WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03), Congressman Paul Cook (CA-08), and Congressman Gil Cisneros (CA-39) introduced H.R. 4941, the bipartisan Veteran Employment Transition (VET) Act, that would help veterans identify employment opportunities to help service members during their transition to civilian life.
“There’s no better way we can thank our returning veterans than by giving them every opportunity for a good paying job,” said Congressman Kim. “That opportunity starts with information. By empowering great organizations like the American Legion and VFW to reach out directly to returning veterans, we can fulfill our promise to those who served. I want to thank Congressman Cook and Congressman Cisneros for their partnership in this effort and look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get this done.”
“Veterans who serve our country honorably shouldn’t struggle to find employment upon returning home,” said Congressman Cook. “This legislation would provide crucial improvements to veterans’ employment outreach programs across the country. It’s important that we do all we can to support organizations that strive every day to support our veterans. I thank Congressman Kim for his leadership on this issue and look forward to working with him to get this bill passed.”
“As a Navy veteran I understand the difficulties our veterans face as they attempt to transition back to civilian life and find work,” said Congressman Cisneros. “Our veterans develop critical technical and leadership skills during the course of their service, and we must do more to help them find opportunities to put those skills to work in our modern economy. I’m proud to join Congressmen Kim and Cook in this bipartisan legislation to empower VSOs to step up outreach on employment opportunities and ensure our veterans have the support they need to successfully transition back into our communities."
The VET Act allows data collected through the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program to be shared with qualified veteran service organizations such as the American Legion, Vietnam Veterans of America and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Sharing this data will empower these organizations to engage in outreach to returning veterans, sharing information employment opportunities and local veteran employment events.
The bill, formally endorsed by the Student Veterans of America and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, would also provide privacy protections for veteran’s information and an option for veterans to opt-out of communication from veteran service organizations.
“The transition from military to civilian life can be one of the most difficult challenges veterans face,” said Ryan Luurtsema, Veteran Coordinator at Ocean County College. “Congressman Kim’s bill will help service members returning to Ocean County with better transition guidance and proper advocacy in getting the information they need to find a secondary career path and increase quality of life for themselves and their family.”
Congressman Kim is a member of the House Committee on Small Business and the House Armed Services Committee. In addition to introducing the VET Act, Congressman Kim has been a vocal proponent for a new veterans’ health care facility in Ocean County, and has introduced bipartisan legislation to protect veterans from VA errors. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, he’s led efforts to strengthen resiliency programs at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, strengthen economic opportunities for military spouses, and require the Department of Defense to the end use of harmful PFAS chemicals.