Thursday, April 14, 2011

Helping veterans find work

Imagine having spent years in the military as a physical therapist, helping soldiers recover from some of the worst battlefield injuries. If you later retired from the military and decided to become a civilian physical therapist, you'd have to go through a completely new set of state training and licensing requirements. The knowledge and training you gained from working with hundreds or thousands of soldiers wouldn't transfer to the civilian world.

Well that's about to change thanks to a new measure signed into law yesterday. Rep. Christine Rolfes and Sen. Derek Kilmer teamed up this session to help veterans find work more easily by allowing their military training to apply toward state licensing requirements for similar civilian professions. Yesterday the governor signed into law SB 5307, dealing with medical professions. House concurrence is expected soon on HB 1418, concerning a range of other professions, such as notaries public, real estate appraisers, security guards and more.

The result will be a streamlined professional licensing process that saves resources for both veterans and the state by reducing redundant training.

“Our veterans need jobs, and they need them now—not weeks or months from now,” Rolfes said. “Whatever time they spend repeating unnecessary training amounts to lost salary and makes it harder for them to support themselves and their families.”

More information on the bills is available here.