U.S. Reps introduce Act to expand help for transitioning vets

Published 11:58 am Thursday, November 11, 2021

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Congress is once again reaching across the aisle in an attempt to help service members more easily transition from military to civilian life.

U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) have introduced the Onward to Opportunity Act, expanding the Onward to Opportunity Program to five additional military installations. This program is the nation’s leader in career preparation and training for our outgoing military.

“Our veterans deserve to have the opportunity to thrive after leaving the Armed Forces,” said Blackburn. “When our service members begin the transition into civilian life, they often struggle with finding employment and achieving financial stability. My bipartisan legislation addresses this issue directly by providing individualized career training programs and job placement services to help them transition to civilian life.”

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Gillibrand, who is the chair for the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee, spoke of the program.

“After answering the call of duty, our service members and their families deserve every opportunity to succeed and the best resources Congress can provide. The Onward to Opportunity Act would help open doors for service members and their spouses when transitioning to civilian life by providing top-notch job training, employment and educational opportunities at no cost. I am especially proud that New York State is stepping up to get the job done, with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families leading the charge to provide supplemental and greatly needed support services to improve the lives of military families around the nation.”

The Onward to Opportunity Act: 

Creates a pilot program to supplement the current Transition Assistance Programs;

Establishes a public-private partnership with eligible nonprofit organizations to provide in-depth career counseling, job training, certifications, and job placement services to transitioning servicemembers;

Offers participants tailored career preparation skills, industry-specific learning pathways guided by an advisor, and job placement services and;

Provides in-person and virtual learning options to transitioning service members and their spouses.