Grow Small Business, Boost Manufacturing, Employ Veterans
Cosponsor H.R.758, the GI Internship Program Act
Too many of our veterans returning from active duty still face high unemployment despite their distinct rather than unique leadership abilities and proven skill sets. Yet for many, returning to a classroom environment is not the path to success.
At the same time, small businesses and manufacturers across the country face the reality of our economy’s skills gap and cannot find the qualified workers they need to fill open positions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are currently more than 360,000 unfilled manufacturing jobs. Bringing together these two sides to bridge the skills gap and expand employment opportunities for veterans is a win-win proposition, and the GI Internship Program Act does just that at, importantly, no new cost to the government or businesses.
By expanding the ways veterans can use the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits they have earned, the GI Internship Program Act allows veterans to learn practical skills and gain valuable experience while helping employers find talented workers to fill open positions. Qualified veterans would be able to receive their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit payable as a stipend while taking part in a six-month to one-year internship program with a qualifying employer—with special consideration given to small businesses and the manufacturing sector.
This program would require no new spending from the government since it merely expands the uses for an existing benefit, and unlike other training programs with cost-sharing requirements, the GI Internship Program Act requires no financial outlay from employers. Rather the program requires that employers commit to expand their business and a have reasonable expectation to hire the participating veterans upon completion of the internship.
Providing veterans valuable, transferable work experience and practical skills, and at the same time giving businesses meaningful contributions and talented candidates for open positions is a win-win proposition. The GI Internship Program Act is good for veterans, good for businesses and good for our economy.