News release from Congressman Marlin Stutzman (R-IN-3rd):
Stutzman Addresses Veteran Unemployment
Field hearing in Fort Wayne looks at private sector opportunities
(October 20, 2011) – Yesterday, Congressman Marlin Stutzman (IN-03), chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, chaired a field hearing on veteran unemployment in Fort Wayne Indiana. Congressman Stutzman called the hearing to further the conversation with Hoosiers about obstacles to veteran employment.
“I am delighted to be back home in Northeast Indiana, a home I share with 48,000 veterans. These men and women have served our country with honor. Unfortunately, they return to face an alarmingly high unemployment rate. A fragile economy and a difficult transition to civilian life don’t make things easy. I’m focused on identifying solutions. I know that veterans’ training and skills add value to the private sector. Today, it’s great to hear from local businesses that have partnered with Hoosier veterans. It’s good for our economy and, most importantly, it’s the right thing to do for our heroes,” said Stutzman.
Witnesses included Mr. Chris Straw of Team Quality Services, retired Lt. Col. Tony Tabler of ITT, Mr. Gregg Norris of BAE Systems, Mr. Mike Landram of the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Mark Dobson of the Warsaw-Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce, Kendallville Mayor Suzanne Handshoe, and representatives of the Indiana Department of Labor, Indiana National Guard, and Indiana Workforce Development.
The House recently passed H.R. 2433, the Veterans’ Opportunity to Work Act. The legislation equips veterans with training benefits, ensures access to a 21st Century Transition Assistance Program (TAP), moves toward a uniform credentialing and licensing standard for servicemembers transitioning to civilian employment, and strengthens the protections under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act for National Guard and Reserve.
“We took an important first step last week in the House when we passed the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act. I’d like to see the Senate pass that legislation and send the bill to the President by Veterans Day,” said Stutzman
After the hearing, Congressman Stutzman hosted an open house for veterans, answering questions and continuing the conversation. Congressman Stutzman invited veterans to seek assistance from his office. “Our door is open,” he said. “If there’s anything we can ever do, let me know.”
Congressman Stutzman represents the 3rd Congressional District of Indiana and serves on the House Committee on Agriculture, the House Committee on the Budget and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity. Indiana’s 3rd District contains all of DeKalb, Kosciusko, Lagrange, Noble, Steuben, and Whitley counties, as well as parts of Allen and Elkhart counties.