by Art Gutman Ph.D., Professor, Florida Institute of Technology
In an unusual show of bipartisan support, the Senate voted 95-0 on 11/10/11 to pass the “Vow to Hire Heroes Act” (or simply the “Act”). The Act is designed to help unemployed veterans find work via a two-pronged approach. The first prong involves incentives to employers, including:
- A tax credit of up to $5,600 for hiring veterans who have been looking for a job for more than six months, as well as a $2,400 credit for veterans who are unemployed for more than four weeks, but less than six months; and
- A tax credit of up to $9,600 for hiring veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been looking for a job for more than six months.
The second prong involves assistance to veterans, including:
- The Transition Assistance Program—an interagency workshop coordinated by the departments of Defense, Labor, and Veterans Affairs—mandatory for service members moving on to civilian life to help them secure jobs through resume-writing workshops and career counseling;,
- To expand education and training opportunities for older veterans by providing 100,000 unemployed veterans of past eras and wars with up to one year of additional Montgomery GI benefits to go toward education or training programs at community colleges or technical schools;
- To provide disabled veterans up to one year of additional Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Benefits; and
- To allow service members to begin the federal employment process prior to separation in order to facilitate a seamless transition from the military to jobs at federal agencies.