Posted at: 07/16/2012 6:39 PM
Updated at: 07/16/2012 6:45 PM
By: Gordon Severson
Helping Veterans Find Work
(ABC 6 News) -- As thousands of veterans return home from the Middle East they're met with countless roadblocks. Being a veteran himself, Congressman Tim Walz has devoted countless hours to writing laws that will help returning vets find employment.
"These soldiers are well trained. They meet their requirement. They know how to follow orders and they're dependable. What we're trying to do is just make that a little easier," Walz explains.
Taking a deeper look into Veterans Skills to Jobs Act, here's an example of how it would affect someone.
Let's say you're an airplane mechanic in the military. You go through a year and a half of training. You use that training for a few years, some of them overseas.
But when you get back home, and want to fix airplanes outside the military, you have to go through two more years of school learning things you already know. Plus you have to pay thousands of dollars in tuition.
"I understand what some of these vets are going through," Scott Metcalf says.
Metcalf is a veteran who now works with other vets. He served in Iraq in 2005 in the military police. He now helps unemployed veterans find work.
Many are trying to become nurses and EMT's, who are also effected by the bill.
"These people are on the scene they've saved hundreds of lives over there," Metcalf explains.
The only problem is the Veterans Skills to Jobs Act only effects federal certifications. A companion bill focused on state requirements just passed committee.
Workforce officials say it's a great start, but there's still a ways to go.
"I think that's going to spill over eventually into MnSCU and our higher education which will obviously effect our private employers also," Department of Employment Regional Manager Michael Haney says.
Congressman Walz tells me the bill was put on President Obama's desk late last week. He is expected to sign it sometime over the next few days.