Press Releases

Roe Calls for Hearings on Veterans’ Unemployment

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Washington, April 8, 2010 | comments
WASHINGTON, DC – According to new reports by the Department of Labor, unemployment for male Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans has tripled since the recession began, rising from 5 percent in March 2007 to 15 percent last month.

Member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee and top Republican on the Oversight and Investigation Committee, U.S. Congressman Phil Roe, M.D. (TN-1) released the following statement regarding the recent unemployment figures within the veterans’ community:

The recent unemployment figures within the veterans’ community are very troubling to me, and I am distinctly aware that we need to do everything we can to provide our veterans with jobs. Recently, the House passed several key pieces of legislation, with the intention of helping our veterans find employment. I am hopeful this legislation will help put our nation’s heroes back to work. However, it is clear that we need to do more to help them find the training and the jobs they need.

Roe has asked the Democratic and Republican leadership on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee to conduct hearings on this troubling issue so we can find ways to get our veterans back to work.

Congressman Roe sent the following letter to Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Bob Filner (CA-51) and Ranking Member Steve Buyer (IN-4):

The Department of Labor released numbers today showing the unemployment rate for male veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom has tripled since the beginning of the current recession; rising to 15% in March 2010.

I am sure you share my concern that these figures are unacceptable. We have a duty to those who have served to ensure government programs designed to encourage their employment are administrated properly and efficiently with a goal of dramatically reducing veteran unemployment.

I am taking this opportunity to ask our committee to hold hearings to discuss this issue. We must determine what factors have lead to this high rate of unemployment for our veterans and what steps we can take to address them.

I appreciate you both for your leadership on our committee and look forward to participating in these hearings.

Roe also encouraged veterans who are seeking employment to contact the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment VetSuccess program, designed to assist veterans to prepare for, find, and keep suitable jobs. To learn more about the VetSuccess program, please visit the website at http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/vre/index.htm.

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