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As Veterans Day approaches, U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz introduced legislation this week to help strengthen the economic climate for America’s veterans. Schwartz’s new bill, Hiring Our Veterans Act, increases the availability and size of tax credits for employers hiring veterans who match specific criteria. This legislation builds on the Congresswoman’s earlier successful efforts to bolster employment opportunities for veterans.
“It is our duty to honor the sacrifice our veterans have made for our country,” Schwartz said. “We must continue our commitment to providing veterans with good, stable jobs when they return home so they can support their families and regain their footing in civilian life. These brave men and women bring a set of unique skills and training that will add value to American companies.”As part of the American Jobs Act, President Obama has called on Congress to pass legislation that would accomplish the goals of Schwartz’s bill. Specifically, Schwartz’s bill increases the current maximum tax credit from $4,800 to $9,600 for employers that hire veterans with a service-connected disability who have been unemployed for six months or more. It also creates two new veterans hiring credits. The first provides a $2,400 credit for employers that hire veterans who have been unemployed for at least four weeks. The second is a $5,600 credit for veterans who have been unemployed for at least six months.“Employers need to step up their efforts to hire our unemployed veterans, not only in Philadelphia, but across the country,” said Raymond A. Bates, the Veterans Employment Representative of both the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry and Pennsylvania Careerlink Suburban Station, and also a disabled veteran of the 101st Airborne Division. “I’ve worked with Rep. Schwartz for years on this issue and she has shown tremendous dedication to our nation’s veterans. This legislation will be instrumental in putting our veterans back to work.”“Across the board it is very clear that employers are anxious to hire veterans, and Congresswoman Schwartz’s efforts have been critical in accomplishing that goal,” said Joseph Welsh, CEO of The Collegiate Consortium. “Through a program sponsored by Congresswoman Schwartz, the Consortium has been able to retrain over 500 veterans in the region so they could restart their careers, re-enter our regional workforce and be contributing members of our community and our economy.”“Congresswoman Schwartz’s legislation is another tool to connect eager- to-work veterans with regional employment opportunities,” said Jay Spector, President and CEO of JEVS Human Services. “We are really pleased to be that bridge between those that have served our country and employers who need skilled workers.”As the daughter of a Korean War veteran, Schwartz has taken on a leadership role in Congress working on veteran’s issues. In her first term in Congress, Schwartz introduced legislation to provide tax credits to businesses that hire unemployed veterans. This bill was signed into law in 2007 and later strengthened by President Obama in 2009. Schwartz has introduced the Hiring Our Veterans Act to build on the success of her earlier legislation.