(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Cleopatra G. Tucker, Herb Conaway, Jr., M.D., Troy Singleton, Wayne P. DeAngelo and Pamela R. Lampitt to help veterans transition into employment opportunities that will enable them to use the skills acquired during their military service received final legislative approval Monday and now heads to the governor's desk.
The bill (A-2891) would require the New Jersey Commissioner of Health and Senior Services to certify emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and Mobile Intensive Care Paramedics with equivalent military training or experience in the Armed Forces or the National Guard, if that military training and experience exceed or are equivalent to New Jersey's certification standards.
"Sadly, our veterans are returning home to fewer job opportunities despite their extensive training and experience," said Tucker (D-Essex), who chairs the Assembly Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee. "We must do more. Facilitating employment opportunities for veterans with skills equal or greater of those required of EMTs and paramedics is a good start."
"Many of our veterans have a difficult time finding work because their military experience does not translate to the workplace," said Conaway (D-Burlington). "This bill extends an employment opportunity to veterans who have the skills that are necessary and required to work in emergency services."
"The job of our military men and women is to protect and save lives. If they are not fit to work as emergency responders, I'm not sure who is," said Singleton (D-Burlington). "The jobless rate for our veterans is dismal. Let's help these soldiers by getting them work they are qualified for."
"Many of our veterans have proved their skills on the battlefield. They should not be denied the opportunity to do the same in the workforce," said DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex). "This bill will help match veterans with work they are familiar with and, considering their training, are most likely qualified to do."
"Adjusting to civilian life is difficult enough without having to worry about how you're going to support your family," said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). "If a veteran has the skills, then there is no reason why they should not be considered to don the uniform of our emergency personnel."
The bill was approved 39-0 by the Senate on Monday and 78-0 by the General Assembly last June.