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Schneider Introduces Bill for for Veteran Skills Training

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Schneider Introduces Bill for for Veteran Skills Training

DEERFIELD, IL — Sponsoring his first bill since being sworn into office for a second time last month, Congressman Brad Schneider (D, IL-10) has introduced the GI Internship Program Act (HR 758) to offer a new option for veterans to gain job skills as they transition back to civilian life.

Co-sponsored by Schneider and Rep. Ted Yoho (R, FL-3) the bill would let veterans receive their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit via a stipend which would allow them to complete an internship with a qualifying business, rather than using that benefit for college tuition. Under the proposed law, as veterans muster out of service, they would be informed of the new option similar to existing benefits.

“This is a win-win bill that helps both our veterans and small business,” said Schneider, by increasing the supply of in-demand skilled labor and providing veterans with greater long-term job prospects.

“The bill requires the program give special consideration to employers in the manufacturing sector,” Schneider added, the economic sector hardest-hit “by the skills gap between open positions and qualified applicants.”

Even though the same bill failed to pass in 2014, Schneider said he’s pleased by the bill’s bipartisan support and hopes to have support from both sides of the aisle.

“This bill is a common sense piece of legislation,” which “will help facilitate [vets’] transition to civilian life sooner,” said Yoho announcing the bill. His office declined to provide answers to written questions about the bill.

Businesses who participate in the program would need to offer a “reasonable expectation of hiring the participating veterans” after the internship was over, according to the announcement. For the purposes of the Affordable Care Act, during the internship or apprenticeship veterans would be considered employees of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Internships would last between six months and a year although business would technically be able to hire veterans outright any time, and the law would require veterans work a minimum of 35 hours per week.

Here’s Rep. Schneider introducing the bill on the floor of the House on Friday, Jan. 31.


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