WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) today introduced the bipartisan Hire Student Veterans Act. This legislation would expand the existing Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) to ensure that all student veterans using their GI benefits can take advantage of valuable paid internships or work opportunities while in school.
“It is critical that we provide those who have sacrificed for our nation with every opportunity to successfully transition to civilian life,” said Sen. Moran. “This legislation would make certain that veterans who are utilizing their GI Bill benefits have more flexibility to pursue paid internships and part-time employment to gain valuable work experience while in school. Expanding the Work Opportunity Tax Credit for student veterans is a good step forward in growing opportunities for our veterans as they join the civilian workforce, and I will continue to advocate for measures that increase veterans’ success in all aspects of servicemember transition.”
Currently, the WOTC is limited in its application to hiring veterans. Employers can only qualify for the credit by hiring veterans who have a service-connected disability or have been unemployed for more than four weeks. There is also a stringent 400-hour per year work requirement. As the law stands, the WOTC does not incentivize employers to hire student vets part-time during the school year or for a summer job and does not reflect the reality of today’s job environment in which new college graduates often need work experience in order to obtain even an entry-level career-track job. The legislation seeks to make three important changes to the Work Opportunity Tax Credit that will incentivize businesses to hire more student veterans, ultimately helping to move their careers forward.
The Hire Student Veterans Act is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.).
The Hire Student Veterans Act would:
- Automatically qualify employers who hire student veterans using their GI Bill benefits for WOTC’s 40 percent tax credit on the first $6,000 of a new employee’s first-year wages;
- Reduce the existing tax credit’s 400-hour work requirement to 120 hours if a newly-hired employee is a veteran using their GI Bill benefits, allowing a student veteran to work part-time, including in a paid internship during the summer or semester; and
- Directly incentivize employers to hire more student veterans for part-time work and paid internships.
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