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Ohio


Brown's bill: Translate military experience more easily into civilian jobs
Ohio's Democratic U.S. Sen. Brown wants to make civilian credentials easier to come by
by WKSU's KEVIN NIEDERMIER


Reporter
Kevin Niedermier
 
Former Air Force Col. Robert Schuett talks about his difficult year-long job search after being discharged. Ohio's U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (L) is sponsoring a bill to make it easier to translate military experience into civilian job certifications.
Courtesy of KEVIN NIEDERMIER
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With the unemployment rate for military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan running high nationwide, a new effort is underway to help vets find jobs. A bill in Congress would make it easier for them to earn the credentials they need for many civilian jobs.

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In Ohio, the unemployment rate for returning veterans is 13.9 percent, almost double the state’s overall rate. Many veterans have trouble finding jobs because the skills they’ve learned are hard to translate into the credentials they need in civilian jobs. Ohio’s U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is a sponsor of the bi-partisan “Troop Talent Act.” At a press conference in Cleveland, he says it would encourage the military to do more to help service members prepare for the civilian work world.

“If you’re driving a truck in Kuwait, you should be to get a commercial driver’s license a little more easily, in Cleveland. If you were a medic in Iraq, you should have a leg up on becoming a certified EMT because you’ve seen the worst kind of trauma on the battlefield.
"We need to match that up. That’s what the Troop Talent Act is all about: getting the military to pay more attention to what’s going to happen to these men and women after they leave the service.”

The bill encourages the military to provide active service members with earlier and more frequent information about earning civilian credentials. It also calls on the military to expand a pilot program to match military skills with growing public sector fields. Currently the program only involves aircraft and auto mechanics, health care, truck driving, and supply and logistic positions. Brown’s bill would add information technology.

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