On May 14, the U.S. House and Senate Committees on Veterans Affairs unveiled a bipartisan and bicameral package to “improve delivery of healthcare, benefits, and services to veterans, their families, and their survivors through the Department of Veterans Affairs.”

The omnibus bill included a reauthorization of the Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VET TEC) program, which expired on April 1 of this year and provides educational benefits to veterans. During its five year pilot, VET TEC matched more than 14,000 veterans and transitioning service members with technology training providers to help them jumpstart well-paying careers in the civilian tech industry.

Why it matters: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the veteran unemployment rate is rising. The national unemployment rate for veterans increased to 3.2% in April 2024, up from 3% in March and 2.2% this time last year. Unemployment is more likely to affect women veterans and veterans with disability status.

  • Veterans are also chronically underemployed. A Call of Duty Endowment/ ZipRecruiter report found that nearly one-third of veterans are underemployed – a rate over 15% higher than non-veteran job seekers.

What’s next: The omnibus bill – negotiated by House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Mike Bost (R-Ill.), Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester (D-Mont.), and ranking committee member Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) – is expected to move through Congress this summer. [Military.com]