As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the veteran unemployment rate across the country has risen exponentially. The combination of job losses, social isolation, and mounting anxiety due to the coronavirus pandemic could hit veterans especially hard in the coming weeks and months.
H.R. 7111 and S. 3899, the Veterans Economic Recovery Act of 2020, is a bipartisan and bicameral bill that would create an education program for unemployed veterans across the country. This legislation would provide 12 months of educational benefits to pursue training in high-demand fields through the Rapid Retraining Program. This new program would mirror current post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits, with both tuition funding and a housing stipend on par with full-time students. The program would be open to 35,000 unemployed veterans who lost their jobs due to the pandemic and are not eligible for any other VA educational program. It would also expand the VET TEC program (Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses for Training Providers) to assist transitioning service members.
DAV supports this legislation in accordance with DAV Resolution Nos. 202 and 313, which call for adequate funding for existing training programs and the adoption of programs that remove barriers and provide adequate employment education.
Please help us support this important legislation by asking your Senators and Representative to cosponsor these bills aimed at reducing the number of unemployed veterans by providing 35,000 veterans with education and employment services.