Congressman Brian Higgins, D-NY-26, recently spoke on the Floor of the House of Representatives to urge his colleagues to make a strong commitment to veterans' employment.
Higgins cited the high 22 percent unemployment rate for young veterans and encouraged support for programs such as "Helmets to Hardhats," which offer veterans job training and employment in the construction trade.
Higgins also encouraged support for his legislation, H.R. 2169, the Veterans Education Flexibility Act, which would eliminate the deadlines for veterans to use the educational benefits they have earned.
The text of Higgins' remarks is below:
"This week, the House will consider a number of bills to honor and support our veterans.
"These are good bills, but they are not enough. A good and generous nation would also make sure a strong commitment is made to helping to our veterans find work when they return home.
"Mr. Speaker, the current unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans is 10 percent - and among young veterans between the ages of 18 and 24, it is 22 percent. This is unacceptable. We owe it to our veterans to support programs like the not-for-profit 'Helmets to Hardhats,' which partners with the Department of Defense, American businesses, and organized labor to help returning veterans prepare for work in the construction trades.
"We must also be sure that veterans have the ability to get the educational benefits that they've earned without be constrained by a deadline, as my legislation, the Veterans Education Flexibility Act, would do.
"Along with a commitment to nation build right here at home, we can create good American jobs that can't be outsourced and give back to those who have served their nation."