Earlier this week, the U.S. House Representatives passed the Improving Job Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2013, with overwhelming bipartisan support. The legislation was introduced by U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) – and supported by Tri-State – in response to his concerns for the growing number of unemployed Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.
“As a Marine Corps combat veteran, I understand the unique experiences and challenges of armed services members returning home from abroad,” Coffman said. “It is imperative that we maximize the opportunities for the thousands of young men and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Tri-State has a long and successful history of employing veterans, as KCNC-TV (Channel 4) reporter Shaun Boyd learned when she visited Knutson Generating Station and interviewed combustion turbine foreman – and U.S. Navy veteran – Rick Grimes. He talked about some of the challenges veterans may face as they transition from active duty into the civilian workforce (watch the video report).
In endorsing the legislation, Tri-State executive vice president and general manager Ken Anderson said, “As an employer of 152 veterans, the Improving Job Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2013 will provide an important tool in the continuation of our efforts to reach out to those men and women who have served their country and place them on a promising career path.”
The act – which is now awaiting Senate approval – will increase the availability of on-the-job- training and apprenticeship programs to help veterans enter the civilian workforce. The legislation builds on existing on-the-job training programs that help veterans learn a trade or skill by participation in an approved apprenticeship or on-the-job training program.
“Companies in my district have told me how beneficial this legislation can be for their operations because they know that veterans are hardworking, team-oriented individuals who are capable of learning the highly technical skills that are prevalent in many industries,” Coffman said.