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Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs

Remarks by Secretary Eric K. Shinseki

Statement from Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki on the American Jobs Act
Washington, DC
September 13, 2011

Yesterday, the President sent the American Jobs Act to Congress for consideration. With the American Jobs Act, the President is again demonstrating unwavering support of Veterans and of business by putting forward an aggressive plan that will help create new jobs for Veterans and boost the American economy.

By providing tax credits from $5,600 to $9,600 to encourage businesses to hire unemployed Veterans, the American Jobs Act not only helps put more Veterans back to work, it sends a message that a grateful Nation honors their service and sacrifice. Congress should pass this bill as soon as possible.

As the President said in his address to Congress and the Nation, "We ask these men and women to leave their careers, leave their families, and risk their lives to fight for our country. The last thing they should have to do is fight for a job when they come home." We at VA could not agree more.

Under the President's leadership, VA will continue to prepare the next generation of leaders by administering the new Post-9/11 GI Bill to over 558,000 Veterans and family members. In October, thanks to strong leadership from the President and Congress, VA will expand that GI Bill program to provide vocational training and other non-degree job skills for Veterans -- a tremendous opportunity to create more good-paying jobs for Veterans in a matter of months.

The President also challenged the private sector to hire or train 100,000 unemployed Veterans or their spouses by the end of 2013. We at VA already employ over 100,000 Veterans, about 30 percent of our workforce. Our goal is to up that to 40 percent. VA joins the President in challenging the private sector to join us in this important effort to support Veterans.