EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin is looking to help America’s veterans with a new piece of legislation.
The main goal of the BRAVE Act (Boosting Rates of American Veterans Employment) is to create jobs and lower the unemployment rate of veterans. It will help veteran-owned companies, as well as businesses who employ veterans.
The BRAVE Act will create incentives for businesses to employ veterans. Under the bill, the Department of Veterans Affairs would have the ability to establish contracts for supplies and services with businesses that actively employ veterans.
Adam Kohls, Assistant Veterans Services Director for Eau Claire County, says this bill would be beneficial for not only the veterans who are being hired, but for the companies, too.
“It creates more incentives for people to hire veterans, as if being a veteran wasn't a big enough incentive,” Kohls said. “They certainly have the strong work ethic, but now it's financially rewarding companies for doing this as well."
Senator Baldwin says it’s great that the VA already establishes contracts with veteran-owned businesses, but this bill would value companies who make it a point to hire veterans.
“When you have a veteran-owned business, that’s one or two veterans, but when you’re talking about a small, medium, or a large-sized enterprise, you’re talking about 10s, maybe 100s, maybe 1,000s," Baldwin said. "That’s a really big deal."
Kohls says before the legislation was even brought forth, companies in the county had already been working to hire more veterans.
"Within the last two years, I've seen a push," Kohls said. "We've had a lot of companies reach out to our office to figure out how to reach out to veterans. The county is already working this angle.”
The bill doesn’t specify how much of a company’s workforce would need to be veterans, but Kohls says it would give companies, who don’t have a large veteran workforce, to go down that road.
The bill has bipartisan support as it was introduced by Baldwin, a Democrat, and a Republican Senator from North Carolina.