AMVETS Applauds President Obama for Signing VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011
First Jobs Bill of the Year Provides Tax Credits for Hiring Veterans and Strengthens Vets’ Benefits
Washington, D.C., Nov. 21, 2011 -- AMVETS National Commander Gary L. Fry applauded President Obama for signing into law the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 in a ceremony today at the White House. In a rare act of bipartisan cooperation, Congress came together last week by an overwhelming majority to pass the first major employment legislation of the year aimed at getting veterans back to work.
This legislation could not come at a better time, with veterans of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom facing a staggering 12.1 percent unemployment rate, significantly higher than the national 9 percent rate of unemployment reported in October by the Department of Labor. Younger veterans fare even worse, as DoL's current population survey of veterans ages 18-24 showed an October unemployment rate of 30.4 percent.
“AMVETS is encouraged by this remarkable show of bipartisanship by Congress and the Obama Administration,” said Fry. “This demonstrates the resolve of our elected officials to join the overwhelming majority of grateful Americans who proudly stand behind our 1 percent who have shouldered 100 percent of the burden in the Global War on Terrorism. AMVETS will continue to press Congress and the Obama Administration to ensure we provide for the needs of our heroes.”
Highlights of the AMVETS-supported bill include expanding education and training programs, improving reemployment rights for Guard and Reservists, strengthening Transition Assistance Programs, and providing disabled veterans up to 1-year of additional vocational rehabilitation and employment benefits. The VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 also provides tax credits ranging from $2,400 for employers who hire veterans who have been unemployed at least 4 weeks, up to $9,600 for hiring veterans who have service-connected disabilities and have been unemployed for longer than 6 months.
“Employers who hire our veterans are getting the best America has to offer,” said Fry. Employers benefit, our veterans benefit, the economy benefits, and the nation as a whole benefits. Now, we have an additional incentive for industry to do the right thing and provide opportunities for our vetterans as they make the transition to their new civilian lives.”
For more information about the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, visit veterans.house.gov/vow.
A leader since 1944 in preserving the freedoms secured by America’s armed forces, AMVETS provides support for veterans and the active military in procuring their earned entitlements, as well as community service and legislative reform that enhances the quality of life for this nation’s citizens and veterans alike. AMVETS is one of the largest congressionally-chartered veterans’ service organizations in the United States, and includes members from each branch of the military, including the National Guard and Reserves. For more information, visit www.amvets.org.