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Inslee’s tax credit for hiring veterans and a Seattle job fair aim to smooth transitions for soldiers

Post by Adam Ashton / The News Tribune on Feb. 13, 2013 at 4:44 pm with No Comments »
February 13, 2013 5:13 pm

Brown at Amazon


Lt. Gen. Robert Brown visited Amazon this week to praise the company’s veterans’ hiring initiatives. Photo by Maj. Johnpaul Arnold.

Army and state leaders this week put a spotlight on programs aimed at hiring more veterans, seeking to build ties between the military and private employers as the Armed Forces enters a period of downsizing.

Gov. Jay Inslee today proposed a tax credit that would go to businesses that hire unemployed veterans.

His proposal says the credit would be up to percent of wages (maxing out at $3,000) for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans or 10 percent of wages (up to $1,500) for veterans of earlier conflicts.

Inslee also is looking to require state agencies to do more business with veteran-owned companies.

On Friday veterans can get a boost in their job hunts by attending a Hire America’s Heroes fair at Century Link Field in Seattle. The nonprofit regularly hosts job fairs to connect veterans with Puget Sound companies.

It starts at 9 a.m., and veterans will be able to connect with career coaches for advice.

Also in Olympia, lawmakers today considered a bill that would give some preferences to veterans when they apply for work in state government and enable service members to claim the credits earlier.

“Our veterans have earned their place in our communities through their unmatched public service. The least we can do is help ensure they carry on with their lives and not have to stand in the unemployment line,” said Rep. Steve O’Ban, R-Lakewood.

Meanwhile, Army leaders in the South Sound also are connecting with companies to encourage the hiring of veterans. Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s Lt. Gen. Robert Brown, for instance, traveled to Seattle to meet with officials at Amazon to pat the tech company on the back for its veterans’ hiring initiative.  The company plans to hire 1,200 veterans a year.

The Army is shrinking from a peak strength of 562,000 active-duty soldiers to about 490,000 by 2020.

“Our soldiers transitioning to civilian life bring exceptional training, values, and leadership experience back to American communities after their military service,” Brown wrote on Facebook after his Amazon visit.

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