Reps. Takano, Cook Seek to Preserve NDAA Funding for Nationwide Work for Warriors Program

Washington, D.C. – Reps. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) and Paul Cook (R-Calif.) sent a letter today to the leadership of the Senate and House Committees on Armed Services requesting that funding for a nationwide Work for Warriors job placement program is preserved in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of Fiscal Year 2018.

The national pilot program, which is authorized in Section 504 of the NDAA passed in House, would match qualified, unemployed Guardsmen, Reservists, military spouses, and veterans with open positions in partnering businesses. It mirrors successful programs established in California, Nevada, Washington, and South Carolina that are proven to be more efficient and effective than current federal employment programs.

“Through partnerships with local employers and practical guidance from trained professionals, California’s Work for Warriors program has directly connected thousands of current and former servicemembers with good-paying jobs at very little cost,” said Rep. Takano. “Bringing this program to states across the country would translate to more job opportunities for those who serve and more cost savings for taxpayers. We strongly urge its inclusion in the final NDAA conference report.” 

Senators Lindsey Graham and Kamala Harris offered a companion amendment in the Senate but it was not brought up for consideration.

Rep. Cook, a Vietnam veteran and retired Marine Colonel added, “California Work for Warriors and similar programs in other states benefit our veterans, local businesses, and their communities.  The program is a cost efficient way to link businesses with high quality employees and leaders.  If accepted, our provision would strengthen California’s program, while also sharing our best practice with the rest of the country.”

The program is supported by the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS), the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS), and the Association of the United States Army (AUSA).

The letter is signed by a bipartisan coalition of 25 members: Reps. Pete Aguilar, Ami Bera, Julia Brownley. ­­­Salud Carbajal, Lou Correa, Jim Costa, Jeff Denham, Anna Eshoo, Colleen Hanabusa, Pramila Jayapal, Walter Jones, Ruben Kihuen, Zoe Lofgren, Alan Lowenthal, Ted Lieu, Doris Matsui, Jimmy Panetta, Scott Peters, Jacky Rosen, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Raul Ruiz, Adam Schiff, Carol Shea-Porter, Dina Titus, and Mike Thompson.

 A copy of the letter is available here.

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