Wednesday, May 18, 2016

BILLS CO-SPONSORED BY ADDABBO TO HELP VETERANS FIND EMPLOYMENT APPROVED BY SENATE VETERANS COMMITTEE



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Howard Beach, NY (May 17, 2016) Acting upon recommendations developed from a recent State Senate roundtable on veterans’ employment held in Albany, Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. recently joined with his colleagues on the Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs in approving three pieces of legislation designed to improve job opportunities for former servicemen and women in New York. 

Addabbo, who serves as the ranking member of the Veterans Committee, was a sponsor of the employment roundtable and is a co-sponsor of the three bills that were introduced as result of the wide-ranging discussion with veterans, state agencies, educational institutions, businesses and others on February 24 in the State Capitol.

“Through the information we shared with one another at the roundtable, we were able to come up with some ideas to improve employment options and outreach for veterans, stay better informed of job trends affecting former military members and make sure that programs to help disabled veterans gain public sector work opportunities are fully realized,” said Addabbo.  “While the employment picture for veterans who have finished their tours of duty has been improving in recent years, we can still do better.”

Addabbo noted that it was good news when the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this past November that unemployment among all veterans in the nation reached a record seven-year low in October of 2015. The jobless rate for all veterans fell to 3.9 percent, a significant drop from the 6.9 percent rate just two years earlier, and represents the lowest rate of unemployment among veterans since April 2008.

“It’s important to remember, however, that the record and welcome low of 3.9 percent unemployment for all veterans in the United States still means that about 422,000 former members of the armed forces are still looking for jobs,” Addabbo pointed out. “It’s also important to remember that in 2014 the unemployment rate among all veterans in New York State was 5.8 percent, and as high as 8.1 percent among post-9/11 veterans. Improving the lives of our Empire State veterans is where our focus needs to be and where it is today.”

The three bills recommended for introduction following the February roundtable are:

S. 7130 – This legislation would establish a specific Veteran Career Assistance Program within the State University of New York (SUNY) and City University of New York (CUNY) systems to help veterans translate their military experiences and skills into civilian resumes. The program would also provide employment placement services for veterans similar to the job outreach assistance already available to students in the SUNY and CUNY systems.   

S.7127 – This bill would establish a state Task Force on Veteran Employment Opportunities made up of representatives from relevant state agencies, higher education, business and other interests, with six members also appointed by the State Senate and Assembly. The unpaid panel would be charged with holding at least two public hearings each year and reporting back to the State Legislature on ways to improve job opportunities for veterans in New York.

S.7126 – This proposal would strengthen New York’s Civil Service 55-C program to make sure it is fully utilized in providing state employment opportunities for disabled veterans. The program allows up to 500 state agency positions to be set aside for former servicemen and women with disabilities, but only 99 job posts had been made available as of February 2015. This proposal seeks to address high joblessness rates among disabled veterans.

Two of the bills are awaiting a vote by the full Senate, while another is under review by the Senate Finance Committee. In the Assembly, the proposals are under consideration by the Higher Education and Governmental Employees committees.

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Kelsey Mancini
Press Secretary/Special Events Coordinator
Office of State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr.
159-53 102nd Street
Howard Beach, NY 11414
(P) 718-738-1111
(F) 718-322-5760

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