Congressman Tom Perriello today announced that he has introduced legislation to increase and make permanent veterans’ benefits for on-the-job and apprenticeship training. He also announced the formation of a Veterans Advisory Board comprised of veterans from across the 5th district who will make legislative recommendations to the congressman.Awesome quote by Perriello:
The legislation (H.R. 1098, also known as the VET-WORK bill), would provide 570,000 unemployed veterans and members of the Guard and Reserve more assistance in securing employment in today’s challenging job market. On-the-job training and apprenticeship programs typically lead to full-time, permanent employment at their conclusion.
“Similar to how the GI Bill allows veterans to pursue higher education, this bill will allow veterans to pursue vocational training and trade jobs, a key component of my economic revival plan and a crucial option for veterans re-entering the workforce. With the recent news that the jobless rate for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan wars now stands at 11%, this legislation is needed more urgently than ever,” said Perriello. “Those who fought to serve our country deserve economic opportunity when they return home, whether they want to go to college or learn a trade. I pledge to work with my colleagues from both parties to pass this legislation.”Notably, Tom is fulfilling his campaign promises here (i.e., his economic revival plan), however, with a positive twist. As I understand it, this bill will provide assistance to those veterans who, in terms of vocation, do not view a college degree as an option or a necessity. Not everyone needs to go to college, and people completing vocational training, obviously, provide positive and valuable contributions to our society. America needs welders, nurses, and mechanics. With that principle in mind, this bill provides a parallel option to the GI Bill. Good stuff.