Mon November 21, 2011
Colorado Veterans

President Signs Veterans' Jobs Legislation

President Obama signed legislation Monday giving tax breaks to companies that hire unemployed veterans. The bill passed Congress last week with rare bipartisan support.

In addition to the tax breaks, the legislation will also provide job training and counseling for veterans. That’s something already in practice at Denver-based Veterans Green Jobs, a national nonprofit that trains veterans for weatherizing homes and other clean energy fields.

Garett Repenhagen is the organization’s Director of Transition Programs. He says vets often face bleak prospects upon their return – with high rates of unemployment, substance abuse, incarceration and homelessness.

“Hopefully we can intervene and catch some of these veterans as they’re coming home, and get to them as quickly as possible to prevent some of those cycles from happening; and get them job training, and get them transitioned as quickly as we can," Repenhagen says.

The legislation is expected to help about 850,000 veterans nationwide who are currently unemployed and tens of thousands who will be returning from Iraq and Afghanistan in the coming months. The veterans’ legislation is the first proposal included in the President’s $447 billion jobs bill to win congressional approval.