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Governor signs bills giving veterans a leg up in job hunt

Post by Adam Ashton / The News Tribune on April 21, 2011 at 9:20 am |
April 21, 2011 9:20 am

Veterans might have an easier time finding work after they leave the military under a couple of laws Gov. Chris Gregoire signed over the past week.

One signed yesterday allows private employers to establish preferences for applicants with military experience.

“As our veterans return from their duties overseas, it’s important for them to be reintegrated back into our communities. Employment can be a critical vehicle for this transition,” said the bill’s author, Jay Rodne, R-North Bend. “House Bill 1432 simply permits employers to give veterans preference in employment decisions, but it’s not a requirement. This will provide veterans with more employment opportunities and is an appropriate way to honor their service and sacrifices.”

Another signed a week ago requires the state departments of state departments of Licensing and Health to evaluate whether military training should be applied to professional licenses for medical careers, such as nursing, radiologic technicians and emergency medical technicians.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics last year found that veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have a slightly higher unemployment rate than civilians with no military service behind them. Last spring, when the study was completed, 10.2 percent of recent war veterans were unemployed while 9.3 percent of nonveterans were out of work.

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