Murkowski Crosses Aisle to Help Vets Hear “You’re Hired”

Senator Is Lead Republican Co-Sponsor of “Hiring Heroes” Legislation

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Lisa Murkowski joined Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) today, in introducing new legislation to address rising unemployment among our nation’s veterans. The Hiring Heroes Act of 2011 is the first of its kind to require broad job skills training for all service members returning home and comes at a time when more than one in four veterans aged 20-24 are unemployed. 

“It is tragic our men and women in uniform come back from combat and find that some federal and private sector employers do not appreciate, or question, how veterans’ skill-sets and commitment translate to the workplace,” said Senator Murkowski. “I am proud to add my name to a bill that gives veterans the skills they need to compete for jobs, an opportunity for a non-competitive appointment to the federal civil service, and enhanced vocational rehabilitation if they need it.  Actions speak louder than words, and I hope this bill empowers our men and women of action with the skills and the support to hear the words: ‘You’re hired.’”

In addition to providing new job skills training to all service members, the bill will also create new direct federal hiring authority so that more service members have jobs waiting for them the day they leave the military, and will improve veteran mentorship programs in the working world.

“For too long we have invested billions of dollars in training our young men and women in uniform with new skills to protect our nation, only to pat them on the back after their service and push them out into the job market alone,” said Senator Murray. “This has cost our nation and our veterans dearly. For the first time, this bill will require that our service members get the training they need to translate the skills they learned in the military into the working world.”

Senator Murkowski joins Senators Begich, Akaka (HI), Baucus (MT), Tester (MT), Coons (DE), Sanders (VT), Rockefeller (WV), Leahy (VT), Brown (MA) and Boxer (CA) as a co-sponsor. The bill has strong support from the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and Disabled American Veterans organization.