Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Passage of S.3624 Represents One Step in the Right Direction

Earlier this week the House of Representatives passed S. 3624, Military Commercial Driver's License Act of 2012 by unanimous consent agreement. This was possible because the House of Representatives is currently in pro-forma session. House Leadership (including Whip Hoyer) agreed that this bill would gain the support of the members so an agreement was made to expedite the bill. The bill essentially allows active duty military, military reserves, National Guard, active duty United States Coast Guard, or Coast Guard Auxiliary service members to earn their commercial driver’s licenses in states where they are stationed.  With jobs widely available in the trucking industry, and Reserve unemployment rates nearly 3 times higher than the general population this bill removes unnecessary roadblocks and allows qualified service members to utilize their military experience to quickly gain civilian employment. Passage also represents progress in ROA's continuing efforts to expand USERRA protections for employees who require regularly-scheduled, mandatory continuing education and licensing/certification. Below is a sampling of ROA testimony towards this goal:

“There is an ongoing challenge on how to convert military skill sets into credited experience that would be recognized by civilian employers and provide longevity credit during a licensing or credentialing process. Cross-licensing/credentialing would ease the burden of having to acquire new licenses/credentials in the private sector after having gained experience to perform such duties during military service.”  Written Testimony submitted on June 2, 20121 to House Veterans Affairs Committee (HVAC) Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity (EO)

“H.R.4115, the HIRE at HOME Act, codifies the need to credit any such military training as one of the program functions of the assistant Secretary of labor for Veterans’ Employment and Training.  ROA and REA encourage the implementation of any means that would credit veteran employees’ experience gained through their military service.” Oral testimony by MGen Davis, June 21, 2012

Also cross-licensing/credentialing would ease the burden of having to acquire new licenses/credentials in the private sector after having gained them during their military service, and vice versa.” Written Testimony Feb 2, 2012 to HVAC Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, and June 1, 2011 before the HVAC.

“ROA encourages Congress to look at enacting Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) protections for employers who require regularly  scheduled mandatory continuing education and licensing/certification and to make necessary changes to USERRA to strengthen employment and reemployment protections.” Written Testimony to HVAC Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity. July 7, 2011

“ROA encourages the implementation of certifications or a form that would inform employers of skills potential veteran and service member employees gained through their military service.” Written Testimony, May 26, 2010 to the HVAC committee.

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