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Honorable Bill Flores, Chairman, Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity

Honorable Bill Flores, Chairman, Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity

Good morning.  40 to 50 percent.  That’s the unemployment rate we continue to hear of among some National Guard and Reserve units when they return from deployment.  While some of those needing a job were fresh out of high school when they joined the Guard and never held a job before deploying, such levels of unemployment have significant ramifications for not just the servicemember, but also for our national defense.

Today, we will hear from leaders of the Tennessee and California National Guard who will discuss the situations in their states.  We also will hear from other witnesses who will describe their efforts to improve employment opportunities.  I am especially interested in how the private sector can promote employment and I am delighted that we will hear of an unusual example from the CEO of Panther Racing about his efforts to promote the National Guard.

Before I yield to the Ranking Member, I ask unanimous consent to enter a March 12 article on veteran employment from Time magazine in the hearing record.

Hearing no objection…. so ordered.

This is a great article that has an interesting perspective on the veteran unemployment situation in this country and I encourage all members to take time to read the article.  

I now recognize the distinguished Ranking Member from California’s 41st Congressional District for any remarks he may have.