Washington, DC – Yesterday, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Representative Will Hurd introduced the Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VET TEC) Act, which will establish a VA pilot program that expands access for veterans to non-traditional technology courses that are currently unavailable under their GI Bill. This will result in increased access to online and distance learning, which is particularly useful for veterans in rural communities, like many in the 23rd Congressional District of Texas.
Likewise, careers in network integration and development require increasingly complex industry certifications that have to this point been inaccessible under the current GI Bill structure. This legislation works to break down barriers our veterans are facing by speeding up how the VA can contract with vendors who provide non-traditional technology courses to veterans. In some cases, service members will even be eligible for a housing stipend in order to continue technical training or vocational school in person.
“This legislation will prepare our veterans to thrive in a changing economy. America’s veterans are the best our country has to offer, and their service experience and work ethic are unparalleled. With these fundamental qualities, veterans can be our greatest asset in the modern economy if only we empower them to learn the skills of the 21st century workforce. While the post-9/11 GI Bill provides funding for veterans to pursue traditional education programs, rapid technological advancements have created non-traditional jobs that our veterans can and should fill. The benefits designed to help veterans transition to civilian life must be updated to fit the changing times. Our veterans have the character and drive to do any job. We must support them to learn skills for the jobs of the future,” said Leader McCarthy of the VET TEC Act.
Congressman Will Hurd, an original co-sponsor of the bill, said. “We need to do a better job transitioning our nation’s veterans into meaningful civilian careers outside the military, and alternative tech programs offer valuable skills that are highly responsive to industry needs. As the tech industry adds hundreds of thousands of new jobs, we can reduce veteran unemployment and create a pipeline of skilled workers by training our nation’s heroes for these types of jobs.” Hurd added, “Coding is the language of the future. By turning our veterans into coders, we are better serving them and investing in our economy.”