(Washington, D.C.) –Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, called for a broad new legislative approach to improve the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill at a hearing of the committee regarding improvements to the bill. Murray heralded the bill as a “big step forward” in offering real incentives to service members and their families, yet addressed concerns that the bill does not extend far enough to meet their educational or workplace needs. Murray pointed out that many disciplined, technically skilled veterans have difficulties finding work, especially as they struggle to have employers understand how the skills they learned in the military will translate to the civilian working world.
“In addition to the difficulties and delays in trying to access their new benefits over the last year, veterans across Washington state have expressed their frustration at not being able to use their Post- 9/11 G.I. Bill benefits for apprenticeship and distance learning education programs,” said Senator Patty Murray. “When it comes to making sure veterans have the ability to thrive in the civilian workplace however, education benefits are just one piece of the larger challenge. Far too often, veterans are faced with difficult transitions and unique challenges as they go from the battlefield to the working world. I believe that these transitions need to be easier and these challenges eliminated, which is why I introduced the Veteran Employment Assistance Act earlier this year to comprehensively address this issue.”
The Veteran Employment Assistance Act (S. 3234) includes a series of proposals to create new employment programs, expand existing ones, and assess how to improve the ones we have now. A provision of the bill placed before the committee today, the Post-9/11 Veterans’ Job Training Act (S. 2769), would expand the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill to allow returning veterans to use their benefits for apprenticeship and worker training programs. This provision would help them acquire the skills they need to find stable, family-wage jobs in their communities.