AUSTIN - The Texas House of Representatives passed House Bill 45 without opposition from the House floor this afternoon. House Bill 45, commonly referred to as the military JOBS bill, allows all Texas agencies to accept military training and experience for credit towards occupational licenses. This credit applies to all veterans and members of the armed forces and helps to ease the process of reentering the civilian workforce upon completion of active duty tours or completion of their respective contracts.
Despite having valuable military experience, veterans frequently find it difficult to obtain formal private sector recognition of their military training, experiences, and skill sets through civilian certification and licensure. This also makes it difficult for the private sector to capitalize on the resources and time spent training and educating service members.
"We have qualified, licensed, focused men and women returning from active duty and finding themselves blocked from reentering the work force because of a licensing technicality," said Representative Dan Flynn (R-Van). "HB45 works to provide a streamlined, expedited process for those members and their spouses who are already licensed in a field, or in another state, so the transition for the family may be as uninterrupted as possible."
There are many skills that are taught while in the service that can be utilized once they transition to civilian life, especially in the fastest growing private sector industries. However, many service members are required to repeat education or training in order to receive industry certifications and state occupational licenses, even though much, and in some cases, all, of their military training and experience overlaps with credential training requirements. Additionally, frequent moves, and the resulting need to search for new employment, can be a significant problem for military spouses, especially when getting a job in a new state requires obtaining an occupational license.
"As Co-Chairman of the National Conference of State Legislators Military Task Force, I have found that this important military jobs bill is quickly becoming the national model for how we as a country, and as a state, address the growing need for avenues that support and encourage the reentry of our service men and women into the civilian workforce. Leveraging the skills of our military veterans and their families will build a stronger workforce and a more competitive economy," stated Chairman Flynn.
Representative Flynn has previously served on the Committee of Defense and Veterans Affairs and the House Interim Committee on Sequestration, both of which discussed the need for a goal oriented plan to assist with licensing and certification of military personnel and their spouses coming to Texas.
HB45 will now be sent to the Senate for consideration.