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Getting our Veterans Back to Work

These men and women have put their lives on the line for you and I and we have a moral responsibility to do everything we can to assist them as they transition back into civilian life.

After nearly a decade of economic decline, Michigan is once again making a comeback. However, many families continue to struggle as moms and dads, husbands and wives, look for work. This is especially the case for our states Veterans.

I was honored to serve in the US Army and still to this day am thankful for the lessons I learned. For me, after I left the military I found a job and was able to move on with my life. Unfortunately for many post 9/11 veterans, the ability to get a job has not come easy.

When I took office as State Representative in March, I wanted to make sure that the legislature looked at the issue of unemployed veterans. These men and women have put their lives on the line for you and I and we have a moral responsibility to do everything we can to assist them as they transition back into civilian life.

For this reason I sponsored House Bill 5590 which streamlines the licensing process for veterans to become licensed as a private security guard. These veterans were trained as military police and worked as security guards and now should have the ability to transfer their skills into the private sector. Similarly, there is additional legislation that streamlines the licensing process for veterans qualified to become electricians and plumbers. 

These veterans received the training necessary to be skilled and qualified individuals in their professions. However, we currently do not recognize the training and qualifications they received in the military and make them continue to jump through hoops, receive training that they've already gone through, thereby pushing back their ability to get a job.

I was thrilled to have the Michigan House pass this legislation quickly and I urge quick passage by the Senate and for the Governor to sign it. These veterans have done so much for our state and country and we owe them the ability to transition successful into civilian life.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Joe Kershaw September 27, 2012 at 01:23 PM
I applaud Representative Joe Graves for taking this method to keep voters informed. Hope to read more from him on a regular basis regarding his thoughts and happenings in Lansing. Since it is possible for bills to contain more than just the intended subject, it would be nice to have links to the complete wording of the bill.
Representative Joe Graves September 28, 2012 at 09:35 PM
You can read entire piece of legislation: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(atjak445o3ey2b45zteulmmz))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=2012-HB-5590 All legislation is available on the Michigan State Legislature's webiste, www.mileg.org

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