WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Derrick Van Orden (WI-03), alongside Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI), announced the introduction of legislation to increase financial support for veterans in apprenticeships and on-the-job training programs. Specifically, the Warriors to Workforce Act will amend the current stipulation of the GI Bill that dictates the Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) for veterans, increasing it from 80% to 90% of the standard rate throughout their training period, to reduce financial barriers and dropout rates among veterans during their workforce training programs.

“Veterans should not be forced to choose between having a home and having a job, which is why I introduced the Warriors to Workforce Act. ” said Congressman Van Orden. “Getting veterans back into the civilian workforce after they depart from their military service is instrumental in ensuring they can be successful, productive members of society, and my bill increases veterans’ MHA so that they can secure a good-paying job while also having a bed to sleep in. This is the least we can do for our nation’s heroes, and I thank Congresswoman Dingell for her support on this legislation.”

“I am proud to lead this bill to foster more sustainable apprenticeship and on-the-job training program opportunities for our veterans by increasing the Monthly Housing Allowance to reduce dropout rates,” said Congresswoman Dingell. “We make a promise that we will take care of our veterans when they return home, and this bill is a big step towards keeping that promise and providing them with the tools they need to succeed. When our workforce is strong and our veterans receive the support they deserve, America is made stronger.”

“The American Legion is committed to supporting legislation that improves educational benefits for service members, veterans, and their families. Unfortunately, many of our veterans have had to drop out of promising training programs due to the increasing cost of living. This bill increases the monthly housing allowance a veteran receives, which is necessary to help them overcome daunting financial burdens, and allows them to take full advantage of the benefits they have earned. The American Legion commends Congressman Van Orden and his staff for their steadfast leadership in this regard,” said The American Legion’s Veterans Employment and Education Chairman, Jay Bowen.

“This commonsense legislation is a practical improvement to the Monthly Housing Allowance that removes the financial barriers in completing on-the-job training and apprenticeships, stabilizes the transition of servicemembers into the civilian life, and increases benefit utilization amongst the veteran community,” said Shawn Deadwiler, Chairman of the Black Veterans Empowerment Council, Inc. (BVEC). “BVEC is proud to support this meaningful step forward in addressing chronic issues faced by veterans – including housing and homelessness, access to resources that support a self-sufficient and healthy life, and availability of services for veterans entering the workforce.”

“Given the nation’s need to expand its skilled labor pool, some veterans opt to utilize their GI Bill benefits for on-the-job training or apprenticeship programs. These veterans face a reduction in their VA monthly housing allowance (MHA) after the first six months, which leads some to consider leaving the program. SVA strongly supports The Warriors to Workforce Act, which seeks to increase the MHA to 90% during the second six-month period, helping to ensure veterans can complete their training without financial hardship. We appreciate Congressman Van Orden’s commitment to reducing dropout rates and supporting our veterans’ success,” said Tammy Barlet, Vice President of Government Affairs for Student Veterans of America (SVA).

The Warriors to Workforce Act is supported by multiple organizations, including: The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Task Force Movement, Student Veterans of America, Reserve Organization of America, Special Operations Association of America, National Association of State Approving Agencies, Black Veterans Empowerment Council, Vietnam Veterans of America, Air Force Commando Association, Veterans Education Project, and Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors

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