Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Legislators Show Bipartisan Support for American Heroes

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
In a Congress deeply divided on partisan lines, one issue has brought both sides together this past week: the importance of our country’s National Guard members and veterans.

Last week, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Congressman Derek Kilmer (D-WA) introduced the Veterans and Service Members Employment Rights and Housing Act of 2013 in the Senate and the House, S. 1281 and H.R. 2654.

The legislation intends to end discrimination against former military service members when they apply for employment or housing, citing a study by the Center for a New American Security that reported over 50 percent of employers had a “negative stereotype” of military members and veterans.

In a show of bipartisan support, Congressman Jim Renacci (R-OH) joined Congressman Kilmer as a cosponsor of the bill, declaring that “Under no circumstances should the brave men and women of our armed forces face job or housing discrimination based on the service they provided our country.”

While our legislators attempt to pass comprehensive federal law to improve the lives of veterans, the American Jobs for American Heroes campaign operates at the business level to provide employment opportunities for National Guard members and veterans around the country.

Our country’s heroes deserve every possible opportunity for prosperity, and one way to provide that is to connect unemployed National Guard members, veterans, and spouses with American employers. If you would like to help our campaign or simply learn more, please visit the American Jobs for American Heroes website today or follow us on Twitter @USJobs4USHeroes.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Senator Joe Donnelly Offers Legislation to Help National Guard Veterans

Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
American National Guard members who haven’t served overseas are currently at a disadvantage to other veterans when they apply for federal jobs.
Thankfully, Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) is sponsoring new legislation that will recognize the service of National Guard members who haven’t served overseas and ensure they have every possible opportunity for employment.
Donnelly’s proposed bill would create an innovative, tiered system for federal hiring that prioritizes experience and time served for National Guard members. The legislation would improve the chances of employment for 159,000 National Guard soldiers and 73,000 Air National Guard Airmen.
Although these Guard members don’t serve overseas, they are crucial to the safety and livelihood of citizens all around the country. They are the integral part of the second leg of the National Guard, defending the domestic interests of our country in times of crisis like Hurricane Katrina or the Boston Marathon tragedy.

If you are looking for a way to support efforts to connect unemployed National Guard members with American employers and put their incredible skill sets to use in today’s workforce, check out the American Jobs for American Heroes website today.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

How Sequestration and Furloughs Hurt Our Heroes

The Watervliet Arsenal, shown Monday, July 8, 2013,
in Watervliet, N.Y., will be affected by the
federal cost cutting effort called the sequester
starting this week.
(Skip Dickstein/Times Union)
For the next 11 weeks, thousands of National Guard soldiers, airmen, and Department of Defense employees across the country will work four-day weeks for 20 percent reduced pay because of federal sequestration.

Unfortunately, the negative effects of these furloughs do not stop at simple pay cuts for civilians and other Defense Department employees. As these cuts are implemented, leaders and organizations around the country are beginning to realize the incredible breadth of unintended consequences of the cuts.

In three Gulf Coast states, republican lawmakers who previously championed sequestration are now asking President Obama to end sequester-mandated National Guard furloughs. Governors Rick Scott, Bobby Jindal and Phil Bryant, of Florida, Louisiana, and Florida, respectively, have stated that as Tropical Storm Chantal heads closer to Florida, sequestration is “costing the state in readiness.”

Governor Scott spoke more specifically to National Guard furlough concerns in a radio interview recently, saying, “The problem is you’re losing training time, you’re losing preparation time. When will the National Guard make the decision that we stop the furloughs? Right after the hurricane hits?”

Natural disasters are not the only tragedy that furloughs might exacerbate. In Chicago, following a 4th of July weekend where 74 people were shot and 12 were killed, State Rep. Monique Davis has asked that Gov. Patrick Quinn “order the Illinois National Guard…to come to Chicago and work with our mayor, Rahm Emanuel, to provide safety for the children, especially, and for all who walk in Chicago.”

But will the Illinois National Guard have enough resources to help? According to CBS St. Louis, 1,300 employees of the Illinois Guard “will be taking 14 days of furloughs through the end of this fiscal year.”

Just like the needs of the citizens of places like Florida and Chicago do not take a day off once a week, the needs of the families of these National Guard members also don't stop.

The upcoming budget cuts mean that our heroes will need our help more than ever. If you would like to help our campaign connect unemployed National Guard members, veterans, and spouses with American employers, please visit the American Jobs for American Heroes website or follow us on Twitter today @USJobs4USHeroes.

Monday, July 8, 2013

A Day Without Pay

As people around the country return to their jobs after the Fourth of July weekend, thousands of National Guard and Reserve soldiers are wondering if they will be able to keep theirs.
This week marks the first round of defense furloughs, a part of Congress’s automatic budget cuts. While the full impact of the cuts have not yet been announced, over 650,000 people employed by the Defense Department will be forced to take 11 days without pay between today and September.
Unfortunately, the problems may not stop at the end of this year. The Defense Department is only allowed to give employees 22 furlough days a year, so if Congress allows the same automatic budget cuts to continue without cuts in spending, the day off for employees may turn into a layoff.
It will not be easy for any military family to adjust to these pay cuts - Cuts that some experts say will amount to 20% of a soldier's salary.

To read more about the upcoming budget cuts, check out yesterday’s Washington Post report on defense furloughs here.
The American Jobs for American Heroes campaign was founded to help members of the National Guard and veterans find stable, civilian employment, something that proves more significant with the growing uncertainty coming from Washington.
The upcoming budget cuts mean that National Guard members will need our help more than ever. If you are already a supporter of our campaign, please share our organization’s information with anyone searching for an opportunity to help American veterans. If you are not yet a member of our campaign, take a look at our website and follow us on Twitter - @USJobs4USHeroes

Friday, July 5, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

We at the American Jobs for American Heroes campaign hope that everyone has a happy, fun, and safe 4th of July weekend!
We hope you enjoy the fireworks, BBQ, and sunshine while you celebrate our country’s independence.  We also hope you take a moment to remember the sacrifices of all the brave men and women who have protected and defended us for the past 237 years.
There is no better way to recognize the sacrifices made by our military forces than by helping to ensure that they have every opportunity to succeed after their service is complete. Our mission at American Jobs for American Heroes is to connect unemployed National Guard members, veterans, and spouses with American employers and make their transition from the military to professional life as smooth as possible.
If you would like to join our cause by posting jobs for veterans, please check out our website or follow us on Twitter - @USJobs4USHeroes
Have a great 4th of July weekend!