As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Sen. John McCain’s release as a prisoner of war, I wanted to update you on the Chamber’s efforts to help our veterans transition back into the civilian workforce.
During Governor Brewer’s State of the State address she mentioned, among her Four Cornerstones of Reform, the importance of helping our vets get back to work when they come home.
Veterans possess many valuable skills and experience that are not just relevant in theater, but in the civilian world as well. A couple of specific examples of military jobs that directly translate into the civilian working world are commercial drivers and licensed practical nurses. The Department of Defense has identified these as common licenses and so should the State of Arizona.
The Chamber has facilitated many stakeholder meetings and as a result, HB2076, sponsored by Rep. Sonny Borrelli, would allow for military experience in these two professions to apply toward civilian licensure.
It is critical to Arizona’s business community that we do what we can to make a transition from military life to civilian life as seamless as possible for our returning vets. Not only will this foster a strong sense of community among our local businesses and veterans, but it will allow skilled workers to more easily transition into the civilian workforce, while providing more experienced workers to employers in Arizona.
At the Chamber we believe there are likely other licensure areas where relevant military experience can apply and we look forward to helping find those opportunities for improvement as well. Until that time we very strongly support HB 2076 and opportunities it will provide to veterans and Arizona businesses. The bill, which has already passed the House and the Senate Commerce Committee, will be heard March 19 in the Senate Transportation Committee.