Coffman’s job training for vets bill passes full U.S. House

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Congressman Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, in his new district office in February.

DENVER — Congressman Mike Coffman, one of the most vulnerable incumbents in Washington, has a solid, bipartisan accomplishment under his belt that’s going to look pretty good on his campaign mailers next year.

On Tuesday, the U.S. House voted overwhelmingly in favor of his legislation to make it easier for returning military veterans to find jobs.

Coffman, a former Marine and Iraq war veteran, said the legislation will help the 400,000 veterans in Colorado get the training that’ll prepare them for 21st century jobs.

House Resolution 1412 allows returning vets to use the educational benefit that they would otherwise use for college to do on-the-job training. It also requires the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs to promote the program and it boosts the incentives for employers to hire veterans.

Not a single lawmaker voted against the measure, which now moves to the Senate for consideration.

“Companies in my district have told me how beneficial this legislation can be for their operations because they know that veterans are hardworking, team-oriented individuals who are capable of learning the highly technical skills that are prevalent in many industries,” said Coffman.

“I hope the Senate sees the value of my bill because it helps connect companies to a great pool of available talent returning from military service.”

In Colorado, the unemployment rate for veterans is nearly 12 percent.

Coffman, whose once-safe 6th District seat was redrawn last year into a pure toss-up, is facing a challenge from former Democratic statehouse Speaker Andrew Romanoff.

In the year’s first quarter, both of them raised more than $500,000, putting them among the top fundraisers in the country heading into next year’s midterm elections.

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