Expanding Access to Employment and Entrepreneurship
I appreciate the service and sacrifice of our men and women serving in the military. As the daughter of a Vietnam veteran, I understand the difficulty veterans have when they are transitioning from service to civilian life. An important aspect of that transition is finding a job. We need to connect veterans with workforce development and job opportunities. Under the McAuliffe Administration, the Governor created the Virginia Values Veterans (V3) Program with the mission of teaching employers nationally recognized standards and practices to recruit, hire, and retain veterans and recognize their unique experience through their service. V3 connects employers in the Commonwealth with veterans. We must double our efforts in facilitating veteran employment and mandate that the V3 program result in the hire of tens of thousands of veterans. We must also expand the Military Medics and Corpsmen pilot program that recognizes the hands-on experience of military medics and corpsmen and connects them with jobs in related fields. We must use resources from the Small Business Administration to provide veterans with the tools they need to start a business. Additionally, I will create tax incentives for businesses that hire veterans.
It is vital that service members and veterans get the care they need. I feel that veterans need to be able to see local healthcare providers quicker than that of the VA. That is precisely why Congress created the Choice program. However, there were obstacles imposed by the Choice program with burdensome regulations and an inflexible “30 day/ 40 mile” rule. We need to implement a better Choice program with the help of our Congressional delegation. The General Assembly can also appropriate funds to build veterans healthcare clinics like those in Fauquier County and Virginia Beach. I want to build one in the 62nd to alleviate the backlog in care within the Tri-Cities. We must also collaborate with local teaching hospitals such as MCV to provide Veterans with quality care. Every day, another 20 veterans take their lives by suicide in the US. I pledge to fight for our veterans when it comes to mental health, where so many of our military struggle with conditions like PTSD.
Ensuring Veterans Get A Quality Education
The GI Bill has played a pivotal role in making sure our veterans get the education they’ve earned. Unfortunately, the GI Bill doesn’t cover the entire cost of a college education. Many fees and even tuition isn’t fully covered in the GI Bill. Many turn to for-profit colleges for their educational needs. However, I want to expand access to cheaper, four-year institutions and community colleges. I would like to give Veterans a scholarship covering the cost that the GI Bill doesn’t cover. I also want veterans to receive college credit for their experience in the military.