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house Bill H.R. 425

Should the Feds Help Veterans Get Into STEM Careers?

Argument in favor

Veterans could be great contributors to STEM professions, but they need additional support to break into these fields. This bill directs the federal government — which has an obligation to support veterans — to study how best to support veterans’ transitions into civilian careers in STEM fields.

Jon's Opinion
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02/25/2019
Anything that both aids our vets AND trains Americans to fill STEM careers is a step in the right direction.
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doingmypart's Opinion
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02/25/2019
We should be doing everything possible with providing good career opportunities to our veterans and STEM is a good starting point.
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Richard's Opinion
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02/27/2019
Only anti-military Democrats would not support this bill. As we have seen throughout history and especially the last administration, Democrats would love nothing more than to dismantle our military, ICE and law enforcement. They also want to deny every American their second Amendment rights. It’s so obvious what their overall plan is which is to turn our country into a communistic ruled country.
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Argument opposed

An extension of veterans’ GI bill benefits that explicitly supports their study of STEM fields is already set to go into effect in August of this year. That, not this bill, is the best lever to pull if we want to get more veterans into STEM professions.

burrkitty's Opinion
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02/25/2019
This is just lip service. This bill doesn’t actually do anything but spend money on committees. Don’t we have enough of them already? The GI bill allows veterans to choose their future education for themselves. Let’s go with supporting that.
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Marcie 's Opinion
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02/25/2019
Better yet give my Brother his back pay he's been waiting and fighting for the last 7 years. He paid it forward, where is his country when he needs it? I think 3 tours in Iraq qualifies for immediate action.
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Kodiwodi's Opinion
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02/25/2019
No this is another feel good, do nothing, I wear my flag pin bills that will cost a lot but do virtually nothing for our vets. The extension of the GI Benefits Bill will begin in August and already does what this Bill purports to do. Waste of $$$$.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
    IntroducedJanuary 10th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 425?

This bill — the Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act — would require the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop a veterans outreach plan and publish data on veterans’ participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields in its annual “Indicators” report. It would also update the NSF Noyce Teacher Scholarship program, NSF fellowships and masters fellowship programs, NSF cyber grants program, and NSF traineeship grants leading to doctorates in computer and network security research to include outreach to veterans and veterans’ participation in these programs.

Finally, this bill would task the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy with examining how to increase veteran participation in STEM career fields. This would include establishing an interagency working group to: 1) coordinate federal programs and policies for transitioning and training veterans and military spouses to STEM careers and 2) develop a strategic plan to prioritize objectives, study progress metrics, and identify STEM career barriers specific to veterans.

Impact

Veterans; veterans’ spouses; STEM programs; doctorates in computer and network security research; NSF; White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; NSF Noyce Teacher Scholarship program; NSF fellowships and masters fellowship programs; NSF cyber grants program; and NSF traineeship grants.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 425

When this bill was introduced in the 115th Congress, the CBO estimated that implementing it would cost $1 million over the 2018-2022 period.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Neal Dunn (R-FL) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to support veterans pursuing STEM careers. Last Congress, Rep. Dunn originally introduced this bill to support veterans pursuing STEM careers. At that time, he said:

“Our service members should have every opportunity to succeed when they transition to civilian life. This bill ensures our government goes above and beyond to bring STEM career opportunities to our veterans. By educating more veterans to become STEM professionals, we help keep our promise to those who serve and also maintain America’s competitive edge as a global technology leader.”

After this bill passed the Senate Commerce Committee last Congress, Rep. Dunn added:

“With the surge in technology over the last decade, we desperately need more experts in the science and math fields. Our veterans are equipped to take on this challenge and many have already worked in the technology field while serving our country.”

This Congress, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) has also introduced this bill in the Senate as part of his VA Readiness Initiative, a package of several bipartisan bills that’ll ensure the federal government is already ready to assist veterans and fulfill its promises to them. Sen. Gardner’s VA Readiness Initiative consists of four pillars: Expanding Access to Services, which entails reducing regulatory barriers and promoting expeditious care for veterans at both the VA and in their communities; Encouraging Innovation, which seeks to leverage modern technologies and pilot inventive solutions to solve health care challenges specific to veterans; VA Accountability, which seeks to eliminate bureaucratic incompetence and preventable mistakes; and Empowering Transitioning Service Members, which seeks to promote veterans’ civilian career success. This bill is part of the fourth pillar, along with a bill enhancing the Boots to Business program. Sen. Gardner says of his VA Readiness Initiative:

“I’m thrilled to launch my VA Readiness Initiative and fight for the well-being of veterans and their families. The United States should always be ready to provide our veterans with the care they deserve. We must honor the immeasurable debt we owe to past and present military members for their dedicated service by ensuring there are tools and support to navigate civilian life.”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), an original Senate cosponsor of this bill, adds:

"Veterans are the teachers, engineers, scientists, and inventors who will lead us to a brighter future. By encouraging veterans and tapping their talents, employers can better meet their hiring needs, and veterans can enjoy the benefits of well-paying jobs in science, technology, engineering and math. This legislation will help support veterans and their families transitioning to life at home and work – benefiting veterans’ families and our whole economy."

Veteran advocacy groups say that although many veterans leave their time in the armed services with practical experience in STEM-related fields, they need more educational resources for private sector work. In a blog post for Student Veterans of America, Francisco McGee, a Navy veteran, summed up the problem:

“All the new jobs are in tech. Roger that. So why aren’t more enlisted vets pursuing STEM degrees and joining the tech workforce? One of the major roadblocks is education, in particular the STEM prerequisites. For STEM degrees, the reality is that veterans have to start back at pre-college math, such as pre-calculus and algebra. The same is true with the rest of the sciences: chemistry, physics, biology, and so on. This easily pushes graduation past the standard four years allotted by the current G.I. Bill. On the one hand, this discourages many veterans from pursuing STEM who cannot afford that extra year or more. On the other hand, it encourages veterans to rush through a STEM degree, leaving them less prepared and less competitive when they enter the tech workforce. A plan to provide one extra year of G.I. Bill benefits to STEM degree-seeking veterans would alleviate both of these concerns for veterans, giving us the extra time we need to make the risky jump into tech… Tech companies like Google are aware that they don’t have enough veterans, particularly in Software Engineering. They want to hire veterans, they try to hire veterans, but they say that they simply can’t. This is because veterans aren’t passing their programming interviews, and if you can’t get past the interview phase then they can’t give you the job. Veterans aren’t passing the interviews because we don’t have a strong enough STEM education. My guess as to why is that they we’re trying to cram all our courses in before exhausting the G.I. Bill.”

This bill has one cosponsor, Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA), in the current session of Congress. The current Senate version of this bill, introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), has three bipartisan cosponsors, including two Republicans and one Democrat. Last Congress, this bill passed the House by a 401-1 vote and then passed the Senate Commerce Committee, but didn’t receive a vote in the full Senate. Last Congress, this bill had 10 bipartisan House cosponsors, including seven Republicans and three Democrats.


Of NoteAt the end of 2018, the White House released a five-year strategic plan to promote STEM education. The White House’s report focused on advancing STEM literacy and work-based learning among all Americans and emphasized the need for education programs to foster greater inclusivity. The report outlined three goals: 1) preparing the STEM workforce for jobs of the future, 2) increasing the STEM workforce’s diversity, and 3) expanding STEM literacy across the population. It also emphasized the importance of non-traditional post-secondary STEM degree programs, such as two-year-degrees and apprenticeships.

There are other efforts to help veterans into STEM careers underway. The Forever GI Bill STEM Extension — which extends G.I. Bill eligibility for veterans in STEM fields for up to nine additional months or a maximum lump sum of $30,000 — goes into effect on August 1, 2019.

In early 2018, the Dept. of Labor predicted that roughly 2.5 million STEM jobs would go unfilled that year.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / DanielBendjy)

AKA

Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act

Official Title

To promote veteran involvement in STEM education, computer science, and scientific research, and for other purposes.

    Anything that both aids our vets AND trains Americans to fill STEM careers is a step in the right direction.
    Like (16)
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    This is just lip service. This bill doesn’t actually do anything but spend money on committees. Don’t we have enough of them already? The GI bill allows veterans to choose their future education for themselves. Let’s go with supporting that.
    Like (35)
    Follow
    Share
    Better yet give my Brother his back pay he's been waiting and fighting for the last 7 years. He paid it forward, where is his country when he needs it? I think 3 tours in Iraq qualifies for immediate action.
    Like (24)
    Follow
    Share
    No this is another feel good, do nothing, I wear my flag pin bills that will cost a lot but do virtually nothing for our vets. The extension of the GI Benefits Bill will begin in August and already does what this Bill purports to do. Waste of $$$$.
    Like (20)
    Follow
    Share
    The GI bill supports the VET’s now, but needs funding and extended. This is lipstick on a pig, feel go, lip service, and political move. Where are you going to get the money from $$$, the wall? How about funding the GI bill and college education for all. The GI bill (1940’s) was the biggest boost in the economy and is what made America great, that is why countries like China and other countries dumb so mush money in to education and infrastructure, but then (1940), the rich were paying about 90% taxes and average person was paying about 20 - 25 %. Now the rich pay 15% or less and the American Middle class pays 40%. We are not in vesting in the future of America.
    Like (7)
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    We need a program to give veterans preferential treatment for business loans. Teach them how to create a business plan and help mentor them into small business ownership.
    Like (7)
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    We should be doing everything possible with providing good career opportunities to our veterans and STEM is a good starting point.
    Like (6)
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    There are already numerous programs supporting veterans. There’s a better program scheduled to go into effect in August 2019. Don’t waste money on this one.
    Like (5)
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    The pending legislation to address this matter seems the better proposal and this bill would only duplicate those efforts. Do not advance this bill.
    Like (5)
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    Just another program to waste money. I’m all for everything we can do for veterans but this does NOTHING but find someone for worthless research.
    Like (4)
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    Only anti-military Democrats would not support this bill. As we have seen throughout history and especially the last administration, Democrats would love nothing more than to dismantle our military, ICE and law enforcement. They also want to deny every American their second Amendment rights. It’s so obvious what their overall plan is which is to turn our country into a communistic ruled country.
    Like (4)
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    We already have GI bill extension come on board soon so let’s not waste more money until we need too
    Like (4)
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    Our Veterans need better care and the Federal government needs to stop treating them like they are pawns to be thrown away. They pay the ultimate sacrifice, they should be rewarded with the ability to move into a decent to good field of work with the resources to help equip them for that field. Many of our current servicemen and women enter the military service for two reasons: 1) a sense of honor and commitment to this country or their family has a long history of serving; 2) the family cannot support sending their children to a college and the military is the next best thing to get a decent education while serving the country. In the latter situation, colleges and universities help students find a good profession to move their students into, while the military should do the same. Veterans should be supported more and that is one of the most important aspects the Federal government is supposed to provide.
    Like (3)
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    We should help vets and non vets alike.
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    The barriers that prevent veterans from breaking into STEM careers need to be torn down! Extra support is needed to help them get the full educational opportunities that are afforded to others.
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    Just more Republican bullshit
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    Homage to service should be good
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    If the extension of the GI bill will promote STEM fields and careers, is an additional bill necessary?
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    We already have a bill going into effect in August that does this. This is just our wasteful government stealing out money and pretending to get things done. Shame.
    Like (2)
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    If 2.5 million STEM jobs are going unfilled in any given year, we should support a bill that gives STEM training to anybody, but especially veterans who have sacrificed already for this country.
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