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Bipartisan HIRE Vets Act introduced

There are plenty of reasons not to like how Congress conducts itself. Every so often, however, our federal lawmakers try to push through legislation that everyone can support.

Along those lines, U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., and Roy Blunt, R-Mo., members of the Congressional Veterans Jobs Caucus, recently introduced the Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing Veterans Act.

The measure establishes a tiered recognition program within the Department of Labor to award employers based on their contributions to veteran employment. The legislation would help address a 2012 study that showed nearly two-thirds of new veterans said they faced a difficult transition to civilian life. Each year, nearly 200,000 service members transition from active duty to civilian life.

“Over the past couple of years, many American businesses both small and large have joined the effort to hire veterans and are now doing their part in the fight to reduce our veterans’ unemployment rate,” Manchin said.

“This is tremendous news, but while many employers claim to be veteran-friendly, there is no nationally recognized standard for employers to aspire to, or for future veteran employees to seek out. This bill will change that, and it is one more step we can take toward making it easier for our service men and women to find opportunities for good-paying jobs.”

The HIRE Vets Act would recognize qualified employers for meeting certain criteria designed to encourage veteran-friendly businesses.

The criteria include the percentage of new hires who are veterans; the types of training and leadership development opportunities available; other benefits and resources offered, such as tuition assistance.

The recognition would come in the form of a Medallion Certificate, awarded at the platinum and gold levels.

About the Author

Larry Hannappel

Larry spent 16 years with Century Casino’s and was instrumental in the start-up and growth of the company through expansions in Canada, South Africa, the Czech Republic, Poland and on several cruise ships as well as in Colorado. He was most recently the SVP, Principal Finance Officer and COO of North American operations for Century Casinos Inc., a multinational, Nasdaq-traded gaming company. Earlier in his career, Larry worked at the Johns Manville Corp. Larry spent 13 years in various accounting and finance functions in the company’s fiberglass manufacturing division and was key in the start-up of a molding plant in Indiana. Larry and his wife Kathy and three children live in Colorado. He enjoys four-wheeling, motorcycling, golfing, skiing and brewing beer.

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