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Opening Statement of Hon. John Boozman, Ranking Republican Member, and a Representative in Congress from the State of Arkansas

Good afternoon madam Chairwoman and thank you for highlighting the need to improve opportunities for veterans to have their military training and education counted towards qualifying for civilian occupations.

As you remember, we authorized the Veterans Employment and Training Service to conduct a pilot licensing and certification project.  I am eager to hear what progress VETS has made towards implementing that authority.

I am also concerned that the continuum of responsibility beginning with the military services, through the Department of Labor and VA, and ending with the states has never been solidified.  Without making the connections, veterans will continue to experience delays in qualifying for civilian occupations for which they have been trained during military service.  The taxpayers will also see valuable training dollars and experience wasted.

States bear a measure of responsibility too.  By setting qualification standards for everything from commercial drivers’ licenses to teachers and physicians, states are the final arbiter of whether military training will count towards qualifications.

I am disappointed that the National Governors’ Association was not able to be with us today and I hope they will come talk to us soon about their role in this issue.

Madam chairwoman, I yield back.