By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Today, the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity held a legislative hearing on a veterans’ jobs bill introduced by Rep. Paul Cook (R- Apple Valley). HR 3286, the HIRE Vets Act of is a bipartisan bill that would promote private sector recruiting, hiring, and retaining of men and women who served honorably in the U.S. military through a voluntary and effective program. Specifically, it would create an awards program recognizing the meaningful, verifiable efforts undertaken by employers – both large and small – to hire and retain veterans. The bill is designed to be self-funded and completely voluntary for employers.
Through the U.S. Department of Labor, the HIRE Vets Act would allow businesses to apply to be honored for their commitment to hire and retain veterans. The employer would be able to display “HIRE Vets Medallions” on products and marketing materials, conveying to veterans and the public that their business makes veterans a priority. These medallions would be awarded as part of a four-tiered system – Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum – associated with specific veteran hiring and retention goals each year.
To ensure proper oversight, the Secretary of Labor would be required to provide Congress with annual reports on the success of the program with regard to veteran employment and retention results.
Rep. Cook said, “This bill goes beyond simply recognizing that a business hires veterans. It’s critical that we establish a nationwide gold standard program that creates a strong and consistent brand. The HIRE Vets Act is an opportunity for Americans to see which companies truly live up to the employment promises they make to veterans.”
A member of the House Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.