Tester establishes Senate Veterans Jobs Caucus

New bipartisan group will work to increase job opportunities for veterans

(U.S. SENATE) – With too many veterans out of work, Senator Jon Tester is forming a new group dedicated to securing more job opportunities for American service members.

Tester is a founding member of the bipartisan Senate Veterans Jobs Caucus, which aims to decrease the unemployment rate among the nation’s veterans. The current jobless rate among post-9/11 veterans remains higher than the national average, and women veterans suffer from one of the country’s highest unemployment rates.

Tester, Montana’s only member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, expects the new group to use many ideas put forth in his VOW to Hire Heroes Act – the only jobs bill to pass Congress last year.

"Veterans made tremendous sacrifices for this country and it's our responsibility to support them when they come home," Tester said. "I expect this group to build on last year's veterans' jobs bill and create good job opportunities that honor the service of our men and women in uniform."  

Senators Joe Manchin (D.-W.Va) and Mark Kirk (R.-Ill.) will join Tester as caucus members. The group will hold monthly events to share information on veterans employment initiatives; monitor veterans employment issues by working with constituents, government and service organizations; and develop initiatives that allow organizations to highlight their hiring of veterans, including displaying the “I Hire Veterans” logo.

Tester’s bipartisan group is supported by American Veterans (AMVETS), the Association of the United States Army, the Association of the United States Navy, and the National Guard Association of the United States.

Tester’s bipartisan VOW to Hire Heroes Act creates job opportunities for veterans by streamlining the transition from military service to civilian work, expanding training opportunities and providing tax incentives for companies that hire veterans. It became law in November.

Tester’s steadfast veterans’ work also focuses on the difficulties faced by Montana’s rural veterans. He most recently secured VA transportation grants to help veterans in extremely rural areas reach VA medical centers.