June 26, 2018

Senate Passes Duckworth Amendment to Help Train Veterans for Jobs in Fast-Growing Energy Industries


[WASHINGTON, DC] – The Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan amendment that was introduced by U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Cory Gardner (R-CO) to help prepare Veterans for good paying jobs in the fast-growing solar, wind, nuclear and cyber energy industries. The Senators’ amendment to the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill, which passed the Senate last night, will lay the groundwork for the creation of a training program to provide Veterans with the training and credentials they need to work in the low-carbon and zero-carbon emissions sectors of the energy industry.

“Our bipartisan amendment is the first step to helping Veterans and servicemembers who are transitioning back to civilian life get the training they need to work in some of our nation’s fastest-growing industries,” Duckworth said. “I am proud the Senate passed our amendment and look forward to working with Senators Bennet and Gardner and our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make the Energy Ready Vets Program a reality.”

The Senators’ amendment lays the groundwork for Duckworth’s bipartisan Energy Jobs for Our Heroes Act of 2018, which she introduced last week with Senators Bennet and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). That bill would direct the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to partner with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to develop the “Energy Ready Vets Program” to provide Veterans and members of the Armed Forces with six-month internships to gain hands-on training and credentials. It would also establish a labeling program that recognizes companies that are hiring graduates of these programs in order to encourage them to hire Veterans.

The Senators’ amendment directs DOE, in consultation with DOD, to evaluate military installations that would be cost-effective to partner with community colleges, institutions of higher education, and the private sector to train veterans and transitioning military personnel to enter the energy, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence workforce. Within four months, the Secretary of Energy must submit a report to Congress about its findings and make the report publicly available.

“Veterans and servicemembers are uniquely qualified to succeed in cutting-edge industries,” Bennet said. “We’ll continue working to provide veterans with the tools and training they need to access the energy, cyber, artificial intelligence, and other innovation economies. I’m grateful to my colleagues for joining in this effort to lay the groundwork for our Energy Ready Vets Program.”

A copy of the amendment is available HERE.