Senator David Carlucci gathered Rockland County veterans, employers and veterans’ advocates for his announcement of proposed legislation, named “Jobs for Heroes,” to improve employment opportunities for former members of the military discharged after 9/11.
The percentage of unemployed veterans outpaces the percentage of unemployed civilians in New York. One county in the state has a veterans’ unemployment rate of 27 percent, the statewide county average is 10.7 percent with younger veterans at an even higher rate. Carlucci will introduce the comprehensive legislation this week in the Senate and Assembly sponsors are being lined up.
“We’ve got to be leaders on this issue,” said Carlucci, noting that the last place a veteran should be sent is the unemployment line.
The bill would provide economic incentives and allow employers to receive tax credits for each veteran they hire. The veteran must have been discharged after 9/11 and unemployed for six months or longer. The tax credit would take effect after the veteran has been employed for one year and would be equal to 10 percentage of the gross annual salary.
The allowed tax credit for each non service-disabled veteran is up to $10,000 and up to $15,000 for each newly hired service-disabled veteran. Companies can receive the tax credit for as many new veterans as they hire there is no limit.
It is similar to a measure previously proposed, which did not get passed. Carlucci said steps must be taken to ensure the state budget has funding for the tax credits. Carlucci, who served on the Senate’s Veterans Committee, said the bill is meant to address concerns about veterans that have been raised by the Hudson Valley Veterans Advisory Committee.
He hopes the bill will make it easier for companies to hire veterans and provide the training that they need. The money saved by the tax credit could be applied to raise their skill levels.
“That money could be used towards training,” said Carlucci.
Norm Cotrill, a Gulf War veteran, studying at Rockland Community College said the bill’s passage would improve the future for him and his colleagues. To get hired at graduation would be incredible, he said.
Another veteran, Philip Holder of Haverstraw is studying nursing at Rockland BOCES. The former Navy SEALS medic said his newly started nursing service would benefit from the legislation.
The announcement on Friday took place at United Structural Works in Congers, which specializes in steel fabrication and erection. Owner Cormach Murrihy hopes to expand his company with the construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge and would like to hire veterans