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Legislation passes U.S. House to provide refurbished government computers to veterans

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They served their country and came home to a digital job market in the United States.

The Computers for Veterans and Students Act, bipartisan legislation led by U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger, passed the U.S. House unanimously July 12 and will provide surplus federal computers to nonprofit computer refurbishers. The refurbishers will repair and distribute the computers to veterans and other Americans in need, including students and seniors.

Additionally, according to a press release, the legislation requires each nonprofit computer refurbisher to provide training programs in using the technology.

“More jobs and hiring processes are moving online. But, for the millions of U.S. households without a computer, this transition means access to fewer opportunities and even more difficulties in getting ahead,” Spanberger said in the press release. “As veterans transition to the civilian workforce and look for new opportunities, a computer can be the difference between landing the job or remaining on the hunt. Today, the U.S. House made major progress toward closing this gap and providing veterans, students and seniors with the tools they need to succeed. Not only would my bipartisan bill give back to those who gave so much to our country, but it would make sure we are focused on cutting government waste, tackling veteran homelessness and bringing more Americans into our workforce.”

Nonprofit organizations such as Tech for Troops, a Virginia-based, veteran-staffed and veteran-operated organization, support the legislation. In 2021, Tech for Troops recycled and refurbished 112,000 pounds of computer equipment, according to a recent S&P Global report.

“As a veteran myself it means so much to be able to help and give back to fellow veterans who need it most,” Mark Casper, President & CEO of Tech For Troops, said in the press release. “I am also personally honored and excited that Rep. Spanberger supports Tech For Troops in our mission.”

The legislation is also supported by the National Association of State Agencies for Surplus Property, which ensures the fair and equitable distribution of federal surplus property. Introduced in July 2020 and again in May 2021, U.S. Reps. Rob Wittman and Elaine Luria of Virginia co-led the legislation with Spanberger.

 

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.

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