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Warner, Kaine applaud grant for veterans job training

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congressU.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine today applauded an announcement that Virginia has been awarded $3,444,620 from the U.S. Department of Labor to explore, develop and test strategies to improve the employment of transitioning veterans in the Commonwealth. The award will support efforts to align veterans’ Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) across the Virginia Community College System, develop statewide strategies to identify and connect veterans to occupations in high-growth industries, and perform a comprehensive assessment to identify gaps in services for veterans. The funds will also help to establish a bridge between transitioning military personnel and employers who have veteran-compatible employment opportunities.

Virginia is home to more than 800,000 veterans, one of the highest concentrations in the country,”Warner said. “I was proud to help launch an initiative to connect veterans with employment opportunities in our Northern Virginia technology community late last year, and am glad that this grant will provide further resources to help transition our veterans into the workforce. Hiring veterans is not just good for Virginia: it’s also good for Virginia business.”

“Helping veterans transition from active duty to the civilian workforce has been a key priority of mine since taking office,” said Kaine. “This Department of Labor investment provides critical resources to help link transitioning veterans in Virginia to educational programs and high-growth industries that are looking for employees with their unique skill sets.”

Kaine’s first Senate bill, the Troop Talent Act of 2013, which improves and streamlines the credentialing process by aligning skills acquired in the military with civilian certifications or licenses required for post-service employment, was passed in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2014. Kaine also introduced the Credentialing Improvement for Troop Talent (CREDIT) Act of 2014, legislation to help servicemembers cover credentialing expenses by authorizing the use of military Tuition Assistance (TA) funds to pay for licensing fees, training materials and test fees.  Currently, the TA program provides financial assistance for postsecondary courses and degree programs but does not cover certification and license fees.

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