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Committee on Veterans' AffairsIntroducedApril 20th, 2010
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Veteran Employment Assistance Act of 2010
A bill to improve employment, training, and placement services furnished to veterans, especially those serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, and for other purposes.
Veteran Employment Assistance Act of 2010 - (Sec. 2) Amends the Small Business Act to direct the Associate Administrator for Veterans Business Development (Associate Administrator) of the Small Business Administration (SBA) to establish an online mechanism to: (1) provide information that assists veterans' assistance providers in carrying out veterans' assistance activities; and (2) coordinate and leverage the work of such providers. Includes as veterans' assistance providers: (1) a veterans' business center (center); (2) employees of the SBA's Office of Veterans Business Development; and (3) veterans business ownership representatives. Requires the SBA Administrator to establish a center program under which the Associate Administrator may provide financial assistance to a private nonprofit organization to conduct a five-year project for the benefit of small businesses owned and controlled by veterans and allows such projects to be renewed for one or more additional five-year periods. Requires each organization receiving assistance to establish or operate a center that provides financial, management, and marketing advice, as well as appropriate business training and counseling, to veterans and reservists and their spouses. Outlines assistance application requirements and selection criteria. Provides an assistance amount of neither less than $150,000 nor more than $200,000 per organization per fiscal year. Requires a participant organization to provide at least a 33% non-federal matching share of funding during the first two years of the project, and at least a 50% share during the last three years. Authorizes the Administrator, upon request, to waive the matching funds requirement for up to two fiscal years, after considering the economic conditions and other factors affecting the organization. Allows a center to contract with a federal department or agency to provide specific assistance to veterans, service-disabled veterans, reservists, and their spouses. Directs the Associate Administrator to: (1) conduct an annual examination of the programs and finances of each center; and (2) report to the congressional veterans committees on program effectiveness in each region. Prohibits a center from disclosing, without their consent, identifying information on any individual or small business that receives advice from the center, with exceptions for law enforcement or financial audit activities. Requires the Administrator to designate at least one individual in each SBA district office as a veterans business ownership representative, who shall communicate and coordinate office activities with private organizations that receive assistance under this Act. Authorizes appropriations. Directs the Comptroller General to report to: (1) the veterans and small business committees on the ability of small businesses owned and controlled by veterans to access credit; and (2) Congress on the results of an evaluation of the effectiveness of the center program. (Sec. 3) Directs the Administrator to report at least semiannually to Congress on appointments made to, and activities of, an interagency task force on small businesses owned and controlled by disabled veterans and veterans. (Sec. 4) Repeals, effective 60 days after the enactment of this Act, SBA authority to award new grants and renew previously-awarded grants for the establishment and implementation of outreach programs for disabled veterans, veterans, and reservists. Provides transitional rules for current grants. (Sec. 5) Requires the Secretary of Labor (Secretary, for purposes of this section) to establish and carry out a demonstration program of grants to up to five entities for demonstration projects which test the feasibility of methods of enabling transitioning military members to build on the technical skills learned in their military positions in order to enter the information technology (IT) workforce in computer specialist and related IT positions. Allows up to 10% of program funds to be used for program evaluation and technical assistance. Authorizes appropriations. Directs the Secretary to establish and carry out a demonstration program of grants to up to five entities for demonstration projects which test the feasibility of enabling transitioning military members to build on the technical skills learned in their military positions in order to enter into the nursing, public health and allied health professional, and physician assistant workforces. Allows up to 10% of program funds to be used for program evaluation and technical assistance. Authorizes appropriations. Requires the Secretary to establish and carry out a demonstration program making up to five grants for demonstration projects which test the feasibility of methods of enabling transitioning military members to build on the skills learned in many military positions in order to enter the law enforcement and security workforce. Authorizes appropriations. Directs the Secretary to: (1) monitor and evaluate the use of grant funds; and (2) report program findings and outcomes to the appropriate committees and federal agencies. (Sec. 6) Directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA Secretary) to establish a grant program to award three-year grants to states to establish: (1) veteran-to-veteran corps; and (2) veterans conservation corps. Limits such grants to $250,000 per state per fiscal year, and allows up to five grants annually. Requires the veteran-to-veteran corps to provide veterans with volunteer and employment opportunities for: (1) meeting the needs of homeless veterans; (2) helping veterans find gainful employment, including entrepreneurship opportunities; and (3) connecting veterans with care and benefits provided through the VA. Requires the veterans conservation corps to provide veterans with volunteer and employment opportunities under conservation projects which: (1) restore natural habitat; (2) maintain federal, state, or local public lands; (3) maintain and improve urban and suburban water management facilities; and (4) carry out hazardous materials and spills response, energy efficiency, and other environmental maintenance, stewardship, and restoration projects. Requires participating states to provide appropriate training, education, and certification for such veterans under the corps programs. Requires annual reports from grant recipients to the VA Secretary and the veterans and appropriations committees on the performance of the corps operating in such state. (Sec. 7) Directs the Secretaries of Defense and Labor to jointly submit to the defense, veterans, and appropriations committees recommendations for improvements to, and enhancements of, the Transition Assistance Program to better meet the needs of members of the Armed Forces and veterans. Requires the Secretary of Defense to complete a study of the National Guard Employment Enhancement Program of the Washington National Guard in order to assess the feasibility and advisability of carrying out a program of assistance modeled after such Program for all reserve members who transition to civilian life. (Sec. 8) Requires the Secretary of Labor to: (1) conduct a three-year study to determine whether gender impacts the need of unemployed veterans to collect unemployment benefits; and (2) report study results during each year of the study to the veterans committees. (Sec. 9) Revises provisions establishing a demonstration project for the credentialing and licensing of certain former members of the Armed Forces for civilian employment positions in high growth or high worker demand industries to: (1) include the emergency medical services industry as a target industry; (2) prohibit coursework undertaken during the project from being duplicative of coursework and training received during military service; (3) require consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the conduct of the project; and (4) continue such project during FY2012-FY2013.