Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) introduced legislation to help ensure that veterans have quality, well-paying job opportunities. The bill, Veterans to Work Pilot Program Act of 2009, will expand job opportunities by creating a 5-year pilot program to enroll military veterans in apprenticeship programs and employ them on military construction projects.

“We should be doing everything possible to ensure that the brave men and women who serve our country come home to good, family-wage, quality job opportunities when they return from their assignments abroad,” said Congressman Adam Smith. “By calling upon the Department of Defense to explore the utilization of veteran apprentices in military construction projects, we are working to find innovative ways to help our veterans secure employment and ease the transition into civilian life.”

The legislation would specifically require the Secretary of Defense to designate at least twenty military construction projects per year where, to the maximum extent feasible, the utilization of veteran apprenticeship labor would be required. At the end of each year, and at the conclusion of the pilot program, the Secretary would be required to submit a report to Congress that, among other things, evaluates the benefits of employing apprentices who are veterans on Military Construction projects.

“Our veterans, military personnel and their families make enormous sacrifices on our behalf, and they deserve our support and gratitude. I am proud to be a strong advocate for them in Congress and I will continue to seek ways to improve their quality of life and improve the benefits they receive for their service.”