Sherrill visits Fairleigh Dickinson, introduces bills to help veterans find jobs

FLORHAM PARK – Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, D-11, joined academic leaders, statewide advocates and organizations, and elected officials at Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) to introduce two bills which she said will help veterans find professional and education opportunities Thursday, Jan. 25.

The first bill, the “Service Members Apprenticeship Act,” would expand the number of high-quality registered apprenticeship programs available to service members as they transition out of the armed forces, Sherrill said.

The bill would also require the Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Labor to work together to identify employers who can expand their already existing apprenticeship program into the DOD’s SkillBridge Program which provides civilian internships to service members in their last 108 days of service, Sherrill said.

The second bill, the “College Opportunities for Service Members Act,” will encourage colleges and universities to follow FDU’s lead in creating Centers for Military and Veterans Education, Sherrill said.

This, she said, would help colleges and universities engage with service members and support their workforce training in the SkillBridge Program.

Sherrill said she hears from business owners across the state about workforce shortages they are facing. She also said she hears from labor union members about the need for expanded, quality apprenticeship programs that help match employers to skilled workers.

“As anyone who served knows, you have to get a lot of qualifications in the military,” said Sherrill, a Navy veteran. “You go through an incredible amount of training in our military. And then when you get out, all of that is not always easily transferable to a civilian understanding of this skill set. So this can, this skills bridge can really help bridge that gap.”

Sherrill also said many veterans and service members know that when they get the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) Training to transition to civilian life, they’re paying almost no attention because they’re thinking about how to pack up, where they are going to live and how they are going to get a job.

“Again, everyone who is a veteran knows of the predatory groups out there that try to take advantage of the G.I. Bills,” Sherrill said.

“This really helps veterans make good choices in education so that they can begin a career where they’re earning benefits and earning a good paycheck. I know the transition from active duty to civilian life isn’t an easy one. But high-quality education and job training opportunities can help make that switch easier while also building the workforce that will carry the Garden State through the 21st Century.”

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