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Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

Bill seeks to expand career transition program for veterans

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U.S. Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced legislation last week to expand upon a career preparation and training program designed to aid service members transitioning to civilian life.

The Onward to Opportunity Act increases the availability of the Onward to Opportunity Program to five additional military installations.

The bill establishes a pilot program to current Transition Assistance Programs; creates a public-private partnership with eligible nonprofit organizations to provide in-depth career counseling, job training, certifications, and job placement services to transitioning service members; provides participants with tailored career preparation skills, advisor-centered industry-specific learning pathways, and job placement services and; establishes in-person and virtual learning options to transitioning service members and their spouses.

“Our veterans deserve to have the opportunity to thrive after leaving the Armed Forces,” Blackburn said. “When our service members begin the transition into civilian life, they often struggle with finding employment and achieving financial stability.”

After answering the call of duty, Gillibrand said that the nation’s service members and families deserve opportunities to succeed and the best resources.

“The Onward to Opportunity Act would help open doors for service members and their spouses when transitioning to civilian life by providing top-notch job training, employment, and educational opportunities at no cost,” Gillibrand, chair of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee, said. “I am especially proud that New York State is stepping up to get the job done, with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families leading the charge to provide supplemental and greatly needed support services to improve the lives of military families around the nation.”