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Union urges support for veterans

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Frank Lewis


PDT Staff Writer


The Ohio AFL-CIO and the Union Veterans Council will hold its Second Annual Veterans Lobby Day in Columbus, and Jeannette Mauk, Field Director for Ohio AFL-CIO, says the group is looking for any veteran interested in attending to “join your fellow sisters and brothers to protect our veterans here at home.”


On Tuesday, June 11, union veterans will meet at the Ohio Statehouse to be briefed on Senate Bill 13, the Ohio Veterans Opportunity Act introduced by Senator Lou Gentile (D-Steubenville).


To RSVP and get more details, please e-mail Ohio AFL-CIO Field Director Jeanette Mauk at jmauk@ohaflcio.org.


Mauk said When someone RSVPs, a meeting with their legislator will be set up by Matt Smith, Ohio AFL-CIO Legislative Director, “so you can talk to your legislator about the importance of ensuring our men and women have real opportunities for work here at home when they leave their branch of service.”


Mauk said the Ohio Veterans Opportunity Act reemphasizes support for student veterans by establishing a standardized system to award academic credit for veterans who have taken coursework or received specialized training in the armed forces.


“It is my intention that this legislation will make every public higher education institution more accommodating to our state’s returning veterans and their families,” Gentile said. “As the state, and particularly Appalachia, struggles to add jobs, we must do everything in our power to ensure that our veterans are as competitive as possible when they return from service.”


The Ohio Veterans Opportunity Act includes several key provisions:


•Develops a model for training counselors and academic advisers to ensure needs of veterans are being met.


•Trains at least one faculty member at each two year or four year college or university as liaisons and contacts for student veterans.


•Provides these faculty members with sensitivity and awareness on various issues facing veterans including: military and training culture, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, and others.


•Establishes a program that creates collaborative relationships between student veterans and alumni to help link veterans with prospective employers.


Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.

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