ROSEN INTRODUCES BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION TO HELP EMPLOY STUDENT VETERANS, FURTHER THEIR CAREERS
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Jacky Rosen (NV-03), a member of the House Armed Services committee, introduced the bipartisan Hire Student Veterans Act with Republican Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-7). The bill would expand the existing Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) to ensure that all student veterans using their GI benefits can take advantage of valuable paid internships or work opportunities while in school. Roughly 56,000 veterans call Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District home.
“After speaking directly to Nevada veterans and community leaders about the challenges veterans face, I’m proud to introduce this legislation that will help our student veterans using their GI Bill benefits find paid internships or jobs while in school,” said Congresswoman Rosen. “This bipartisan plan will help incentivize businesses to hire student veterans, giving them the opportunity to advance their careers while continuing the transition back into civilian life. I will continue to listen to the needs of our veteran community and fight to ensure their voices are heard in Washington.”
“Internships can provide important networking and mentorship opportunities to transitioning veterans that could ultimately lead to first-time employment for many returning service members,” said Congressman Lance (R-NJ).“With a growing number of companies recognizing the valuable leadership and management skills that veterans have to offer, it is important that Congress make this benefit more readily accessible to those soldiers transitioning from active duty to civilian life. I thank my colleague Congresswoman Jacky Rosen, a member of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus with me, for her work on his legislation.”
“We are grateful to Congresswoman Rosen for listening to her constituents at home and taking initiative to advance careers for our student veteran population,” said Ross D. Bryant, Director of the UNLV Military & Veteran Services Center. “This legislation will encourage businesses to invest in a part-time internship program that allows veterans to finish their education, while working to prepare them for success. We look forward to continuing to work with the Congresswoman and her district office in identifying ways to help Nevada’s student veterans transition to civilian life.”
BACKGROUND: Currently, the WOTC is limited in its application to hiring veterans. Employers can only qualify for the credit by hiring veterans who have a service-connected disability or have been unemployed for more than four weeks. There is also a stringent 400-hour per year work requirement. As the law stands, the WOTC does not incentivize employers to hire student vets part-time and does not reflect the reality of today’s job environment in which new college graduates often need work experience in order to obtain even an entry-level career-track job. Congresswoman Rosen’s bill seeks to make three important changes to the Work Opportunity Tax Credit that will incentivize businesses to hire more student veterans, ultimately helping to move their careers forward. The Hire Student Veterans Act will:
- Automatically qualify employers who hire veterans using their GI Bill benefits for WOTC’s 40% tax credit on the first $6,000 of a new employee’s first-year wages.
- Reduce the 400-hour work requirement to 120 hours if a newly-hired employee is a veteran using their GI Bill benefits, allowing a student veteran to work part-time, including in a paid internship during the summer or semester; and
- Directly incentivize employers to hire more student veterans for part-time work and paid internships.