Casey Pushes Legislation to Hire Our Heroes – Nearly 100,000 PA Veterans are Out of Work

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called for the passage of the Vow to Hire Heroes Act, which is being debated on the Senate floor this week.  The legislation would provide a tax credit to small businesses looking to hire out-of-work veterans and provide job training to unemployed veterans so that they have the skills that employers seek.

During a conference call, Casey released a county-by county report showing the number of unemployed veterans across Pennsylvania who could be aided by this bill’s passage.

“Unemployment among our veterans is a national crisis, and this bill will give our brave service members the skills they need to compete in today’s competitive job market,” Senator Casey said. “Businesses across Pennsylvania who hire a veteran will now get a first class employee and a boost to their bottom line. This legislation is a bipartisan jobs solution that should pass right away.”

The VOW to Hire Heroes Act contains several tax credits for Pennsylvania businesses that hire out of work veterans.  Businesses that hire veterans who have been searching for work for at least four weeks, but less than six months, are eligible for a tax credit of up to $2,400 per each veteran hired. Businesses that hire a veteran who has been looking for a job for at least six months would receive a tax credit worth up to $5,600. If a Pennsylvania business hires a veteran with a service-connected disability who has been seeking work for at least six months, that company would be eligible for tax credits worth up to $9,600.

The VOW to Hire Heroes Act would also make the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) more broadly available for service members. TAP is an interagency program that provides resume writing workshops and career counseling to our service members. The program is coordinated by the Departments of Defense, Labor, and Veterans Affairs. The bill would also expand education and training opportunities for older veterans across Pennsylvania by providing an additional year of Montgomery GI benefits that can be applied towards education or worker training programs at community colleges or technical schools. Disabled veterans would also be eligible for an additional year of vocational rehabilitation and employment benefits. Finally, the legislation would allow service members to begin seeking and securing employment within the federal government before they have fully left their military positions. 

Earlier this year, Senator Casey introduced S. 1104, the Veteran Transition Assistance Program Audit Act of 2011 which raised the need for greater oversight of the TAP program.  The VOW to Hire Heroes Act provides this by calling on GAO to issue a report every two years on the assistance programs.

Across Pennsylvania there are veterans who would be aided by the bill’s passage and businesses that would see a boost to their bottom line. For example:

  • In Blair County the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there are 1,804 out of work veterans.

 

  • In Erie County the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there are 2,024 out of work veterans.
  • In York County the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there are 3,261 out of work veterans.
  • In Northampton County the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there are 2,520 out of work veterans.
  • In Monroe County the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there are 2,335 out of work veterans.
  • In Philadelphia County the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there are 12,888 out of work veterans.
  • In Allegheny County the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there are 9,849 out of work veterans.

Today, Casey called on Congress to pass the VOW to Hire Heroes Act right away so out of work Pennsylvania veterans can find jobs, and businesses across the state could see a reduction in their tax burden when they hire one of our nation’s heroes.

County-by-County numbers are below:

Central Region

County

Unemployed Veterans

Unemployment % Among Veterans




Bedford

373*

7.7*

Blair

1804

15.5

Cameron

N/A

N/A

Centre

1145

12.4

Clearfield

1252

15.5

Clinton

347*

8.9*

Elk

179

5.6

Huntington

311*

7.2*

Jefferson

203*

5.4*

Juniata

101

5.8*

Lycoming

430

3.9

Mifflin

221

5.3

Montour

N/A

N/A

Northumberland

891

8.3

Snyder

304*

11.4*

Union

203

6.1

 

Erie Region

County

Unemployed Veterans

Unemployment % Among Veterans




Crawford

1622

20.3

Erie

2024

9.4

Forest

N/A

N/A

McKean

563*

12.4*

Mercer

1101

9.4

Potter

N/A

N/A

Venango

446*

8.1*

Warren

266

5.8

Harrisburg Region

County

Unemployed Veterans

Unemployment % Among Veterans




Adams

579

5.7

Cumberland

679

3.1

Dauphin

1728

7.3

Franklin

1257

9.4

Fulton

N/A

N/A

Lancaster

3180

9.7

Lebanon

283

2.4

Perry

148*

3.4*

York

3261

9.1

 

 

 

 

 

Lehigh Valley Region

County

Unemployed Veterans

Unemployment % Among Veterans




Berks

2162

7.2

Carbon

476

8.5

Lehigh

3328

13.4

Northampton

2520

10.6

Regional

Average

2121

10.1

Northeast Region

County

Unemployed Veterans

Unemployment % Among Veterans




Bradford

291*

4.9*

Columbia

190

3.9

Lackawanna

1545

8.1

Luzerne

2190

7.8

Monroe

2335

16.1

Pike

421

7.5

Schuylkill

1201

7.6

Sullivan

N/A

N/A

Susquehanna

343*

7.7*

Tioga

374*

8.1*

Wayne

358*

6.2*

Wyoming

173*

6.9*

 

 

 

Philadelphia Region

County

Unemployed Veterans

Unemployment % Among Veterans




Bucks

3740

8.8

Chester

3242

9.5

Delaware

3069

8.2

Montgomery

5586

10.3

Philadelphia

12888

16.6

Regional Average

5705

11.6

Pittsburgh Region

County

Unemployed Veterans

Unemployment % Among Veterans




Allegheny

9849

10.5

Armstrong

346

6.4

Beaver

1336

8.7

Butler

1517

8.9

Cambria

1386

9.9

Clarion*

373

10.6

Fayette

1832

15.3

Greene*

217

5.3

Indiana

937

12

Lawrence

1217

14.8

Somerset

683

9.2

Washington

1832

9.8

Westmoreland

2933

8.4

Regional Average

2170

10.2

Methodology

Data on veterans’ unemployment was provided by the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS).  The ACS conducts 1-year estimates for counties with larger populations and 3-year estimates for counties with fewer than 65,000 people.  Numbers with an * denote 3-year estimates. Regional averages do not include counties that do not have 1-year estimates.

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