Portland, OR – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley today appeared with local officials and veterans to call on Congress to quickly pass the Veterans’ Jobs Corps Act that would help put returning veterans to work. This bill is tentatively scheduled to come to the Senate floor when Congress returns to Washington and Senator Merkley is urging his colleagues to quickly pass this important legislation.  

“Our veterans have stood up for us, and we must stand up for them when they return home,” said Merkley. “Too many of our veterans are returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq to find that no jobs are available. This bill would provide returning veterans with short term jobs to get them on their feet while transitioning back to civilian life.  Our vets deserve better than political gridlock, and we should work together to quickly get this to the President’s desk.” 

The Veterans’ Job Corps Act of 2012 would create a Veterans’ Job Corps and provide funding to public organizations to establish training programs and job opportunities to unemployed veterans.  The program would employ veterans in public works projects related to transportation, the protection and conservation of federal lands and water, and first responder and other construction work. 

“This act creates opportunities for our returning servicemen and women to get back on their feet now, and help access good, family-wage jobs for a stable and healthy future,” said Multnomah County Commissioner Diane McKeel.