Tester amendment improves job opportunities for vets

$3 million will help veterans get training and fight discrimination

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – America's veterans will receive better job opportunities and workforce training after they leave the military, thanks to an amendment by Senator Jon Tester.

Tester's measure adds $3 million to improve federal veterans' transition programs next year.  It also will improve the U.S. Department of Labor's ability to investigate claims of employment discrimination against military Reserve and National Guard members.

The Senate agreed to add Tester's amendment to the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Bill last night.

The measure does not call for any additional money.  It instead shifts $3 million to veterans' assistance programs from the Department of Labor's proposed salary and expense budget.  The agency was originally given a $15 million increase for salaries and expenses next year.

"This is a small but critically important thing we can do to make sure the folks who risked their lives for our country have all the opportunities and benefits they were promised when they come home," said Tester, a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.  "Making sure troops have the resources they need both in the field and after they return to civilian life is one of my top priorities, and it needs to be a national priority."

Tester added that his amendment will allow the Department of Labor to expand veterans' transition assistance programs as more and more members of the military return to civilian life.  Participation in such programs is up 47% since the Iraq War began.

Tester's legislation will also provide enough funding for the Department of Labor to include homelessness prevention as part of its veterans' transition assistance programs.