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(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, announced the passage of her Veterans’ Employment Act of 2010 out of committee. Senator Murray’s bill is the first comprehensive approach to address skyrocketing unemployment rates among veterans, especially those returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan. The bill includes a number of proposals that improve training, skills translation, education, and small business assistance.

Having passed the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, the bill will now go to the full Senate for consideration.

Read Senator Murray’s statement about the passage below:

“Veterans going from the battlefield to the working world face a unique set of challenges, and we owe them our strong support.” said Senator Murray.The Veterans’ Employment Assistance Act would address these challenges comprehensively by creating new employment programs, expanding existing ones, and assessing how to improve the ones we have now.

“It would set up Veterans Business Centers within the Small Business Administration to help our veterans get the skills and resources to start their own businesses – because one thing we know is that when veterans open their own businesses they hire other veterans.

“It would also expand innovative state programs like the Conservation Corps program in Washington state that provides veterans with access to education and allows them to reconnect with other veterans while improving our land and communities.

“With today’s passage, this critical legislation moves one step closer to providing our veterans with the support they need to break down barriers to employment they face when they return home from duty. And I am going to keep fighting for this legislation as it comes before the full Senate.”