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Chairman Bost Leads Full Committee Hearing on Impact of American Businesses on Veteran Employment

Today, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Mike Bost (R-Ill.), delivered the following remarks, as prepared, at the start of the Full Committee’s oversight hearing to recognize and examine the effects of American businesses on veteran employment and economic opportunity:

Good morning.

The Committee will come to order.

I want to welcome our witnesses to today’s hearing.

Today we will recognize the positive impact that the veteran community continues to have on the United States economy.

Which is a fitting tribute as just last week we celebrated National Veteran-Owned Small Business Week.

Our veterans have sacrificed for the protection of our great nation by serving in uniform and we owe them and their families a debt that can never fully be repaid.

But we – as a nation – can put meaning behind ‘thank you for your service’ by doing our part to ensure that veterans have access to the American Dream after they hang up their uniform.

Which is exactly what we will discuss today.

The purpose of this hearing is to acknowledge the important role American businesses and veteran-owned small businesses have in empowering veterans and creating economic opportunity.

Thousands of companies – both big and small – have had great success in hiring veterans over the past decade.

As most of you know, before I came to Congress I ran a family-owned trucking business.

When we had veterans apply for positions with my company I always made sure to give them the opportunity to thrive.

Because as a veteran myself, I knew that the servant leadership heart engrained in veterans doesn’t leave them when they become civilians.

Research by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families shows that veterans possess exceptional team-building skills and are highly trusted by colleagues in the workplace.

We have seen firsthand the ways a veteran hire can benefit any business.

And veteran-owned businesses have only strengthened the American economy.

Over three million Americans are employed by 321,000 veteran-owned businesses in the United States.

Together, these companies contribute over $926 billion dollars to the economy.

That’s an incredible investment and the industries veterans manage span from tech companies, to construction, agriculture, defense, and more.

Over seventy-four percent of businesses are founded by a veteran rather than being purchased or inherited.

Making sure veterans can start a business and succeed as owners has long been a priority for our Committee.

And it’s a personal priority for me this Congress.

Without veterans in the workforce, America would not be a world leader in innovation and economic growth.

We are so grateful to have some of these corporations who hire veterans and personal veteran-owned small businesses here with us today – including one from my home district.

Thank you for your service and for continuing to serve your country by advancing and improving the economy.

I am eager to hear from our witnesses on the importance of hiring veterans and how we can increase opportunities for veterans during their transition to civilian life.

I am also eager to hear how we can make it easier for companies and small businesses to be in a position to hire veterans.

This means enacting pro-growth policies that are often at odds with the economic decisions of the Biden Administration that have stifled hiring and innovation.

Ranking Member Takano, I now recognize you for your opening statement.
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