U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp recently announced that she introduced bipartisan legislation that would allow more student veterans in North Dakota and across the country to take advantage of paid internships and part-time work while furthering their educations after their military service.
Many student veterans have difficulty finding educational opportunities, internships, and employment that correspond to skills they’ve gained while serving in the military. According to a 2016 survey, 62.5 percent of student veterans found that their current field of study was not similar to their specialization in the military. And another report found that more than 43 percent of veterans leave their first post-separation job in less than one year.
To increase student veterans’ exposure to suitable careers, Heitkamp’s bipartisan Hire Student Veterans Act would incentivize employers to hire student veterans by expanding a key tax credit. Her legislation would reduce the work hour requirement for businesses hiring student veterans, so that more veterans can be hired on a paid part-time or internship basis while pursuing their education.
Specifically, Heitkamp’s bill would expand the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) for employers, so they are able to use it for the part time work of veterans who are using their education benefits they earned through the Post-911/GI Bill. The legislation would also reduce the WOTC 400-hour work requirement to 120 hours if a newly-hired employee is using their G.I. Bill benefits.
Heitkamp introduced the bill with U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Dan Sullivan (R-AK). The Hire Student Veterans Act is endorsed by the Student Veterans of America and Service-to-School.
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