs. Combined with a wealth of resources provided by the private and nonprofit sectors, the lack of a single government portal to connect employers with veterans makes navigating the hiring process difficult for both the job seeker and organizations looking to hire them. No requirement currently exists for government agencies to consolidate these services.
The United We Stand to Hire Veterans Act would require the consolidation of each federal department’s online employment services into a single portal within one year of enactment. The basic function of the portal would remain the same: to connect veterans and members of the Armed Services with public and private sector employers seeking to hire people with military experience. The portal would also provide other resources to veterans like resume assistance.
Denham served 16 years in the Air Force, and participated in Operations Desert Storm and Enduring Hope.