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Lack official certification limits options of qualified vets

A consistent theme among veteran unemployment is that veterans are unable to transfer their skills and training to civilian jobs. Veterans are routinely forced to use their GI Bill education benefits to pay for duplicative training or education, money that could be better spent on obtaining a higher education.

The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America released a survey of its members, which identified several troubling areas. First, over three-fourths of health care and technical positions require certifications. This bars many of the technical and medical veterans trained in the military. Moreover, that many of the civilian agencies do not recognize military training and education for their certification purposes. This increases unemployment among veterans and impedes their ability to transition to civilian life.

A six-state study and initiative undertaken by the Department of Labor sought to address this problem. The DOL worked with those state governments to identify problem areas and possible solutions. The survey was fairly predictable in its findings. It confirmed that civilian licensing boards do not recognize military experience or training for certifications. These boards often require veterans to engage in repeat training and administrative rules confound veterans who try to transfer their skills.

These six states all report progress on permitted reciprocity and certification examinations as quick methods for veterans to get their professional licenses. It is hoped that these solutions can be applied throughout the country.

If you believe that you and your co-workers rights are being routinely violated by your employer then you may want to speak to an attorney. While the labor market is generally free to hire and fire whomever it wishes, it cannot do it for any reason that it wants. For example, you cannot be fired based upon your ethnicity or in response to a complaint. Sometimes only you can stand up for your rights, an attorney can help you enforce them.

Source: Department of Labor, "Getting Veterans the Credentials They've Earned," Mike Michaud, June 3, 2016

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