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April 30, 2015

Reps. Aguilar and Cook Lead Effort to Put Veterans Back to Work

Yesterday, California Representatives Pete Aguilar (D, CA-31) and Colonel Paul Cook (R, CA-08) introduced legislation to help states create pilot programs to put veterans back to work. Their amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, which outlines the nation’s defense priorities, enables the Department of Defense to fund job placement programs for members of the National Guard and Reserve, similar to the ‘Work for Warriors’ program in California. Expansion of the Work for Warriors program was included in Rep. Aguilar’s Jobs Plan released earlier this month.

“With nearly 4,000 California veterans finding work through the Work for Warriors program, we need to empower other states to follow our lead to help veterans across the nation find full-time work. Colonel Paul Cook and Congressman Mark Takano have done an incredible job advocating for Work for Warriors, and I’m proud to take a lead role in expanding employment opportunities for our service members,” said Rep. Aguilar.

“The Work for Warriors program is the most effective jobs program I know of for Service Members,” said Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin, Adjutant General of the California National Guard. “Rep. Aguilar’s work as a member of the Armed Services Committee to support the program will help many guardsmen and veterans in the San Bernardino area.”

Rep. Paul Cook said, “The Work for Warriors program in California has been hugely successful and cost effective. I hope this legislation will replicate the success we’ve had in California. Federal job placement programs often cost ten times more than what we’re attempting here. I’m optimistic that this nationwide pilot program can be just as effective at helping to put our service members back to work. I want to thank Rep. Aguilar for joining with me in recognizing the critical need for this program and helping to ensure its inclusion in this year’s NDAA. I also want to thank Rep. Takano (D-CA) and Rep. Mulvaney (R-SC) for their leadership in introducing the original legislation with me earlier this year.”

Representatives Pete Aguilar and Paul Cook are members of the Work for Warriors Caucus and serve on the House Armed Services Committee. Their amendment passed the House Armed Services Committee by unanimous consent and was added to the National Defense Authorization Act, which was voted out of Committee early this morning. The full text of the Aguilar-Cook Amendment is available here.