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Opening Statement of Hon. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, Chairwoman, and a Representative in Congress from the State of South Dakota

Over the past year, our Subcommittee has focused most of its energy on employment related issues ranging from transition assistance for servicemembers, small business opportunities for veterans, and employment within the federal government.

In today’s hearing we will continue to examine these issues, and hear valuable insight as to how to better provide veterans and returning service members with the resources to make the transition back to civilian life and receive the opportunities that they deserve. 

I look forward to hearing from veteran service organization representatives on concerns their members have encountered when seeking certification or licensing in the civilian sector, to include enforcing laws to ensure those responsible are doing their job.  I also look forward to hearing about the possibilities of expanding existing laws to provide more opportunities and resources to our nation’s veterans seeking ways to start new careers in the civilian sector.

Throughout my tenure in Congress, I have been approached by several of my constituents to find ways to improve on existing laws, such as the Montgomery G.I. Bill.  It is my belief that this Subcommittee has the opportunity to work together on these issues with veteran service organizations, our colleagues in the Senate and Administration officials.  This Subcommittee and this Congress have a responsibility to help bridge the gap between military service and veteran status, and assist these brave men and women transition back to the civilian sector to pursue new educational opportunities, start new careers and establish themselves in the communities that they helped protect.