Skilled Trades Bring a Bright Future for U.S. Veterans

Each year, approximately 200,000 members of the American armed forces leave military service to re-enter civil society in America. Approximately 3 million veterans served in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and each of them faced this difficult transition. I drafted the Bringing Registered Apprenticeships to Veterans Education, or BRAVE, Act, which the House unanimously passed last month with them in mind.

I am a member of Congress and I sit on the House Armed Services Committee. I am the father of a veteran. And I am also the product of recorded learning. Our Veterans are highly skilled and skilled, making them ideally suited for careers in the skilled trades. The BRAVE Act was designed to facilitate their reintegration into civilian life by connecting them to the resources they need to find fulfilling and well-paying careers.

When we send our military to war, we train them and equip them with the skills they need to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. We do this because we want them to succeed regardless of the mission assigned to them, whether on the battlefield or providing humanitarian aid in the aftermath of natural disasters. They deserve the same level of support when they leave the service.

One of the best ways to help our veterans is to provide them with meaningful employment opportunities. Most men and women join the armed forces out of a desire to serve; this mission-oriented mindset is not likely to end even when their official service does. Recorded learning allows military members to build promising careers while building their community.

I am always very proud to know that I was a small part of building lasting monuments in my community. As an electrician and a graduate of a registered apprenticeship, I worked on the electrification of the Ben Franklin Bridge – an iconic landmark used by thousands of commuters every day that connects my hometown of Camden, NJ, to the city ​​of Philadelphia across the Delaware River. By participating in recorded learnings, our veterans can pursue meaningful careers of service but also of individual benefit.

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