Text: S.3234 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

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Reported to Senate (09/02/2010)

Calendar No. 556

111th CONGRESS
2d Session
S. 3234

[Report No. 111–285]


To improve employment, training, and placement services furnished to veterans, especially those serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

April 20, 2010

Mrs. Murray (for herself, Mrs. Lincoln, Mr. Begich, Ms. Klobuchar, Mr. Reid, Mr. Durbin, Ms. Murkowski, Mr. Wyden, Mrs. Boxer, Mr. Brown of Ohio, Mrs. Gillibrand, Ms. Snowe, Mr. Lautenberg, and Ms. Cantwell) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs

September 2, 2010

Reported under authority of the order of the Senate of August 5, 2010, by Mr. Akaka, with an amendment

[Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed in italic]


A BILL

To improve employment, training, and placement services furnished to veterans, especially those serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Veteran Employment Assistance Act of 2010”.

SEC. 2. Findings.

Congress makes the following findings:

(1) In 2008, the unemployment rate of veterans between the ages of 18 and 24 was 14.1 percent.

(2) In 2009, the unemployment rate of male veterans between the ages of 18 and 24 was 21.6 percent and the unemployment rate of female veterans in the same age group was 19.2 percent.

(3) The unemployment rate of veterans in all age groups is expected to increase as a result of the economic downturn that began in 2008.

(4) In 2004, approximately 22 percent of veterans were either purchasing or starting a new business, or considering doing so.

(5) One of the most critical problems identified by veteran small business owners is a lack of knowledge about programs of assistance available to small businesses.

(6) Members of the Armed Forces learn a wide range of technical skills during their time in the Armed Forces, but often find it difficult to transfer these skills into civilian professions.

(7) The Commissioner of Labor Statistics estimates that career opportunities in the fields of health care and information technology will expand significantly in the coming decade.

SEC. 3. Veterans Business Center program.

(a) In general.—Section 32 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 657b) is amended—

(1) in subsection (f), by inserting “subsections (a) through (e) of” before “this section”; and

(2) by adding at the end the following:

“(g) Veterans business center program.—

“(1) ESTABLISHMENT.—The Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor, shall establish a veterans business center program to provide entrepreneurial training and counseling to veterans in accordance with this subsection.

“(2) DIRECTOR.—The Administrator shall appoint a Director of the veterans business center program, who shall—

“(A) implement and oversee the veterans business center program; and

“(B) report directly to the Associate Administrator.

“(3) DESIGNATION OF VETERANS BUSINESS CENTERS.—The Director shall—

“(A) by regulation establish an application, review, and notification process under which the Director may designate entities as veterans business centers for purposes of this section; and

“(B) publicize the designation of an entity as a veterans business center and the award of a grant to a veterans business center under this subsection.

“(4) FUNDING FOR VETERANS BUSINESS CENTERS.—

“(A) INITIAL GRANTS.—The Director may make a grant to each veterans business center each year in the amount of $150,000. The Director may not make more than 5 grants under this subparagraph to a veterans business center.

“(B) GROWTH FUNDING GRANTS.—If a veterans business center has received 5 initial grants, the Director may make a grant to the veterans business center each year in the amount of $100,000. The Director may not make more than 3 grants under this subparagraph to a veterans business center.

“(5) ACCOUNTABILITY.—Each veterans business center receiving an initial grant or a growth funding grant shall—

“(A) meet performance benchmarks (which shall be established by the Director for the veterans business center and reflect the purposes of this subsection) to be eligible for an initial grant or growth funding grant in a subsequent year; and

“(B) submit to the Director an annual report on the performance of the veterans business center, which shall include—

“(i) a description of the use of the grant under this subsection and matching funds to carry out the activities of the veterans business center; and

“(ii) a description of the progress of the veterans business center in meeting the performance benchmarks described in subparagraph (A).

“(6) CENTER RESPONSIBILITIES.—Each veterans business center receiving an initial grant or a growth funding grant shall use the funds received under the grant for—

“(A) veteran entrepreneurial development;

“(B) counseling of veterans who own small business concerns or who are seeking to own a small business concern through one-on-one instruction and classes, including counseling relating to financial literacy;

“(C) education about services available through one-stop centers referred to in section 134(c) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2864(c)), including veterans employment assistance and job announcement services;

“(D) education about tax provisions relating to first time owners of business concerns, owners of small business concerns, and veterans;

“(E) information on the availability of mentoring services and referrals, as appropriate; and

“(F) information on government procurement assistance available to veterans.

“(7) MATCHING FUNDS.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—A veterans business center receiving an initial grant or a growth funding grant shall provide a contribution, in cash or in-kind, that is not less than 50 percent of the amount of the grant.

“(B) SOURCE OF CONTRIBUTION.—Not more than 25 percent of a contribution under subparagraph (A) may be provided from other Federal funds. The contribution may be provided from funds made available by a State, local government, or private person.

“(C) WAIVER.—

“(i) IN GENERAL.—The Director may, upon request, waive a portion of the matching contribution under this paragraph upon a determination of hardship to the veterans business center.

“(ii) CONSIDERATIONS.—In determining whether a veterans business center is experiencing a hardship, the Director shall consider—

“(I) whether the veterans business center is operating at an economic loss;

“(II) whether the veterans business center would continue to operate without a waiver; and

“(III) other factors the Director considers appropriate.

“(8) TARGETED AREAS.—The Director shall give priority to applications to be designated a veterans business center and for initial grants and growth funding grants under this subsection that will establish a veterans business center in a geographic area, as determined by the Director—

“(A) that is not currently served by a veterans business center; and

“(B) in which—

“(i) the number of veterans per capita exceeds the national median of the number of veterans per capita;

“(ii) the number of veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom per capita exceeds the national median of the number of veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom per capita; or

“(iii) the expected number of veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom per capita, as determined by the Secretary of Defense, will exceed the national median of the number of veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom per capita.

“(9) TRAINING PROGRAM.—The Director shall develop and implement, directly or by contract, an annual training program for the employees of veterans business centers to provide education, support, and information on best practices with respect to the establishment and operation of a veterans business center. The Director shall develop the training program under this paragraph in consultation with veterans business centers, the task force, the Employment and Training Administration and the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service of the Department of Labor, and veterans service organizations.

“(10) INCLUSION OF OTHER ORGANIZATIONS IN PROGRAM.—The Director shall designate as a veterans business center, and may make a initial grant to—

“(A) a Veterans Business Outreach Center established by the Administrator under section 8(b)(17) on or before the date of enactment of this subsection; and

“(B) each person or entity that—

“(i) received funds during fiscal year 2006 from the National Veterans Business Development Corporation established under section 33; and

“(ii) is in operation on the date of enactment of this subsection.

“(11) ANNUAL REPORT ON EFFECTIVENESS OF VETERAN BUSINESS CENTERS.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this subsection, and every year thereafter, the Administrator shall submit a report on the performance of the veterans business center program to—

“(i) the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate;

“(ii) the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, the Committee on Appropriations, and the Committee on Small Business of the House of Representatives; and

“(iii) relevant Federal agencies, including the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Labor.

“(B) CONTENTS.—Each report under subparagraph (A) shall include, for the 1-year period ending on the date of the report—

“(i) an assessment of the compliance of each veterans business center receiving an initial grant or growth funding grant with the performance benchmarks established for the veterans business center under paragraph (5)(A);

“(ii) the number of veterans assisted by a veterans business center receiving an initial grant or growth funding grant;

“(iii) comments, if any, from veterans who sought the assistance of a veterans business center;

“(iv) the success rate, as determined by the Administrator, of small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans who sought assistance from a veterans business center; and

“(v) any other performance indicators and information the Administrator determines appropriate.

“(C) PUBLIC AVAILABILITY.—The Director shall disseminate the findings of each report under subparagraph (A) online and to the veteran, small business, and workforce development communities.

“(12) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subsection—

“(A) $10,000,000 for fiscal year 2011; and

“(B) $12,000,000 for fiscal year 2012.

“(h) Additional grants available to veterans business centers.—

“(1) ACCESS TO CAPITAL GRANT PROGRAM.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—The Director shall establish a grant program under which the Director may make grants to veterans business centers to—

“(i) develop specialized programs to assist small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans in securing capital and repairing damaged credit;

“(ii) provide informational seminars on financial literacy, securing loans, and Federal, State and local tax provisions and incentives for small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans;

“(iii) provide one-on-one counseling to small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans to improve the financial presentations of the small business concern to lenders;

“(iv) facilitate the access of small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans to traditional and non-traditional financing sources; and

“(v) establish links to and partnerships with local workforce boards and business mentoring organizations.

“(B) AWARD SIZE.—The Director may not make grants under this paragraph to a veterans business center in a total amount of more than $75,000 during any 1-year period.

“(C) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this paragraph $1,500,000 for each of fiscal years 2011 and 2012.

“(2) PROCUREMENT ASSISTANCE GRANT PROGRAM.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—The Director shall establish a grant program under which the Director may make grants to veterans business centers to—

“(i) assist small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans in identifying contracts that are suitable for the small business concern;

“(ii) prepare small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans to act as subcontractors and prime contractors for contracts made available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111–5; 123 Stat. 115) through training and business advice, particularly with respect to the construction trades; and

“(iii) provide technical assistance to small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans relating to the Federal procurement process, including assisting in compliance with Federal regulations and bonding requirements.

“(B) AWARD SIZE.—The Director may not make grants under this paragraph to a veterans business center in a total amount of more than $75,000 during any 1-year period.

“(C) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this paragraph $1,500,000 for each of fiscal years 2011 and 2012.

“(3) SERVICE-DISABLED VETERAN-OWNED SMALL BUSINESS GRANT PROGRAM.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—The Director shall establish a grant program under which the Director may make grants to veterans business centers to—

“(i) develop outreach programs for service-disabled veterans with respect to the benefits of self-employment;

“(ii) provide tailored training to service-disabled veterans with respect to business plan development, marketing, budgeting, accounting, and merchandising;

“(iii) assist small business concerns owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans in locating and securing business opportunities; and

“(iv) link service-disabled veterans to services provided through one-stop centers referred to in section 134(c) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2864(c)), including information on labor market trends, entrepreneurial and related training and training providers, student financial aid, and specialized services for veterans.

“(B) AWARD SIZE.—The Director may not make grants under this paragraph to a veterans business center in a total amount of more than $75,000 during any 1-year period.

“(C) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this paragraph $1,500,000 for each of fiscal years 2011 and 2012.

“(i) Veterans entrepreneurial development summit.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—The Director of the veterans business center program established under subsection (g) may hold an event, once every 2 years, to provide networking opportunities, outreach, education, training, and support to veterans business centers designated under subsection (g), small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans, veterans service organizations, workforce investment boards of State and local governments, the Employment and Training Administration and the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service of the Department of Labor, and other entities as determined appropriate by the Director.

“(2) PRESENTATION OF REPORT.—The findings of the most recently submitted report under subsection (g)(12) shall be presented at an event held under this subsection.

“(3) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subsection $450,000 for each of fiscal years 2011 and 2012.

“(j) Definitions.—In this section—

“(1) the term ‘Associate Administrator’ means the Associate Administrator for Veterans Business Development appointed under section 4(b)(1);

“(2) the term ‘Director’ means the Director of the veterans business center program;

“(3) the term ‘growth funding grant’ means a grant under subsection (g)(5)(B);

“(4) the term ‘initial grant’ means a grant under subsection (g)(5)(A);

“(5) the term ‘task force’ means the interagency task force established under subsection (c)(1);

“(6) the term ‘veterans business center’ means an entity designated as a veterans business center under subsection (g)(4)(A); and

“(7) the term ‘veterans business center program’ means the veterans business center program established under subsection (g)(2).”.

(b) Report regarding direct loan program.—The Administrator of the Small Business Administration, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and the Assistant Secretary for Veterans' Employment and Training shall jointly—

(1) assess the efficacy of establishing a Federal direct loan program for small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans (as defined in section 3 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632)); and

(2) not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, submit a report regarding the assessment under paragraph (1) to—

(A) the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate; and

(B) the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, the Committee on Appropriations, and the Committee on Small Business of the House of Representatives.

(c) Technical and conforming amendments.—Section 32 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 657b) is amended—

(1) in subsection (a), by striking “by the Associate Administrator for Veterans Business Development” and all that follows and inserting “by the Associate Administrator.”; and

(2) in subsection (c)(1), by striking “(in this section referred to as the ‘task force’)”.

SEC. 4. Reporting requirement for interagency task force.

Section 32(c) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 657b(c)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(4) REPORT.—Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this paragraph, and every 6 months thereafter, the Administrator shall submit to Congress a report on the appointments made to and activities of the task force.”.

SEC. 5. Period for completion of training of new disabled veterans' outreach program specialists and local veterans' employment representatives by National Veterans' Employment and Training Services Institute.

(a) In general.—Section 4102A(c)(8)(A) of title 38, United States Code, is amended by striking “three-year period” and inserting “one-year period”.

(b) Effective date.—

(1) APPLICABILITY TO NEW EMPLOYEES.—The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply with respect to a State employee assigned to perform the duties of a disabled veterans' outreach program specialist or a local veterans' employment representative under chapter 41 of such title who is so assigned on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(2) APPLICABILITY TO PREVIOUSLY HIRED EMPLOYEES.—In the case of such a State employee who is so assigned on or after January 1, 2006, and before the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Labor shall require the State to require, as a condition of a grant or contract under which funds are made available to the State in order to carry out section 4103A or 4104 of title 38, United States Code, each such employee to complete satisfactorily the training described in section 4102A(c)(8)(A) of such title by not later than the date that is one year after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(c) Cross-Training.—The Secretary of Labor shall require State employees described by subsection (b) in the performance of duties described in that subsection—

(1) to educate staff of one-stop centers about the services such State employees provide and the programs of assistance available to veterans; and

(2) in order to strengthen coordination and enhance services to veterans, to learn about the employment and training and related information and services made available through the one-stop delivery system.

(d) Definitions.—In this section:

(1) ONE-STOP CENTER.—The term “one-stop center” means a one-stop center described in section 134(c) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2864(c)).

(2) ONE-STOP DELIVERY SYSTEM.—The term “one-stop delivery system” means a one-stop delivery system described in such section 134(c).

SEC. 6. Employment training assistance.

(a) In general.—Chapter 42 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

§ 4216. Employment training assistance for unemployed veterans

“(a) Subsistence allowance.—(1) The Secretary of Labor shall, acting through the Assistant Secretary for Veterans' Employment and Training, pay to each covered veteran a monthly training subsistence allowance under this section for each month that a covered veteran is enrolled in a full time employment and training program that—

“(A) is offered by an eligible provider of training services under section 122 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2842); and

“(B) teaches a skill that is connected to a career in an in-demand industry, as determined by the Secretary of Labor.

“(2) The amount of the monthly training subsistence allowance paid to a covered veteran under this subsection shall be equal to the monthly amount of the basic allowance for housing payable under section 403 of title 37 for a member of the Armed Forces with dependents in pay grade E–5 residing in the military housing area that encompasses all or the majority portion of the ZIP code area in which the covered veteran resides.

“(3) A covered veteran is entitled to training subsistence allowance under this subsection for not more than six months during each 10-year period beginning on the date in which the covered veteran first receives training subsistence allowance under this section.

“(b) Relocation stipend.—(1) In addition to the training subsistence allowance payable to a covered veteran under subsection (a), the Secretary of Labor shall, acting through the Assistant Secretary for Veterans' Employment and Training, pay to each covered veteran a relocation stipend for expenses incurred by the veteran for one relocation—

“(A) related to the veteran's participation in an employment and training program described in subsection (a)(1); or

“(B) to an employment opportunity related to the field or subject matter in which the veteran was trained in an employment and training program described in subsection (a)(1).

“(2) The amount of relocation stipend paid to a covered veteran under paragraph (1) may not exceed the lesser of—

“(A) $5,000; and

“(B) the actual amount of expenses incurred by the veteran.

“(c) Covered veteran.—For purposes of this section, a covered veteran is a veteran who is—

“(1) unemployed for a period of not less than four consecutive months at the time of applying for training subsistence allowance under subsection (a);

“(2) able to complete successfully the employment and training program described in subsection (a)(1), as determined by the Secretary of Labor; and

“(3) except as provided under this section, ineligible for education or training assistance under this title.

“(d) Annual report.—The Secretary of Labor shall submit to Congress each year a report on the effectiveness of the training subsistence allowance under subsection (a) and the relocation stipend under subsection (b) during the preceding year. Each report shall include, for the year concerned by such report, the following:

“(1) The number of veterans who received the subsistence allowance.

“(2) The number of veterans who received the relocation stipend.

“(3) The percentage of veterans who received the subsistence allowance or relocation stipend and completed an employment and training program described in subsection (a)(1).

“(4) The percentage of veterans who received the subsistence allowance or relocation stipend and were employed and retained upon completion of an employment and training program described in subsection (a)(1), as measured by the Secretary of Labor.

“(5) The percentage of veterans who—

“(A) received the subsistence allowance or relocation stipend; and

“(B) were employed in the fourth calendar quarter of such year following graduation from an employment and training program described in subsection (a)(1).

“(6) The average earnings of veterans, as measured by the Secretary of Labor, who—

“(A) received the subsistence allowance or relocation stipend; and

“(B) completed an employment and training program described in subsection (a)(1).

“(7) Such other matters relating to the effectiveness of the subsistence allowance and the relocation stipend as the Secretary of Labor considers appropriate.

“(e) Authorization of appropriations.—There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Labor to carry out this section $100,000,000 for each fiscal year.”.

(b) Clerical amendment.—The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter 42 is amended by adding at the end the following:


“4216. Employment training assistance for unemployed veterans.”.

SEC. 7. Use of entitlement under Post-9/11 Educational Assistance for apprenticeships and on-job training.

(a) Entitlement.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Subchapter II of chapter 33 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 3319 the following new section:

§ 3319A. Apprenticeships and on-job training

“(a) Monthly benefit.—Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c), the amount of the monthly benefit payment to an individual pursuing a full-time program of apprenticeship or other on-job training under this chapter is—

“(1) for each of the first six months of the individual’s pursuit of such program, 75 percent of the monthly benefit payment otherwise payable to such individual under this chapter;

“(2) for each of the second six months of the individual’s pursuit of such program, 55 percent of such monthly benefit payment; and

“(3) for each of the months following the first 12 months of the individual’s pursuit of such program, 35 percent of such monthly benefit payment.

“(b) Reduction.—In any month in which an individual pursuing a program of education consisting of a program of apprenticeship or other on-job training fails to complete 120 hours of training, the amount of the monthly benefit payment payable under this chapter to the individual shall be limited to the same proportion of the applicable rate determined under subsection (a) as the number of hours worked during such month, rounded to the nearest eight hours, bears to 120 hours.

“(c) Housing allowance.—An individual receiving a monthly benefit pursuant to this section shall receive a monthly housing stipend amount equal to the monthly amount of the basic allowance for housing payable under section 403 of title 37 for a member with dependents in pay grade E–5 residing in the military housing area that encompasses all or the majority portion of the ZIP code area in which the individual resides.

“(d) Charge to entitlement.—For each month that an individual is paid a monthly benefit payment under this chapter, the individual’s entitlement under this chapter shall be charged at the rate of—

“(1) 75 percent of a month in the case of payments made in accordance with subsection (a)(1);

“(2) 55 percent of a month in the case of payments made in accordance with subsection (a)(2); and

“(3) 35 percent of a month in the case of payments made in accordance with subsection (a)(3).

“(e) Reduced charge to entitlement.—For any month in which an individual fails to complete 120 hours of training, the entitlement otherwise chargeable under subsection (d) shall be reduced in the same proportion as the monthly benefit payment payable is reduced under subsection (b).

“(f) Program of apprenticeship defined.—In this section, the term ‘program of apprenticeship’ means a program of apprenticeship registered under the Act of August 16, 1937 (commonly known as the ‘National Apprenticeship Act’; 50 Stat. 664; chapter 663; 29 U.S.C. 50 et seq.).”.

(2) CLERICAL AMENDMENT.—The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 3319 the following new item:


“3319A. Apprenticeships and on-job training.”.

(b) Conforming amendments.—Section 3313 of such title is amended—

(1) in subsection (a), by inserting “or section 3319A of this title” after “subsections (e) and (f)”; and

(2) by amending subsection (b) to read as follows:

“(b) Approved programs of education.—A program of education is an approved program of education for purposes of this chapter if the program of education—

“(1) is—

“(A) offered by an institution of higher learning (as that term is defined in section 3452(f) of this title); and

“(B) approved for purposes of chapter 30 of this title (including approval by the State approving agency concerned); or

“(2) in the case of an individual who is not serving on active duty, includes a program of apprenticeship or of other on-job training approved as provided in paragraph (1) or (2), as appropriate, of section 3687(a) of this title.”.

(c) Technical correction.—Section 3002(3)(C) of such title is amended by striking “clause” and inserting “paragraph”.

(d) Effective date.—The amendments made by this section shall take effect as if included in the enactment of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 (title V of Public Law 110–252).

SEC. 8. Veterans conservation corps grant program.

(a) Grant program required.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of the Interior, establish a program to award grants to States to establish veterans conservation corps.

(2) MAXIMUM AMOUNT.—The amount of a grant awarded to a State under this section in any year may not exceed $250,000.

(b) Veterans conservation corps.—For purposes of this section, a veterans conservation corps is a corps that—

(1) is established by a State—

(A) within the veterans agency of the State; or

(B) in affiliation with the veterans agency of the State; and

(2) provides veterans with volunteer and employment opportunities with respect to conservation projects for one or more of the following:

(A) To restore natural habitat.

(B) To maintain Federal, State, or local—

(i) forest lands;

(ii) parks and reserves; and

(iii) other reservations, water, and outdoor lands.

(C) To maintain and improve urban and suburban storm water management facilities and other water management facilities.

(D) To carry out hazardous materials and spills response, energy efficiency and other environmental maintenance, stewardship, and restoration projects.

(c) Training, education, and certification.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—A State receiving a grant under this section to establish a veterans conservation corps shall ensure that such corps incorporates into the volunteer and employment opportunities provided by such corps training, education, and certification in environmental restoration and management fields.

(2) CONSULTATION.—Such State shall ensure that, in incorporating training, education, and certification into volunteer and employment opportunities under paragraph (1), the veterans conservation corps consults with the following:

(A) State and local workforce investment boards.

(B) Local institutions of higher education, including community colleges.

(C) Private schools.

(D) State or local agencies, including State employment agencies and State forest services.

(E) Labor organizations.

(F) Business involved in the environmental industry.

(G) Such other entities as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs considers appropriate.

(d) Employment assistance.—A State receiving a grant under this section to establish a veterans conservation corps shall ensure that such corps partners with one-stop centers, State and local workforce investment boards, and other State agencies to assist veterans enrolled in such corps in obtaining employment in the fields of environmental restoration and management, and other related fields.

(e) Services.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—A State receiving a grant under this section to establish a veterans conservation corps shall ensure that such corps—

(A) assesses of the veterans participating in the Corps the skills to help such veterans identify appropriate employment opportunities in their local communities that utilize the skills they developed while in the Armed Forces;

(B) assists with or provides referrals for obtaining benefits available to veterans;

(C) facilitates internships or job shadowing for veterans; and

(D) matches veterans with conservation projects that are aligned with the goals of the veterans.

(2) PARTNERSHIP WITH STATE AND LOCAL WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARDS.—In carrying out subparagraph (A) and (C) of paragraph (1), the State shall partner with State and local workforce investment boards.

(f) Reports.—Each State receiving a grant under this section shall submit to the Secretary and the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the performance of the veterans conservation corps of such State, including the following:

(1) A description of how the grant amount was used.

(2) An assessment of the performance of such corps, including a description of the current veterans labor market in such State and the veterans labor market in such State in the previous year.

(g) Definitions.—In this section:

(1) APPROPRIATE COMMITTEES OF CONGRESS.—The term “appropriate committees of Congress” means—

(A) the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate; and

(B) the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives.

(2) INSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION.—The term “institution of higher education” has the meaning given the term in section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001).

(3) ONE-STOP CENTER.—The term “one-stop center” means a one-stop center described in section 134(c) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2864(c)).

(4) STATE AND LOCAL WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARDS.—The term “State and local workforce investment boards” means a State workforce investment board and a local workforce investment board as such terms are defined in section 101 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2801).

SEC. 9. Center of excellence in reforming higher education to afford academic credit for military experience and training.

(a) Establishment.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall, in consultation with the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment and Training, establish a center of excellence for the purpose described in paragraph (2).

(2) PURPOSE.—The purpose described in this paragraph is the support of research, development, planning, implementation, and evaluation of methods for educational institutions to afford academic credit for military experience and training to—

(A) veterans who were discharged or released from service in the Armed Forces not more than 48 months before applying for admission to a program of education at such institutions; or

(B) members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces.

(b) Grants and contracts.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary may, acting through the center of excellence, award grants to or enter into contracts with eligible institutions for the purpose described in subsection (a)(2).

(2) MINIMUM AND MAXIMUM AMOUNTS.—The Secretary may not award a grant or contract under this section in an amount that is less than $2,000,000 or more than $5,000,000.

(c) Eligible institutions.—For purposes of this section, an eligible institution is any partnership that—

(1) meets such requirements as the Secretary may specify for purposes of this section; and

(2) consists of an institution of higher education and one or more of the following:

(A) A community college.

(B) A university teaching hospital.

(C) A military installation, including a facility of the National Guard.

(D) A Department of Veterans Affairs medical center.

(E) A military medical treatment facility.

(d) Selection of grant and contract recipients.—

(1) APPLICATION.—An eligible institution seeking a grant or contract under this section shall submit to the Secretary an application therefor in such form and in such manner as the Secretary considers appropriate.

(2) PRIORITY FOR CERTAIN APPLICATIONS.—In selecting applicants for a grant or contract under this section, the Secretary shall give priority to applicants who include as a partner an institution of higher education or other educational institution that—

(A) affords appropriate recognition to military experience and training in screening candidates for admission to such institution;

(B) has an established practice of, or proposes to establish a practice of, affording appropriate academic credit for military experience and training;

(C) if the applicant proposes to establish a practice as described in subparagraph (B), includes with the application submitted by the applicant under paragraph (1) a review of such plan by a professional organization;

(D) has established a professional development and delivery system using evidence-based practices; or

(E) has demonstrated experience working with the Department of Defense or the Department of Veterans Affairs;

(3) STANDARDS, PROCEDURES, AND DISTRIBUTION CRITERIA.—The Secretary shall, by regulation, establish application and evaluation standards and procedures and such other forms, standards, definitions, and procedures as the Secretary determines to be appropriate for purposes of this section.

(e) Use of grants and contract funds.—Each eligible institution receiving a grant or contract under this section shall use the grant or contract for one or more of the following:

(1) To develop or implement a plan to modify programs of education and admissions programs at institutions of higher education to afford academic credit to veterans and members described in subsection (a)(2).

(2) To develop standards for the identification of military experience and training in individuals applying for enrollment at institutions of higher education.

(3) To train professors, educators, and instructors at institutions of higher education on means of best teaching students at such institutions with military experience and training.

(4) To develop curriculum for institutions of higher education that are appropriately tailored to individuals with military experience and training.

(5) To develop admissions and recruitment guidelines for institutions of higher education to attract veterans and members described in subsection (a)(2) and afford them appropriate recognition for military experience and training in their admissions processes.

(6) To establish a program, method, or standards to be utilized by institutions of higher education for assessing the education and training of veterans and members described in subsection (a)(2) during the pursuit of a program of education and at the completion of such program.

(f) Institution of higher education defined.—In this section, the term “institution of higher education” has the meaning given such term in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a)).

SEC. 10. Publication of data on employment of certain veterans by Federal contractors.

Section 4212(d) of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(3) The Secretary of Labor shall establish and maintain an Internet website that publicly discloses the information reported by contractors to the Secretary of Labor under paragraph (1).”.

SEC. 11. Military pathways demonstration programs.

(a) Military pathways demonstration programs.—Section 171 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2916) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(f) Information technology military pathways demonstration program.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary of Labor, after consultation with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Secretary of Defense, shall establish a demonstration program and carry out the program by making grants, on a competitive basis, to not more than 5 entities for demonstration projects. The projects shall be designed to test the feasibility of methods of enabling transitioning military members to build on the technical skills learned in many military jobs, to enter the information technology workforce or continue their skills development in the information technology disciplines to meet the demand for information technology workforce readiness in computer specialist and related information technology jobs.

“(2) ISSUES TO BE EXAMINED.—In carrying out the program, the Secretary may examine the feasibility of methods such as the following:

“(A) Methods to improve the transitions, skills development, and employment of transitioning military members for and in information technology occupations with wages sufficient to support families.

“(B) Methods to align the information technology skills acquired in military occupations with skills required in civilian information technology occupations in new, emerging, or viable industries, including aligning the skills—

“(i) using guidelines for assessments and credentials that employers value in the hiring process, and credentials that are industry-recognized and approved by the Secretary; and

“(ii) by means that may include the use of a modified or enhanced Department of Defense transition program or a Department of Labor transition program, such as the program carried out under chapter 41 of title 38, United States Code.

“(C) Methods to ensure that military members receive education and training, including training through apprenticeship programs registered under the Act of August 16, 1937 (commonly known as the ‘National Apprenticeship Act’; 50 Stat. 664, chapter 663; 29 U.S.C. 50 et seq.) (referred to individually in this subsection as an ‘apprenticeship program’), and necessary support services, that are flexible, available (including available for deployed military members), adequate for individuals seeking to make the transition to civilian information technology occupations, and consistent with academic requirements of the institution involved.

“(D) Methods to enable military members to accelerate application for admission, acceptance, and graduation as students in computer science, engineering, and related disciplines at 2-year and 4-year institutions of higher education, based on military credentials and experience.

“(E) Methods to help military members obtain information technology credentials that are industry-recognized, are approved by the Secretary, and satisfy both military requirements and civilian requirements, prior to release of the members from the military.

“(3) ELIGIBILITY.—To be eligible to receive a grant under this subsection, an entity shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require, including each of the following:

“(A) An assurance that the entity agrees that, in carrying out the project, the entity will work in conjunction with a local board and enter into a partnership that includes, as principal partners, employers, labor organizations, postsecondary education institutions including institutions of higher education, veterans service organizations, and other community organizations.

“(B) Information—

“(i) demonstrating the capability of the entity in working with transitioning military members;

“(ii) demonstrating that the entity has a history of effective collaboration with—

“(I) the information technology industry or an industry with significant information technology jobs;

“(II) State boards or local boards, as appropriate; and

“(III) institutions of higher education and other information technology educators or trainers; and

“(iii) demonstrating knowledge of training and best practices of the information technology industry.

“(C) An assurance that the entity will participate in the Secretary’s evaluation plan for the demonstration program, including participating in required reporting for the plan.

“(4) SELECTION CRITERIA.—In order to select entities to receive grants for projects under this subsection, the Secretary shall establish selection criteria consistent with this subsection and shall ensure that the criteria give priority to each of the following types of entities:

“(A) Entities that demonstrate the ability to leverage public or private funds to sustain such a project after the grant period.

“(B) Entities that have relationships with institutions of higher education or with qualified community-based organizations that provide training.

“(C) Entities that have relationships with employers, labor organizations, and other entities that will provide earn and learn opportunities to veterans.

“(D) Entities that have experience working with veterans and facilitating transitions from military to civilian work environments.

“(E) Entities that have experience designing contextualized learning programs that integrate basic adult education with skills training.

“(5) PROGRAM EVALUATION AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE.—Using not more than 10 percent of the amount made available to carry out this subsection, the Secretary may—

“(A) conduct an evaluation to determine promising methods of increasing the number of highly skilled transitioning military members who enter civilian information technology occupations and earn wages sufficient to support families; and

“(B) provide technical assistance to entities receiving grants under this subsection, relating to the promising methods.

“(6) REPORT.—The Secretary shall prepare and submit to the appropriate committees of Congress and Federal agencies a final report on the findings and outcomes of the demonstration program carried out under this subsection. The Secretary shall broadly distribute the report through the veterans service organizations, State boards, and local boards.

“(7) DEFINITIONS.—In this subsection:

“(A) INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY.—The term ‘information technology’ means any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment—

“(i) used in the automatic acquisition, storage, analysis, evaluation, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, or reception of data or information; and

“(ii) includes the following:

“(I) Computers.

“(II) Ancillary equipment for computers (including imaging peripherals, and input, output, and storage devices necessary for security and surveillance).

“(III) Peripheral equipment designed to be controlled by the central processing unit of a computer.

“(IV) Software.

“(V) Computer services (including support services).

“(VI) Other computer-related resources.

“(B) INSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION.—The term ‘institution of higher education’ has the meaning given the term in section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001).

“(C) POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION.—The term ‘postsecondary education’ means—

“(i) a 4-year program of instruction, or not less than a 1-year program of instruction that is acceptable for credit toward a baccalaureate degree or an associate degree, offered by an institution of higher education; or

“(ii) a certificate or apprenticeship program at the postsecondary level offered by an institution of higher education, a nonprofit educational institution, or a labor-management partnership.

“(8) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subsection $10,000,000 for each fiscal year.

“(g) Nursing, public health and allied health professional, and physician assistant military pathways demonstration program.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary of Labor, after consultation with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of Health and Human Services, shall establish a demonstration program and carry out the program by making grants, on a competitive basis, to not more than 5 entities for demonstration projects. The projects shall be designed to test the feasibility of methods of enabling transitioning military members to build on the technical skills learned in many military jobs, to enter the nursing, public health and allied health professional, and physician assistant workforces or continue their skills development in disciplines related to those workforces to meet the demand for nurses, public health and allied health professionals, and physician assistants.

“(2) ISSUES TO BE EXAMINED.—In carrying out the program, the Secretary may examine the feasibility of methods such as the following:

“(A) Methods to improve the transitions, skills development, and employment of transitioning military members for and in nursing, public health and allied health professional, and physician assistant occupations with wages sufficient to support families.

“(B) Methods to align nursing, public health and allied health professional, and physician assistant skills acquired in military occupations with skills required in related civilian health occupations, including aligning the skills—

“(i) using guidelines for assessments and credentials that employers value in the hiring process, and credentials that are industry-recognized and approved by the Secretary; and

“(ii) by means that may include the use of a modified or enhanced Department of Defense transition program or a Department of Labor transition program, such as the program carried out under chapter 41 of title 38, United States Code.

“(C) Methods to ensure that military members receive education and training, including training through apprenticeship programs, and necessary support services, that are flexible, available (including available for deployed military members), adequate for individuals seeking to make the transition to civilian nursing, public health and allied health, and physician assistant occupations, and consistent with academic requirements of the institution involved.

“(D) Methods to align education and training programs, including apprenticeship programs, for veterans in nursing, public health and allied health professional, and physician assistant occupations with education and training programs for those occupations that are provided for the public.

“(E) Methods to enable military members to accelerate application for admission, acceptance, and graduation as students in nursing, public health and allied health, and physician assistant disciplines at 2-year and 4-year institutions of higher education, based on military credentials and experience.

“(F) Methods to help military members obtain credentials related to those health care occupations that are industry-recognized, are approved by the Secretary, and satisfy both military requirements and civilian requirements, prior to release of the members from the military.

“(3) ELIGIBILITY.—To be eligible to receive a grant under this subsection, an entity shall submit an application to the Secretary of such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require including each of the following:

“(A) An assurance that the entity agrees that, in carrying out the project, the entity will work in conjunction with a local board and enter into a partnership that includes, as principal partners, employers, labor organizations, postsecondary education institutions including institutions of higher education, veterans service organizations, and other community organizations.

“(B) Information—

“(i) in demonstrating the capability of the entity in working with transitioning military members;

“(ii) demonstrating that the entity has a history of effective collaboration with—

“(I) health care employers;

“(II) State boards or local boards, as appropriate; and

“(III) institutions of higher education and other nursing, public health and allied health professional, and physician assistant educators or trainers; and

“(iii) demonstrating knowledge of training and best practices of the health care industry.

“(C) An assurance that the entity will participate in the Secretary’s evaluation plan for the demonstration program, including participating in required reporting for the plan.

“(4) SELECTION CRITERIA.—In order to select entities to receive grants for projects under this subsection, the Secretary shall establish selection criteria consistent with this subsection and shall ensure that the criteria give priority to entities that demonstrate the ability to leverage of public or private funds to sustain such a project after the grant period.

“(5) PROGRAM EVALUATION AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE.—Using not more than 10 percent of the amount made available to carry out this subsection, the Secretary may—

“(A) conduct an evaluation to determine promising methods of increasing the number of highly skilled transitioning military members who enter civilian nursing, public health and allied health, or physician assistant occupations and earn wages sufficient to support families; and

“(B) provide technical assistance to entities receiving grants under this subsection, relating to the promising methods.

“(6) REPORT.—The Secretary shall prepare and submit to the appropriate committees of Congress and Federal agencies a final report on the findings and outcomes of the demonstration program carried out under this subsection. The Secretary shall broadly distribute the report through the veterans service organizations, State boards, and local boards.

“(7) DEFINITIONS.—In this subsection:

“(A) ALLIED HEALTH PROFESSIONAL.—The term ‘allied health professional’ means a health professional (other than a registered nurse or physician assistant) who—

“(i) has received a certificate, an associate degree, a baccalaureate degree, a master's degree, a doctoral degree, or postbaccalaureate training, in a science relating to health care;

“(ii) shares in the responsibility for the delivery of health care services or related services, including—

“(I) services relating to the identification, evaluation, and prevention of disease and disorders;

“(II) dietary and nutrition services;

“(III) health promotion services;

“(IV) rehabilitation services; or

“(V) health systems management services; and

“(iii) has not received—

“(I) a degree of doctor of medicine;

“(II) a degree of doctor of osteopathy;

“(III) a degree of doctor of dentistry or an equivalent degree;

“(IV) a degree of doctor of veterinary medicine or an equivalent degree;

“(V) a degree of doctor of optometry or an equivalent degree;

“(VI) a degree of doctor of podiatric medicine or an equivalent degree;

“(VII) a degree of bachelor of science in pharmacy or an equivalent degree;

“(VIII) a degree of doctor of pharmacy or an equivalent degree;

“(IX) a graduate degree in public health or an equivalent degree;

“(X) a degree of doctor of chiropractic or an equivalent degree;

“(XI) a graduate degree in health administration or an equivalent degree;

“(XII) a doctoral degree in clinical psychology or an equivalent degree;

“(XIII) a degree in social work or an equivalent degree; or

“(XIV) a degree in counseling or an equivalent degree.

“(B) OTHER TERMS.—The terms ‘apprenticeship program’, ‘institution of higher education’, and ‘postsecondary education’ have the meanings given the terms in subsection (f).

“(8) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subsection $15,000,000 for each fiscal year.”.

(b) Conforming amendment.—Section 174(b)(1) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2919(b)(1)) is amended by inserting “(other than subsection (f) or (g) of section 171)” after “through 172”.

SEC. 12. Veterans energy-related employment program.

(a) In general.—Section 168 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2913) is amended—

(1) by redesignating subsection (b) as subsection (c);

(2) in subsection (a)—

(A) in subparagraph (B), by striking “and” at the end;

(B) in subparagraph (C), by striking the period and inserting “; and”; and

(C) by adding at the end the following:

“(D) activities described in subsection (b).”; and

(3) by inserting after subsection (a) the following:

“(b) Veterans Energy-Related Employment Program.—

“(1) ESTABLISHMENT OF PILOT PROGRAM.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—To encourage the employment of eligible veterans in the energy industry, the Secretary shall carry out a Veterans Energy-Related Employment Program as a pilot program and as a program described in subsection (a).

“(B) GRANTS.—Under the pilot program, the Secretary shall award grants on a competitive basis to 3 States for the establishment and administration of State Energy-Related Employment Programs. In administering such a program, the State shall make grants to energy employers and labor-management organizations that collectively provide covered training, on-the-job training, apprenticeship programs registered as described in section 171(f)(2)(C) (referred to individually in this subsection as an ‘apprenticeship program’), and certification classes to eligible veterans. Such a program may be referred to in this subsection as a ‘State program’.

“(2) ELIGIBILITY FOR GRANTS.—To be eligible to receive a grant under the pilot program, a State shall submit to the Secretary an application that includes each of the following:

“(A) A proposal for the expenditure of grant funds to establish, and administer through a public-private partnership, a State Energy-Related Employment Program designed to provide covered training, on-the-job training, apprenticeship programs, and certification classes to a significant number of eligible veterans and ensure lasting and sustainable employment in well-paying jobs in the energy industry.

“(B) Evidence that the State has—

“(i) a population of eligible veterans, of an appropriate size for the State program;

“(ii) a robust and diverse energy industry; and

“(iii) the ability to carry out the State program described in the proposal under subparagraph (A).

“(C) Such other information and assurances as the Secretary may require.

“(3) USE OF FUNDS.—A State that is the recipient of a grant under this subsection shall use the grant funds for each of the following purposes:

“(A) Making grants to energy employers and labor-management organizations to reimburse such employers and organizations for the cost of providing covered training, on-the-job training, apprenticeship programs, and certification classes to eligible veterans.

“(B) Conducting outreach to inform energy employers, labor-management organizations, and veterans, including veterans in rural areas, of their eligibility or potential eligibility for participation in the State program.

“(4) CONDITIONS.—Under the pilot program, each State that receives a grant under this subsection shall be subject to each of the following conditions:

“(A) REPAYMENT.—The State shall repay to the Secretary, on such date as shall be determined by the Secretary, any amount received under the pilot program that is not used for the purposes described in paragraph (3).

“(B) SUBMISSION OF REPORTS.—The State shall submit to the Secretary, at such times and containing such information as the Secretary shall require, reports on the use of the grant funds.

“(5) EMPLOYER REQUIREMENTS.—In order to receive a grant made by a State under the pilot program, an energy employer seeking the grant shall, or a labor-management organization seeking such a grant shall (in coordination with the energy employer involved)—

“(A) submit to the administrator of the State program an application that includes—

“(i) the rate of pay for each eligible veteran proposed to be served using grant funds;

“(ii) the average rate of pay for an individual employed by the energy employer in a similar position who is not an eligible veteran; and

“(iii) such other information and assurances as the administrator may require; and

“(B) agree to submit to the administrator, for each quarter, a report containing such information as the Secretary may specify.

“(6) LIMITATION.—None of the funds made available to an energy employer or labor-management organization through a grant under the pilot program may be used to provide services of any kind to a person who is not an eligible veteran.

“(7) REPORT TO CONGRESS.—The Secretary shall submit to Congress a report on the pilot program. The Secretary shall submit the report together with the report required to be submitted annually under section 4107(c) of title 38, United States Code, and with respect to the same year as is covered by such report. The report on the pilot program shall include a detailed description of activities carried out under this subsection and an evaluation of the program.

“(8) ADMINISTRATIVE AND REPORTING COSTS.—Of the amounts appropriated pursuant to the authorization of appropriations under paragraph (10), 2 percent shall be made available to the Secretary for administrative costs associated with implementing and evaluating the pilot program under this subsection and for preparing and submitting the report required under paragraph (7). The Secretary shall determine the appropriate maximum amount of each grant awarded under this subsection that may be used by the recipient for administrative and reporting costs.

“(9) DEFINITIONS.—In this subsection:

“(A) COVERED TRAINING, ON-THE-JOB TRAINING, APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMS, AND CERTIFICATION CLASSES.—The term ‘covered training, on-the-job training, apprenticeship programs, and certification classes’ means training, on-the-job training, apprenticeship programs, and certification classes that are—

“(i) designed to provide a veteran with skills that are particular to an energy industry and not directly transferable to employment in another industry; and

“(ii) approved as provided in paragraph (1) or (2), as appropriate, of subsection (a) of section 3687 of title 38, United States Code.

“(B) ELIGIBLE VETERAN.—The term ‘eligible veteran’ means a veteran described in subsection (a) who is employed by an energy employer and enrolled or participating in a covered training, on-the-job training, apprenticeship program, or certification class.

“(C) ENERGY EMPLOYER.—The term ‘energy employer’ means an entity that employs individuals in a trade or business in an energy industry.

“(D) ENERGY INDUSTRY.—The term ‘energy industry’ means any of the following industries:

“(i) The energy-efficient building, construction, or retrofits industry.

“(ii) The renewable electric power industry, including the wind and solar energy industries.

“(iii) The biofuels industry.

“(iv) The energy efficiency assessment industry that serves the residential, commercial, or industrial sector.

“(v) The oil and natural gas industry.

“(vi) The nuclear industry.

“(10) APPROPRIATIONS.—There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2011 through 2015, for the purpose of carrying out the pilot program described in this subsection.”.

(b) Conforming amendment.—Section 174(a)(1) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2919(a)(1)) is amended by inserting “(other than section 168(b))” after “168”.

SEC. 13. Grants for Emergency Medical Services Personnel Training for Veterans.

Section 330J(c)(8) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 254c–15(c)(8)) is amended by inserting before the period the following: “, including, as provided by the Secretary, may use funds to provide to military veterans required coursework and training that take into account, and are not duplicative of, previous medical coursework and training received when such veterans were active members of the Armed Forces, to enable such veterans to satisfy emergency medical services personnel certification requirements, as determined by the appropriate State regulatory entity”.

SEC. 14. Veterans to Work pilot program.

(a) Veterans To Work program.—Subchapter III of chapter 169 of title 10, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 2856 the following new section:

§ 2857. Veterans to Work pilot program

“(a) Pilot program; purposes.—The Secretary of Defense shall carry out a pilot program (to be known as the ‘Veterans to Work pilot program’) to determine—

“(1) the maximum feasible extent to which apprentices may be employed to work on military construction projects designated under subsection (b);

“(2) the maximum feasible extent to which the apprentices so employed are veterans; and

“(3) the feasibility of expanding the employment of apprentices to military construction projects in addition to those projects designated under subsection (b).

“(b) Designation of military construction projects for pilot program.—(1) For each of fiscal years 2011 through 2015, the Secretary of Defense shall, in consultation with the Secretaries of the military departments, designate for inclusion in the pilot program not less than 20 military construction projects (including unspecified minor military construction projects under section 2805(a) of this title) that will be conducted in that fiscal year.

“(2) In designating military construction projects under this subsection, the Secretary of Defense shall—

“(A) to the greatest extent possible, designate military construction projects that are located where there are veterans enrolled in qualified apprenticeship programs or veterans who could be enrolled in qualified apprenticeship programs in a cost-effective, timely, and feasible manner;

“(B) ensure geographic diversity among the military construction projects designated; and

“(C) select projects to be carried out in the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands.

“(3) Unspecified minor military construction projects may not exceed 40 percent of the military construction projects designated under this subsection for a fiscal year.

“(c) Contract Provisions.—Any agreement that the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of a military department enters into for a military construction project that is designated for inclusion in the pilot program shall ensure that, to the maximum extent feasible, apprentices shall be employed on the project and that, to the maximum extent feasible, such apprentices shall be veterans.

“(d) Qualified apprenticeship and other training programs.—

“(1) PARTICIPATION BY EACH CONTRACTOR REQUIRED.—Each contractor and subcontractor that seeks to provide construction services on military construction projects designated by the Secretary of Defense pursuant to subsection (b) shall submit adequate assurances with its bid or proposal that it participates in a qualified apprenticeship or other training program for each craft or trade classification of worker that it intends to employ to perform work on the project.

“(2) QUALIFIED APPRENTICESHIP OR OTHER TRAINING PROGRAM DEFINED.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—In this section, the term ‘qualified apprenticeship or other training program’ means an apprenticeship or other training program that qualifies as an employee welfare benefit plan, as defined in section 3(1) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C. 1002(1)).

“(B) CERTIFICATION OF OTHER PROGRAMS IN CERTAIN LOCALITIES.—In the event that the Secretary of Labor certifies that a qualified apprenticeship or other training program (as defined in subparagraph (A)) for a craft or trade classification of workers that a prospective contractor or subcontractor intends to employ, is not operated in the locality where the project will be performed, an apprenticeship or other training program that is not an employee welfare benefit plan (as defined in such section) may be certified by the Secretary as a qualified apprenticeship or other training program provided it is registered with the Office of Apprenticeship of the Department of Labor, or a State apprenticeship agency recognized by the Office of Apprenticeship for Federal purposes

“(e) Report.—(1) Not later than 150 days after the end of each fiscal year during which the pilot program is active, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to Congress a report that includes the following:

“(A) The progress of military construction projects designated pursuant to subsection (b) and the role of apprentices in achieving that progress.

“(B) Any challenges, difficulties, or problems encountered in recruiting apprentices or in recruiting veterans to become apprentices.

“(C) Cost differentials in the designated military construction projects when compared with similar projects completed contemporaneously, but not designated for the pilot program.

“(D) Evaluation of benefits derived from employing apprentices, including the following:

“(i) Workforce sustainability.

“(ii) Workforce skills enhancement.

“(iii) Increased short and long term cost-effectiveness.

“(iv) Improved veteran employment in sustainable wage fields.

“(E) Any additional benefits derived from employing apprentices and veteran apprentices.

“(F) Recommendations on how to more effectively employ apprentices in subsequent fiscal years.

“(G) Any other information the Secretary of Defense considers appropriate.

“(2) Not later than March 1, 2016, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to Congress a report that—

“(A) analyzes the pilot program in terms of its effect on the sustainability of a workforce to meet the military construction needs of the Armed Forces;

“(B) studies overall improvements in veteran employment in sustainable wage fields or professions; and

“(C) makes recommendations on the continuation, modification, or expansion of the pilot program on the basis of such factors as the Secretary of Defense determines appropriate, including the following:

“(i) Workforce sustainability.

“(ii) Cost-effectiveness.

“(iii) Community development.

“(f) Definitions.—In this section:

“(1) The term ‘apprentice’ means an individual who is employed pursuant to and individually registered in a ‘qualified apprenticeship or other training program,’ as defined in subsection (d)(2)(A) or other apprenticeship or training programs recognized in accordance with subsection (d)(2)(B).

“(2) The term ‘State’ means any of the several States, the District of Columbia, or territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands.

“(3) The term ‘veteran’ has the meaning given such term under section 101(2) of title 38.”.

(b) Clerical amendment.—The table of sections at the beginning of subchapter III of chapter 169 of such title is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 2856 the following new item:


“2857. Veterans to Work pilot program.”.

SEC. 15. Report on recommendations for improvements to the Transition Assistance Program to better meet the needs of members of the Armed Forces and veterans.

(a) Report required.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Labor, acting through the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment and Training, shall jointly submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report setting forth recommendations for improvements and enhancements of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) in order to better meet the needs of members of the Armed Forces and veterans.

(b) Elements.—The report required by subsection (a) shall include the following:

(1) A description and assessment of the extent to which the current Transition Assistance Program meets the needs of members of the Armed Forces and veterans.

(2) Recommendations for improvements and enhancements of the Transition Assistance Program in order to ensure—

(A) the comprehensiveness of the programs and activities under the program; and

(B) the consistency of the programs and activities under the program across the Armed Forces and among the military installations at which the program is carried out.

(3) Recommendations for improvements and enhancements of the Transition Assistance Program to ensure that the program meets the needs of veterans residing in localities in the vicinity of military installations at which the program is carried out.

(4) A description and assessment of the programs and activities offered to veterans who have completed participation in the Transition Assistance Program in order to further assist such veterans in their continuing transition from military life to civilian life, and recommendations for programs and activities to improve and enhance such assistance.

(5) An estimate of the cost of implementing the recommendations set forth pursuant to paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) during the five fiscal years beginning after the date of the submittal of the report.

(6) Such other matters as the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Labor jointly consider appropriate.

(c) Appropriate committees of Congress defined.—In this section, the term “appropriate committees of Congress” means—

(1) the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate; and

(2) the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.

SEC. 16. Study on program of transition assistance modeled on National Guard Employment Enhancement Program of the Washington National Guard.

(a) Study required.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall complete a study of the National Guard Employment Enhancement Program of the Washington National Guard to assess the feasibility and advisability of carrying out a program of assistance modeled after such program for all members of reserve components of the Armed Forces who transition from activity military service to civilian life.

(b) Report.—Upon completion of the study required by subsection (a), the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report that includes the following:

(1) The findings of the Secretary as a result of the study.

(2) The recommendation of the Secretary as to the feasibility and advisability of carrying out a program of assistance as described in subsection (a).

(3) If the Secretary determines that carrying out a program of assistance as described in subsection (a) is feasible and advisable, an estimate of the cost to implement the program of assistance.

(c) Appropriate committees of Congress defined.—In this section, the term “appropriate committees of Congress” means—

(1) the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate; and

(2) the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Veteran Employment Assistance Act of 2010”.

SEC. 2. Veterans' business center program.

(a) In general.—Section 32 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 657b) is amended by striking subsection (f) and inserting the following:

“(f) Online coordination.—

“(1) DEFINITION.—In this subsection, the term ‘veterans' assistance provider’ means—

“(A) a veterans' business center established under subsection (g);

“(B) an employee of the Administration assigned to the Office of Veterans Business Development; and

“(C) a veterans business ownership representative designated under subsection (g)(13)(B).

“(2) ESTABLISHMENT.—The Associate Administrator shall establish an online mechanism to—

“(A) provide information that assists veterans' assistance providers in carrying out the activities of the veterans' assistance providers; and

“(B) coordinate and leverage the work of the veterans' assistance providers, including by allowing a veterans' assistance provider to—

“(i) distribute best practices and other materials;

“(ii) communicate with other veterans' assistance providers regarding the activities of the veterans' assistance provider on behalf of veterans; and

“(iii) pose questions to and request input from other veterans' assistance providers.

“(g) Veterans' Business Center Program.—

“(1) DEFINITIONS.—In this subsection—

“(A) the term ‘active duty’ has the meaning given that term in section 101 of title 10, United States Code;

“(B) the term ‘private nonprofit organization’ means an entity that is described in section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of such Code;

“(C) the term ‘Reservist’ means a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces, as described in section 10101 of title 10, United States Code;

“(D) the term ‘Service Corps of Retired Executives’ means the Service Corps of Retired Executives authorized under section 8(b)(1);

“(E) the term ‘small business concern owned and controlled by veterans’—

“(i) has the same meaning as in section 3(q); and

“(ii) includes a small business concern—

“(I) not less than 51 percent of which is owned by one or more spouses of veterans or, in the case of any publicly owned business, not less than 51 percent of the stock of which is owned by one or more spouses of veterans; and

“(II) the management and daily business operations of which are controlled by one or more spouses of veterans;

“(F) the term ‘spouse’, relating to a veteran, service-disabled veteran, or Reservist, includes an individual who is the spouse of a veteran, service-disabled veteran, or Reservist on the date on which the veteran, service-disabled veteran, or Reservist died;

“(G) the term ‘veterans' business center program’ means the program established under paragraph (2)(A); and

“(H) the term ‘women’s business center’ means a women’s business center described in section 29.

“(2) PROGRAM ESTABLISHED.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—The Administrator, acting through the Associate Administrator, shall establish a veterans' business center program, under which the Associate Administrator may provide financial assistance to a private nonprofit organization to conduct a 5-year project for the benefit of small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans, which may be renewed for one or more additional 5-year periods.

“(B) FORM OF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE.—Financial assistance under this subsection may be in the form of a grant, a contract, or a cooperative agreement.

“(3) VETERANS' BUSINESS CENTERS.—Each private nonprofit organization that receives financial assistance under this subsection shall establish or operate a veterans' business center (which may include establishing or operating satellite offices in the region described in paragraph (5) served by that private nonprofit organization) that provides to veterans (including service-disabled veterans), Reservists, and the spouses of veterans (including service-disabled veterans) and Reservists—

“(A) financial advice, including training and counseling on applying for and securing business credit and investment capital, preparing and presenting financial statements, and managing cash flow and other financial operations of a small business concern;

“(B) management advice, including training and counseling on the planning, organization, staffing, direction, and control of each major activity and function of a small business concern;

“(C) marketing advice, including training and counseling on identifying and segmenting domestic and international market opportunities, preparing and executing marketing plans, developing pricing strategies, locating contract opportunities, negotiating contracts, and using public relations and advertising techniques; and

“(D) advice, including training and counseling, for Reservists and the spouses of Reservists.

“(4) APPLICATION.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—A private nonprofit organization desiring to receive financial assistance under this subsection shall submit an application to the Associate Administrator at such time and in such manner as the Associate Administrator may require.

“(B) 5-YEAR PLAN.—Each application described in subparagraph (A) shall include a 5-year plan on proposed fundraising and training activities relating to the veterans' business center.

“(C) DETERMINATION AND NOTIFICATION.—Not later than 60 days after the date on which a private nonprofit organization submits an application under subparagraph (A), the Associate Administrator shall approve or deny the application and notify the applicant of the determination.

“(D) AVAILABILITY OF APPLICATION.—The Associate Administrator shall make every effort to make the application under subparagraph (A) available online.

“(5) ELIGIBILITY.—The Associate Administrator may select to receive financial assistance under this subsection—

“(A) a Veterans Business Outreach Center established by the Administrator under section 8(b)(17) on or before the day before the date of enactment of this subsection; or

“(B) private nonprofit organizations located in various regions of the United States, as the Associate Administrator determines is appropriate.

“(6) SELECTION CRITERIA.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—The Associate Administrator shall establish selection criteria, stated in terms of relative importance, to evaluate and rank applicants under paragraph (5)(C) for financial assistance under this subsection.

“(B) CRITERIA.—The selection criteria established under this paragraph shall include—

“(i) the experience of the applicant in conducting programs or ongoing efforts designed to impart or upgrade the business skills of veterans, and the spouses of veterans, who own or may own small business concerns;

“(ii) for an applicant for initial financial assistance under this subsection—

“(I) the ability of the applicant to begin operating a veterans' business center within a minimum amount of time; and

“(II) the geographic region to be served by the veterans' business center;

“(iii) the demonstrated ability of the applicant to—

“(I) provide managerial counseling and technical assistance to entrepreneurs; and

“(II) coordinate services provided by veterans services organizations and other public or private entities; and

“(iv) for any applicant for a renewal of financial assistance under this subsection, the results of the most recent examination under paragraph (10) of the veterans' business center operated by the applicant.

“(C) CRITERIA PUBLICLY AVAILABLE.—The Associate Administrator shall—

“(i) make publicly available the selection criteria established under this paragraph; and

“(ii) include the criteria in each solicitation for applications for financial assistance under this subsection.

“(7) AMOUNT OF ASSISTANCE.—The amount of financial assistance provided under this subsection to a private nonprofit organization for each fiscal year shall be—

“(A) not less than $150,000; and

“(B) not more than $200,000.

“(8) FEDERAL SHARE.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—

“(i) INITIAL FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE.—Except as provided in clause (ii) and subparagraph (E), a private nonprofit organization that receives financial assistance under this subsection shall provide non-Federal contributions for the operation of the veterans' business center established by the private nonprofit organization in an amount equal to—

“(I) in each of the first and second years of the project, not less than 33 percent of the amount of the financial assistance received under this subsection; and

“(II) in each of the third through fifth years of the project, not less than 50 percent of the amount of the financial assistance received under this subsection.

“(ii) RENEWALS.—A private nonprofit organization that receives a renewal of financial assistance under this subsection shall provide non-Federal contributions for the operation of the veterans' business center established by the private nonprofit organization in an amount equal to not less than 50 percent of the amount of the financial assistance received under this subsection.

“(B) FORM OF NON-FEDERAL SHARE.—Not more than 50 percent of the non-Federal share for a project carried out using financial assistance under this subsection may be in the form of in-kind contributions.

“(C) TIMING OF DISBURSEMENT.—The Associate Administrator may disburse not more than 25 percent of the financial assistance awarded to a private nonprofit organization before the private nonprofit organization obtains the non-Federal share required under this paragraph with respect to that award.

“(D) FAILURE TO OBTAIN NON-FEDERAL FUNDING.—

“(i) IN GENERAL.—If a private nonprofit organization that receives financial assistance under this subsection fails to obtain the non-Federal share required under this paragraph during any fiscal year, the private nonprofit organization may not receive a disbursement under this subsection in a subsequent fiscal year or a disbursement for any other project funded by the Administration, unless the Administrator makes a written determination that the private nonprofit organization will be able to obtain a non-Federal contribution.

“(ii) RESTORATION.—A private nonprofit organization prohibited from receiving a disbursement under clause (i) in a fiscal year may receive financial assistance in a subsequent fiscal year if the organization obtains the non-Federal share required under this paragraph for the subsequent fiscal year.

“(E) WAIVER OF NON-FEDERAL SHARE.—

“(i) IN GENERAL.—Upon request by a private nonprofit organization, and in accordance with this subparagraph, the Administrator may waive, in whole or in part, the requirement to obtain non-Federal funds under subparagraph (A) for a fiscal year. The Administrator may not waive the requirement for a private nonprofit organization to obtain non-Federal funds under this subparagraph for more than a total of 2 fiscal years.

“(ii) CONSIDERATIONS.—In determining whether to waive the requirement to obtain non-Federal funds under this subparagraph, the Administrator shall consider—

“(I) the economic conditions affecting the private nonprofit organization;

“(II) the impact a waiver under this subparagraph would have on the credibility of the veterans' business center program;

“(III) the demonstrated ability of the private nonprofit organization to raise non-Federal funds; and

“(IV) the performance of the private nonprofit organization.

“(iii) LIMITATION.—The Administrator may not waive the requirement to obtain non-Federal funds under this subparagraph if granting the waiver would undermine the credibility of the veterans' business center program.

“(9) CONTRACT AUTHORITY.—A veterans' business center may enter into a contract with a Federal department or agency to provide specific assistance to veterans, service-disabled veterans, Reservists, or the spouses of veterans, service-disabled veterans, or Reservists. Performance of such contract shall not hinder the veterans' business center in carrying out the terms of the grant received by the veterans' business centers from the Administrator.

“(10) EXAMINATION AND DETERMINATION OF VIABILITY.—

“(A) EXAMINATION.—

“(i) IN GENERAL.—The Associate Administrator shall conduct an annual examination of the programs and finances of each veterans' business center established or operated using financial assistance under this subsection.

“(ii) FACTORS.—In conducting the examination under clause (i), the Associate Administrator shall consider whether the veterans' business center has failed—

“(I) to provide the information required to be provided under subparagraph (B), or the information provided by the center is inadequate;

“(II) the center has failed to comply with a requirement for participation in the veterans' business center program, as determined by the Assistant Administrator, including—

“(aa) failure to acquire or properly document a non-Federal share;

“(bb) failure to establish an appropriate partnership or program for marketing and outreach to small business concerns;

“(cc) failure to achieve results described in a financial assistance agreement; and

“(dd) failure to provide to the Administrator a description of the amount and sources of any non-Federal funding received by the center;

“(III) to carry out the 5-year plan under in paragraph (4)(B); or

“(IV) to meet the eligibility requirements under paragraph (5).

“(B) INFORMATION PROVIDED.—In the course of an examination under subparagraph (A), the veterans' business center shall provide to the Associate Administrator—

“(i) an itemized cost breakdown of actual expenditures for costs incurred during the most recent full fiscal year;

“(ii) documentation of the amount of non-Federal contributions obtained and expended by the veterans' business center during the most recent full fiscal year; and

“(iii) with respect to any in-kind contribution under paragraph (8)(B), verification of the existence and valuation of such contributions.

“(C) DETERMINATION OF VIABILITY.—The Associate Administrator shall analyze the results of each examination under this paragraph and, based on that analysis, make a determination regarding the viability of the programs and finances of each veterans' business center.

“(D) DISCONTINUATION OF FUNDING.—

“(i) IN GENERAL.—The Associate Administrator may discontinue an award of financial assistance to a private nonprofit organization at any time if the Associate Administrator determines under subparagraph (C) that the veterans' business center operated by that organization is not viable.

“(ii) RESTORATION.—The Associate Administrator may continue to provide financial assistance to a private nonprofit organization in a subsequent fiscal year if the Associate Administrator determines under subparagraph (C) that the veterans' business center is viable.

“(11) PRIVACY REQUIREMENTS.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in subparagraph (B), a veterans' business center established or operated using financial assistance provided under this subsection may not disclose the name, address, or telephone number of any individual or small business concern that receives advice from the veterans' business center without the consent of the individual or small business concern.

“(B) EXCEPTION.—A veterans' business center may disclose information described in subparagraph (A)—

“(i) if the Administrator or Associate Administrator is ordered to make such a disclosure by a court in any civil or criminal enforcement action initiated by a Federal or State agency; or

“(ii) to the extent that the Administrator or Associate Administrator determines that such a disclosure is necessary to conduct a financial audit of a veterans' business center.

“(C) ADMINISTRATION USE OF INFORMATION.—This paragraph does not—

“(i) restrict access by the Administrator to program activity data; or

“(ii) prevent the Administrator from using information not described in subparagraph (A) to conduct surveys of individuals or small business concerns that receive advice from a veterans' business center.

“(D) REGULATIONS.—The Administrator shall issue regulations to establish standards for requiring disclosures under subparagraph (B)(ii).

“(12) REPORT.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 60 days after the end of each fiscal year, the Associate Administrator shall submit to the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship of the Senate and the Committee on Small Business of the House of Representatives a report on the effectiveness of the veterans' business center program in each region during the most recent full fiscal year.

“(B) CONTENTS.—Each report under this paragraph shall include, at a minimum, for each veterans' business center established or operated using financial assistance provided under this subsection—

“(i) the number of individuals receiving assistance from the veterans' business center, including the number of such individuals who are—

“(I) veterans or spouses of veterans;

“(II) service-disabled veterans or spouses of service-disabled veterans; or

“(III) Reservists or spouses of Reservists;

“(ii) the number of startup small business concerns formed by individuals receiving assistance from the veterans' business center, including—

“(I) veterans or spouses of veterans;

“(II) service-disabled veterans or spouses of service-disabled veterans; or

“(III) Reservists or spouses of Reservists;

“(iii) the gross receipts of small business concerns that receive advice from the veterans' business center;

“(iv) the employment increases or decreases of small business concerns that receive advice from the veterans' business center;

“(v) to the maximum extent practicable, the increases or decreases in profits of small business concerns that receive advice from the veterans' business center; and

“(vi) the results of the examination of the veterans' business center under paragraph (10).

“(13) COORDINATION OF EFFORTS AND CONSULTATION.—

“(A) COORDINATION AND CONSULTATION.—To the extent practicable, the Associate Administrator and each private nonprofit organization that receives financial assistance under this subsection shall—

“(i) coordinate outreach and other activities with other programs of the Administration and the programs of other Federal agencies;

“(ii) consult with technical representatives of the district offices of the Administration in carrying out activities using financial assistance under this subsection; and

“(iii) provide information to the veterans business ownership representatives designated under subparagraph (B) and coordinate with the veterans business ownership representatives to increase the ability of the veterans business ownership representatives to provide services throughout the area served by the veterans business ownership representatives.

“(B) VETERANS BUSINESS OWNERSHIP REPRESENTATIVES.—

“(i) DESIGNATION.—The Administrator shall designate not fewer than 1 individual in each district office of the Administration as a veterans business ownership representative, who shall communicate and coordinate activities of the district office with private nonprofit organizations that receive financial assistance under this subsection.

“(ii) INITIAL DESIGNATION.—The first individual in each district office of the Administration designated by the Administrator as a veterans business ownership representative under clause (i) shall be an individual that is employed by the Administration on the date of enactment of this subsection.

“(14) EXISTING CONTRACTS.—An award of financial assistance under this subsection shall not void any contract between a private nonprofit organization and the Administration that is in effect on the date of such award.

“(h) Authorization of appropriations.—There are authorized to be appropriated—

“(1) to carry out subsections (a) through (f), $2,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2011 through 2013; and

“(2) to carry out subsection (g)—

“(A) $8,000,000 for fiscal year 2011;

“(B) $8,500,000 for fiscal year 2012; and

“(C) $9,000,000 for fiscal year 2013.”.

(b) GAO Reports.—

(1) DEFINITIONS.—In this subsection—

(A) the terms “small business concern” and “veteran” have the meanings given those terms under section 3 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632); and

(B) the terms “Reservist”, “small business concern owned and controlled by veterans”, and “veterans’ business center program” have the meanings given those terms in section 32(g) of the Small Business Act, as added by this section.

(2) REPORT ON ACCESS TO CREDIT.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit a report regarding the ability of small business concern owned and controlled by veterans to access credit to—

(i) the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship of the Senate; and

(ii) the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and the Committee on Small Business of the House of Representatives.

(B) CONTENTS.—The report submitted under subparagraph (A) shall include an analysis of—

(i) the sources of credit used by small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans and percentage of the credit obtained by small business concern owned and controlled by veterans that is obtained from each source;

(ii) the default rate for small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans separately for each source of credit described in clause (i), as compared to the default rate for the source of credit for small business concerns generally;

(iii) the Federal lending programs available to provide credit to small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans;

(iv) gaps, if any, in the availability of credit for small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans that are not being filled by the Federal Government or private sources;

(v) obstacles faced by veterans in trying to access credit;

(vi) the extent to which deployment and other military responsibilities affect the credit history of veterans and Reservists; and

(vii) the extent to which veterans are aware of Federal programs targeted towards helping veterans access credit.

(3) REPORT ON VETERANS’ BUSINESS CENTER PROGRAM.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 60 days after the end of the second fiscal year beginning after the date on which the veterans’ business center program is established, the Comptroller General of the United States shall evaluate the effectiveness of the veterans’ business center program, and submit to Congress a report on the results of that evaluation.

(B) CONTENTS.—The report submitted under subparagraph (A) shall include—

(i) an assessment of—

(I) the use of amounts made available to carry out the veterans’ business center program;

(II) the effectiveness of the services provided by each private nonprofit organization receiving financial assistance under the veterans’ business center program;

(III) whether the services described in clause (ii) are duplicative of services provided by other veteran service organizations, programs of the Small Business Administration, or programs of another Federal department or agency and, if so, recommendations regarding how to alleviate the duplication of the services; and

(IV) whether there are areas of the United States in which there are not adequate entrepreneurial services for small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans and, if so, whether there is a veterans' business center established under the veterans’ business center program providing services to that area; and

(ii) recommendations, if any, for improving the veterans’ business center program.

SEC. 3. Reporting requirement for interagency task force on small businesses owned and controlled by disabled veterans.

Section 32(c) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 657b(c)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(4) REPORT.—Not less frequently than twice each year, the Administrator shall submit to Congress a report on the appointments made to and activities of the task force.”.

SEC. 4. Repeal of authority to award new grants and renewal of previously awarded grants for outreach programs for veterans.

(a) Definition.—In this section, the term “covered grant, contract, or cooperative agreement” means a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement that was—

(1) made or entered into under section 8(b)(17) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637(b)(17)); and

(2) in effect on or before the date described in subsection (b)(2).

(b) Repeal.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Section 8(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637(b)) is amended—

(A) in paragraph (15), by adding “and” at the end;

(B) in paragraph (16), by striking “; and” and inserting a period; and

(C) by striking paragraph (17).

(2) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendments made by paragraph (1) shall take effect 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act.

(c) Transitional rules.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a covered grant, contract, or cooperative agreement shall remain in full force and effect under the terms, and for the duration, of the covered grant, contract, or agreement.

(2) ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS.—Any organization that was awarded or entered into a covered grant, contract, or cooperative agreement shall be subject to the requirements of section 32(g) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 657b(g)) (as added by this Act).

(d) Renewal of financial assistance.—An organization that was awarded or entered into a covered grant, contract, or cooperative agreement may apply for a renewal of the grant, contract, or agreement under the terms and conditions described in section 32(g) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 657b(g)) (as added by this Act).

SEC. 5. Military Pathways Demonstration Programs.

(a) Information Technology Military Pathways Demonstration Program.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary of Labor, acting through the Assistant Secretary for Veterans' Employment and Training, after consultation with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Secretary of Defense, shall establish a demonstration program and carry out the program by making grants, on a competitive basis, to not more than 5 entities for demonstration projects. The projects shall be designed to test the feasibility of methods of enabling transitioning military members to build on the technical skills learned in many military jobs, to enter the information technology workforce or continue their skills development in the information technology disciplines to meet the demand for information technology workforce readiness in computer specialist and related information technology jobs.

(2) ISSUES TO BE EXAMINED.—In carrying out the program, the Secretary may examine the feasibility of methods such as the following:

(A) Methods to improve the transitions, skills development, and employment of transitioning military members for and in information technology occupations with wages sufficient to support families.

(B) Methods to align the information technology skills acquired in military occupations with skills required in civilian information technology occupations in new, emerging, or viable industries, including aligning the skills—

(i) using guidelines for assessments and credentials that employers value in the hiring process, and credentials that are industry-recognized and approved by the Secretary; and

(ii) by means that may include the use of a modified or enhanced Department of Defense transition program or a Department of Labor transition program, such as the program carried out under chapter 41 of title 38, United States Code.

(C) Methods to ensure that military members receive education and training, including training through apprenticeship programs, and necessary support services, that are flexible, available (including available for deployed military members), adequate for individuals seeking to make the transition to civilian information technology occupations, and consistent with academic requirements of the institution involved.

(D) Methods to enable military members to accelerate application for admission, acceptance, and graduation as students in computer science, engineering, and related disciplines at 2-year and 4-year institutions of higher education, based on military credentials and experience.

(E) Methods to help military members obtain information technology credentials that are industry-recognized, are approved by the Secretary, and satisfy both military requirements and civilian requirements, prior to release of the members from the military.

(3) ELIGIBILITY.—To be eligible to receive a grant under this subsection, an entity shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require, including each of the following:

(A) An assurance that the entity agrees that, in carrying out the project, the entity will work in conjunction with a local board and enter into a partnership that includes, as principal partners, employers, labor organizations, postsecondary education institutions including institutions of higher education, veterans service organizations, and other community organizations.

(B) Information—

(i) demonstrating the capability of the entity in working with transitioning military members;

(ii) demonstrating that the entity has a history of effective collaboration with—

(I) the information technology industry or an industry with significant information technology jobs;

(II) State boards or local boards, as appropriate; and

(III) institutions of higher education and other information technology educators or trainers; and

(iii) demonstrating knowledge of training and best practices of the information technology industry.

(C) An assurance that the entity will participate in the Secretary's evaluation plan for the demonstration program, including participating in required reporting for the plan.

(4) SELECTION CRITERIA.—In order to select entities to receive grants for projects under this subsection, the Secretary shall establish selection criteria consistent with this subsection and shall ensure that the criteria give priority to each of the following types of entities:

(A) Entities that demonstrate the ability to leverage public or private funds to sustain such a project after the grant period.

(B) Entities that have relationships with institutions of higher education or with qualified community-based organizations that provide training.

(C) Entities that have relationships with employers, labor organizations, and other entities that will provide earn and learn opportunities to veterans.

(D) Entities that have experience working with veterans and facilitating transitions from military to civilian work environments.

(E) Entities that have experience designing contextualized learning programs that integrate basic adult education with skills training.

(5) PROGRAM EVALUATION AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE.—Using not more than 10 percent of the amount made available to carry out this subsection, the Secretary may—

(A) conduct an evaluation to determine promising methods of increasing the number of highly skilled transitioning military members who enter civilian information technology occupations and earn wages sufficient to support families; and

(B) provide technical assistance to entities receiving grants under this subsection, relating to the promising methods.

(6) DEFINITION.—In this subsection, the term “information technology” means any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment—

(A) used in the automatic acquisition, storage, analysis, evaluation, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, or reception of data or information; and

(B) includes the following:

(i) Computers.

(ii) Ancillary equipment for computers (including imaging peripherals, and input, output, and storage devices necessary for security and surveillance).

(iii) Peripheral equipment designed to be controlled by the central processing unit of a computer.

(iv) Software.

(v) Computer services (including support services).

(vi) Other computer-related resources.

(7) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subsection $4,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2011 through 2013.

(b) Nursing, Public Health and Allied Health Professional, and Physician Assistant Military Pathways Demonstration Program.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary of Labor, acting through the Assistant Secretary for Veterans' Employment and Training, after consultation with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of Health and Human Services, shall establish a demonstration program and carry out the program by making grants, on a competitive basis, to not more than 5 entities for demonstration projects. The projects shall be designed to test the feasibility of methods of enabling transitioning military members to build on the technical skills learned in many military jobs, to enter the nursing, public health and allied health professional, and physician assistant workforces or continue their skills development in disciplines related to those workforces to meet the demand for nurses, public health and allied health professionals, and physician assistants.

(2) ISSUES TO BE EXAMINED.—In carrying out the program, the Secretary may examine the feasibility of methods such as the following:

(A) Methods to improve the transitions, skills development, and employment of transitioning military members for and in nursing, public health and allied health professional, and physician assistant occupations with wages sufficient to support families.

(B) Methods to align nursing, public health and allied health professional, and physician assistant skills acquired in military occupations with skills required in related civilian health occupations, including aligning the skills—

(i) using guidelines for assessments and credentials that employers value in the hiring process, and credentials that are industry-recognized and approved by the Secretary; and

(ii) by means that may include the use of a modified or enhanced Department of Defense transition program or a Department of Labor transition program, such as the program carried out under chapter 41 of title 38, United States Code.

(C) Methods to ensure that military members receive education and training, including training through apprenticeship programs, and necessary support services, that are flexible, available (including available for deployed military members), adequate for individuals seeking to make the transition to civilian nursing, public health and allied health, and physician assistant occupations, and consistent with academic requirements of the institution involved.

(D) Methods to align education and training programs, including apprenticeship programs, for veterans in nursing, public health and allied health professional, and physician assistant occupations with education and training programs for those occupations that are provided for the public.

(E) Methods to enable military members to accelerate application for admission, acceptance, and graduation as students in nursing, public health and allied health, and physician assistant disciplines at 2-year and 4-year institutions of higher education, based on military credentials and experience.

(F) Methods to help military members obtain credentials related to those health care occupations that are industry-recognized, are approved by the Secretary, and satisfy both military requirements and civilian requirements, prior to release of the members from the military.

(3) ELIGIBILITY.—To be eligible to receive a grant under this subsection, an entity shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require including each of the following:

(A) An assurance that the entity agrees that, in carrying out the project, the entity will work in conjunction with a local board and enter into a partnership that includes, as principal partners, employers, labor organizations, postsecondary education institutions including institutions of higher education, veterans service organizations, and other community organizations.

(B) Information—

(i) in demonstrating the capability of the entity in working with transitioning military members;

(ii) demonstrating that the entity has a history of effective collaboration with—

(I) health care employers;

(II) State boards or local boards, as appropriate; and

(III) institutions of higher education and other nursing, public health and allied health professional, and physician assistant educators or trainers; and

(iii) demonstrating knowledge of training and best practices of the health care industry.

(C) An assurance that the entity will participate in the Secretary's evaluation plan for the demonstration program, including participating in required reporting for the plan.

(4) SELECTION CRITERIA.—In order to select entities to receive grants for projects under this subsection, the Secretary shall establish selection criteria consistent with this subsection and shall ensure that the criteria give priority to entities that demonstrate the ability to leverage of public or private funds to sustain such a project after the grant period.

(5) PROGRAM EVALUATION AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE.—Using not more than 10 percent of the amount made available to carry out this subsection, the Secretary may—

(A) conduct an evaluation to determine promising methods of increasing the number of highly skilled transitioning military members who enter civilian nursing, public health and allied health, or physician assistant occupations and earn wages sufficient to support families; and

(B) provide technical assistance to entities receiving grants under this subsection, relating to the promising methods.

(6) DEFINITION.—In this subsection, the term “allied health professional” means a health professional (other than a registered nurse or physician assistant) who—

(A) has received a certificate, an associate degree, a baccalaureate degree, a master's degree, a doctoral degree, or postbaccalaureate training, in a science relating to health care;

(B) shares in the responsibility for the delivery of health care services or related services, including—

(i) services relating to the identification, evaluation, and prevention of disease and disorders;

(ii) dietary and nutrition services;

(iii) health promotion services;

(iv) rehabilitation services; or

(v) health systems management services; and

(C) has not received—

(i) a degree of doctor of medicine;

(ii) a degree of doctor of osteopathy;

(iii) a degree of doctor of dentistry or an equivalent degree;

(iv) a degree of doctor of veterinary medicine or an equivalent degree;

(v) a degree of doctor of optometry or an equivalent degree;

(vi) a degree of doctor of podiatric medicine or an equivalent degree;

(vii) a degree of bachelor of science in pharmacy or an equivalent degree;

(viii) a degree of doctor of pharmacy or an equivalent degree;

(ix) a graduate degree in public health or an equivalent degree;

(x) a degree of doctor of chiropractic or an equivalent degree;

(xi) a graduate degree in health administration or an equivalent degree;

(xii) a doctoral degree in clinical psychology or an equivalent degree;

(xiii) a degree in social work or an equivalent degree; or

(xiv) a degree in counseling or an equivalent degree.

(7) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subsection $4,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2011 through 2013.

(c) Law enforcement and security military pathways demonstration program.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary of Labor, acting through the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment and Training and after consultation with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Secretary of Defense, shall establish a demonstration program and carry out the program by making grants, on a competitive basis, for demonstration projects. The projects shall be designed to test the feasibility of methods of enabling transitioning military members to build on skills learned in many military jobs, to enter the law enforcement and security workforce or continue their skills development in law enforcement and security disciplines to meet the demand for law enforcement and security officers.

(2) ANNUAL NUMBER OF GRANTS.—In any 12-month period of the demonstration program, the Secretary may not award more than 5 grants for demonstration projects described in this subsection.

(3) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subsection $4,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2011 through 2013.

(d) Monitoring of use of funds.—The Secretary shall monitor and evaluate the use of amounts made available through grants made under this section. In monitoring and evaluating the use of such amounts, the Secretary shall collect from the grant recipients such information as the Secretary considers to be appropriate, including data on the outcomes relating to the services provided to each veteran under this section.

(e) Report.—Not later than 180 days after the completion of the demonstration programs carried out under subsections (a), (b), and (c), the Secretary shall prepare and submit, to the appropriate committees of Congress and heads of appropriate Federal agencies, a report on the findings and outcomes of the demonstration programs. The report shall include analysis and a description of methods for enabling veterans to transfer military occupational skills from military service to employment in the civilian labor market. The Secretary shall broadly distribute the report through the veterans service organizations, State boards, and local boards.

(f) Definitions.—In this section:

(1) APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM.—The term “apprenticeship program” means a program registered under the Act of August 16, 1937 (commonly known as the “National Apprenticeship Act”; 50 Stat. 664, chapter 663; 29 U.S.C. 50 et seq.).

(2) INSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION.—The term “institution of higher education” has the meaning given the term in section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001).

(3) POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION.—The term “postsecondary education” means—

(A) a 4-year program of instruction, or not less than a 1-year program of instruction that is acceptable for credit toward a baccalaureate degree or an associate degree, offered by an institution of higher education; or

(B) a certificate or apprenticeship program at the postsecondary level offered by an institution of higher education, a nonprofit educational institution, or a labor-management partnership.

(4) WORKFORCE INVESTMENT DEFINITIONS.—The terms “adult education”, “community-based organization”, “local board”, “Secretary”, “State board”, and “veteran” have the meanings given the terms in section 101 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2801).

SEC. 6. Veterans corps grant programs.

(a) Grant program required.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor, establish—

(A) a grant program to award grants to States to establish veteran-to-veteran corps; and

(B) a grant program to award grants to States to establish veterans conservation corps.

(2) DURATION.—The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall carry out each grant program established under paragraph (1) during the three-year period beginning on the date of the commencement of the grant program.

(3) MAXIMUM AMOUNT.—The amount of a grant awarded to a State under this section in any year may not exceed $250,000.

(4) ANNUAL NUMBER OF GRANTS.—In any 12-month period of a grant program established under paragraph (1), the Secretary may not award more than five grants under that program.

(b) Veteran-to-Veteran Corps.—For purposes of this section, a veteran-to-veteran corps is a corps that—

(1) is established by a State or State-approved entity—

(A) within the veterans agency of the State; or

(B) in affiliation with the veterans agency of the State; and

(2) provides veterans with volunteer and employment opportunities with respect to projects for one or more of the following:

(A) Meeting the needs of homeless veterans.

(B) Helping veterans find gainful employment, including entrepreneurship opportunities.

(C) Connecting veterans with the care and benefits they may be eligible for under laws administered by the Secretary.

(c) Veterans Conservation Corps.—For purposes of this section, a veterans conservation corps is a corps that—

(1) is established by a State—

(A) within the veterans agency of the State; or

(B) in affiliation with the veterans agency of the State; and

(2) provides veterans with volunteer and employment opportunities with respect to conservation projects for one or more of the following:

(A) To restore natural habitat.

(B) To maintain Federal, State, or local—

(i) forest lands;

(ii) parks and reserves; and

(iii) other reservations, water, and outdoor lands.

(C) To maintain and improve urban and suburban storm water management facilities and other water management facilities.

(D) To carry out hazardous materials and spills response, energy efficiency and other environmental maintenance, stewardship, and restoration projects.

(d) Training, Education, and Certification.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—A State receiving a grant under this section to establish a veteran-to-veteran corps or a veterans conservation corps shall ensure that such corps incorporates into the volunteer and employment opportunities provided by such corps sufficient training, education, and certification in related fields.

(2) CONSULTATION.—Such State shall ensure that, in incorporating training, education, and certification into volunteer and employment opportunities under paragraph (1), the veteran-to-veteran corps and the veterans conservation corps consults with the following:

(A) State and local workforce investment boards.

(B) Local institutions of higher education, including community colleges.

(C) Private schools.

(D) State or local agencies, including State employment agencies and State forest services.

(E) Labor organizations.

(F) Business involved in the environmental industry, in the case of the veterans conservation corps.

(G) Veteran-owned businesses and businesses serving veterans, in the case of the veteran-to-veteran corps.

(H) Such other entities as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs considers appropriate.

(e) Employment Assistance.—A State receiving a grant under this section to establish a veteran-to-veteran corps or veterans conservation corps shall ensure that such corps partners with one-stop centers, State and local workforce investment boards, and other State agencies to assist veterans enrolled in such corps in obtaining employment in related fields.

(f) Services.—

(1) VETERAN-TO-VETERAN CORPS.—A State receiving a grant under this section to establish a veteran-to-veteran corps shall ensure that such corps—

(A) assesses of the veterans participating in the Corps the skills to help such veterans identify appropriate employment opportunities in their local communities that utilize the skills they developed while in the Armed Forces;

(B) makes use of the abilities of participating veterans to help other veterans and, when practicable, provides opportunities for participating veterans to provide assistance to veterans who have experience similar circumstances;

(C) assists with or provides referrals for obtaining benefits available to veterans;

(D) facilitates internships or job shadowing for veterans; and

(E) matches veterans with veteran assistance projects that are aligned with the goals of the veterans participating in the corps.

(2) VETERANS CONSERVATION CORPS.—A State receiving a grant under this section to establish a veterans conservation corps shall ensure that such corps—

(A) assesses of the veterans participating in the Corps the skills to help such veterans identify appropriate employment opportunities in their local communities that utilize the skills they developed while in the Armed Forces;

(B) assists with or provides referrals for obtaining benefits available to veterans;

(C) facilitates internships or job shadowing for veterans; and

(D) matches veterans with conservation projects that are aligned with the goals of the veterans.

(3) PARTNERSHIP WITH STATE AND LOCAL WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARDS.—In carrying out subparagraphs (A) and (D) of paragraph (1) and subparagraphs (A) and (C) of paragraph (2), the State shall partner with State and local workforce investment boards.

(g) Annual reports.—Each State receiving a grant under this section shall submit to the Secretary and the appropriate committees of Congress an annual report, submitted within one-year of the receipt of the grant, on the performance of the veteran-to-veteran corps or the veterans conservation corps of such State, including the following:

(1) A description of how the grant amount was used.

(2) An assessment of the performance of such corps, including a description of the current veterans labor market in such State and the veterans labor market in such State in the previous year.

(h) Definitions.—In this section:

(1) APPROPRIATE COMMITTEES OF CONGRESS.—The term “appropriate committees of Congress” means—

(A) the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate; and

(B) the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives.

(2) INSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION.—The term “institution of higher education” has the meaning given the term in section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001).

(3) ONE-STOP CENTER.—The term “one-stop center” means a one-stop center described in section 134(c) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2864(c)).

(4) STATE AND LOCAL WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARDS.—The term “State and local workforce investment boards” means a State workforce investment board and a local workforce investment board as such terms are defined in section 101 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2801).

SEC. 7. Report and study on Transition Assistance Program.

(a) Report on recommendations for improvements to the Transition Assistance Program to better meet the needs of members of the Armed Forces and veterans.—

(1) REPORT REQUIRED.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Labor, acting through the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment and Training, shall jointly submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report setting forth recommendations for improvements and enhancements of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) in order to better meet the needs of members of the Armed Forces and veterans.

(2) ELEMENTS.—The report required by paragraph (1) shall include the following:

(A) A description and assessment of the extent to which the current Transition Assistance Program meets the needs of members of the Armed Forces and veterans.

(B) Recommendations for improvements and enhancements of the Transition Assistance Program in order to ensure—

(i) the comprehensiveness of the programs and activities under the program; and

(ii) the consistency of the programs and activities under the program across the Armed Forces and among the military installations at which the program is carried out.

(C) Recommendations for improvements and enhancements of the Transition Assistance Program to ensure that the program meets the needs of veterans residing in localities in the vicinity of military installations at which the program is carried out.

(D) A description and assessment of the programs and activities offered to veterans who have completed participation in the Transition Assistance Program in order to further assist such veterans in their continuing transition from military life to civilian life, and recommendations for programs and activities to improve and enhance such assistance.

(E) An estimate of the cost of implementing the recommendations set forth pursuant to subparagraphs (B), (C), and (D) during the five fiscal years beginning after the date of the submittal of the report.

(F) Such other matters as the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Labor jointly consider appropriate.

(b) Study on program of transition assistance modeled on National Guard Employment Enhancement Program of the Washington National Guard.—

(1) STUDY REQUIRED.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall complete a study of the National Guard Employment Enhancement Program of the Washington National Guard to assess the feasibility and advisability of carrying out a program of assistance modeled after such program for all members of reserve components of the Armed Forces who transition from active military service to civilian life.

(2) REPORT.—Upon completion of the study required by paragraph (1), the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report that includes the following:

(A) The findings of the Secretary as a result of the study.

(B) The recommendation of the Secretary as to the feasibility and advisability of carrying out a program of assistance as described in paragraph (1).

(C) If the Secretary determines that carrying out a program of assistance as described in paragraph (1) is feasible and advisable, an estimate of the cost to implement the program of assistance.

(c) Appropriate committees of Congress defined.—In this section, the term “appropriate committees of Congress” means—

(1) the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate; and

(2) the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.

SEC. 8. 3-year longitudinal study on the impact of gender in unemployment among veterans.

(a) Study.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Subject to the availability of appropriated funds, the Secretary of Labor, acting through the Assistant Secretary for Veterans’ Employment and Training (referred to in this section as the “Secretary”), shall conduct a study to determine whether gender impacts the need of unemployed veterans to collect unemployment benefits. The study shall be a longitudinal study, using a statistically valid sample of each group of individuals described in paragraph (2). The Secretary shall study the groups over a period of not less than 3 years.

(2) COVERED GROUPS.—The groups of individuals described in this paragraph are each of the following:

(A) Unemployed women veterans who do not have dependents and who were discharged or released from the military within the past 10 years.

(B) Unemployed male veterans who do not have dependents and who were discharged or released from the military within the past 10 years.

(C) Unemployed women veterans who have dependents and who were discharged or released from the military within the past 10 years.

(D) Unemployed male veterans who have dependents and who were discharged or released from the military within the past 10 years.

(3) CONTENTS OF STUDY.—The Secretary shall collect for the study required under paragraph (1) any data the Secretary determines are necessary to determine whether gender impacts the individuals’ need to collect unemployment benefits. The Secretary may add data elements to the study from time to time as necessary. In addition, the Secretary shall collect through the study, for inclusion in each report under subsection (b), all of the following information:

(A) Any unemployment benefits received by such individuals.

(B) The average number of months such individuals served on active duty in the Armed Forces.

(C) The distribution of disability ratings of such individuals.

(D) The types of other benefits administered by the Secretary and received by such individuals.

(E) The types of benefits received by such individuals under the old-age, survivors, and disability insurance benefits program established under title II of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 401 et seq.).

(F) The average number of months such individuals were unemployed during the year covered by the study.

(G) The average annual starting and ending salary of such individuals in their most recent employment.

(H) The number of such individuals with postsecondary education.

(I) The average number of postsecondary academic credit hours completed, and degrees and certificates earned, by such individuals during the year covered by the study.

(J) The average number of visits such individuals made to a Department of Veterans Affairs medical facility during the year covered by the study.

(K) The average number of visits such individuals made to a non-Department of Veterans Affairs medical facility during the year covered by the study.

(L) The average annual income of such individuals.

(M) The average total household income of such individuals for the year covered by the study.

(N) The percentage of such individuals who own their principal residences.

(O) The average number of dependents of each such individual.

(b) Annual report.—By not later than the July 1 after each year covered by the study required under subsection (a), the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate a report on the study during the covered year.

Reauthorization of demonstration project on credentialing and licensure of veterans.

Section 4114 of title 38, United States Code, is amended—

(1) in subsection (b)—

(A) in paragraph (1), by inserting “, including the emergency medical services industry” after “demand”; and

(B) in paragraph (3), by inserting before the period at the end the following: “to ensure that satisfaction of such requirements may take into account, and be not duplicative of, previous coursework and training received by such members while such members were active members of the Armed Forces”;

(2) in subsection (e), by inserting “the Secretary of Health and Human Services,” after “Veterans Affairs,”; and

(3) in subsection (g)—

(A) by striking “The period” and inserting “The periods”; and

(B) by striking “period beginning on” and all that follows through the period and inserting the following: “periods as follows:

“(1) The period beginning on the date that is 60 days after the date of the enactment of the Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006 and ending on September 30, 2009.

“(2) The period beginning on October 1, 2011, and ending on September 30, 2013.”.


Calendar No. 556

111th CONGRESS
     2d Session
S. 3234
[Report No. 111–285]

A BILL
To improve employment, training, and placement services furnished to veterans, especially those serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, and for other purposes.

September 2, 2010
Reported with an amendment