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GILLIBRAND ANNOUNCES NEW PUSH TO EQUIP RETURNING TROOPS WITH JOB TRAINING

July 19, 2011

Washington, D.C. – With 13.3 percent of recent veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan unemployed across New York State as of June 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is making a new push to pass the Hiring Heroes Act of 2011, legislation that would equip all returning U.S. troops with critical job-skills training and ensure more job opportunities for veterans.

The legislation seeks to help create new jobs for returning veterans through increased job training, personal employment assessments and changing federal hiring practices. The legislation would equip all returning U.S. troops with critical job-skills training through the government’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP), which provides job-search techniques and resume and interviewing workshops.

“Too many of our troops who risked their lives protecting our country return home to an alarming rate of joblessness,” Senator Gillibrand said. “We must combat this growing crisis and leverage our talented pool of veterans by providing them with a pathway toward economic success. When our brave men and women return, we need to ensure they are equipped with valuable job skills and open doors to employment opportunities.”

Based on BLS data, an estimate of more than 8,000 recent veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are unemployed across New York State as of June 2011.
• In the Hudson Valley, an estimate of nearly 1,000 recent veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are unemployed.

To combat the rising joblessness among young troops and provide them a roadmap to employment, Senator Gillibrand is pushing for passage of the Hiring Heroes Act of 2011, which would require all departing service members to get job training skills through the government’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP), which provides job-search techniques and resume and interviewing workshops. According to the Department of Defense, up to one-third of service members currently do not participate in the voluntary program, led by the Labor Department in partnership with the Defense Department and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).