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IEC Representative and Senate Democrats Discuss Jobs for Veterans

Posted in: Legislative Updates, Chapter News

On November 20, the Independent Electrical Contractors’ (IEC) Chesapeake Chapter Executive Director Grant Shmelzer participated in an informal roundtable on veteran employment with U.S. Senate Democrats. The roundtable, which took place at the U.S. Capitol, brought legislators together with businesses and community groups to discuss the successes and challenges involved in ensuring our returning military personnel are gainfully employed.
 
"This forum allowed myself and other members of the business community to share some of the best practices that have allowed our organizations to become successful in the hiring of veterans," Shmelzer explained. "We were able to share some of the challenges we faced along the way and how we navigated these issues in an effort to employ our Nation's heroes."
 
IEC represented one of the many sectors to attend this important meeting. Senate Democrats used this informal gathering to gain information on the various resources associations and employers are using to help recruit, train, and employ U.S. veterans. 
 
IEC is fully committed to easing veterans’ transition to the electrical industry in a variety of ways. The overwhelming majority of IEC Apprenticeship Programs are approved training providers under the G.I. Bill; the IEC National Guideline of Standards specifies that veterans shall have direct entry preference in IEC Apprenticeship Programs; many chapters work with local veterans support groups including Hire A Hero, National Guard Employment Programs Department of Veterans Affairs; and many other initiatives. Specifically, IEC Chesapeake was recognized by the American Legion in July 2013 and received an award for Outstanding Achievement in the Employment of Veterans.
 
Mr. Shmelzer participated at the invitation of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee Chairman Mark Begich (D-AK).