Aumua Addresses Need for Single Credentialing System for Veterans

September 11, 2015
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Aumua Amata, during a House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, addressed the need for a universal credentialing system in regards to veterans and service members who seek private sector employment.

During the questioning of the witnesses, Amata spoke to Steve Gonzalez, Assistant Director of the American Legion’s National Veterans Employment & Education Division. “You mentioned in your written statement that all 50 states have now passed some form of new licensing and credentialing laws…Does this include the territories?” questioned Amata. “Could you also please go into more detail as to what these new laws are, and how they will increase consistency across the states and territories for service members and veterans trying to obtain certain credentials,” continued Amata.

While Mr. Gonzalez could not speak on the territories; a point that Congresswoman Amata made sure to highlight, he did say that these new laws are providing a better path forward in regards to the universal acceptance from the private sector of certain credentials held by veterans and service members.

Amata also addressed Frank DiGiovanni, Director for Force Readiness and Training in the U.S. Department of Defense, concerning his opinion on what the largest hurdle is regarding better cooperation between the military and private sector in terms of credentialing.

Mr. DiGiovanni spoke on DOD’s current efforts to get clarification from the private sector on which licenses and credentials our service members and veterans should pursue, in order to find placement following their service.

To finish off her allotted time, Amata engaged Teresa Gerton, Acting Assistant Secretary for Veterans’ Employment and Training Service of the U.S. Department of Labor regarding the additional steps that the states and territories should take in passing new laws for credentials and licenses for our veterans and service members.

Ms. Gerton went on to describe the current efforts by the Department of Labor to increase grant availability as well as increasing the capacity of the workforce system to perform training and counseling, but also warned against duplicating many of the existing tools for those seeking employment.

“While I am encouraged by the steps being taken to ensure that our veterans and service members are credited for their skills and training, I was disappointed at the lack of data for the territories,” said Amata.  “I will continue my mission in Congress to make sure that the territories and American Samoa in particular are not forgotten and left out when it comes to opportunities for our people, especially our veterans and service members,” concluded Amata.

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