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                                                       Calendar No. 556
111th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     111-285

======================================================================



 
               VETERAN EMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE ACT OF 2010

                                _______
                                

               September 2, 2010.--Ordered to be printed

  Filed, under authority of the order of the Senate of August 5, 2010

                                _______
                                

          Mr. Akaka, from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 3234]

    The Committee on Veterans' Affairs (hereinafter, ``the 
Committee''), to which was referred the bill (S. 3234), 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, 
reports favorably thereon with an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute, and recommends that the bill, as amended, do pass.

                              Introduction

    On April 20, 2010, Senator Murray introduced S. 3234, to 
improve employment, training, and placement services furnished 
to veterans, especially those serving in Operation Iraqi 
Freedom (hereinafter, ``OIF'') and Operation Enduring Freedom 
(hereinafter, ``OEF''), and for other purposes. Senators 
Begich, Durbin, Klobuchar, Lincoln, Murkowski, and Reid were 
original cosponsors. Later, Senators Boxer, Brown (OH), 
Cantwell, Gillibrand, Lautenberg, Snowe, and Wyden were added 
as cosponsors.
    On May 19, 2010, the Committee held a hearing on pending 
health and benefits legislation, including S. 3234. Testimony 
was offered by: Thomas J. Pamperin, Associate Deputy Under 
Secretary for Policy and Program Management, Veterans Benefits 
Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs; Robert Jesse, 
MD, Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Health, Veterans 
Health Administration; The Honorable Raymond Jefferson, 
Assistant Secretary for Veterans' Employment and Training 
Service (hereinafter, ``VETS''), Department of Labor; Ian 
DePlanque, Assistant Director, Veterans Affairs and 
Rehabilitation Commission, The American Legion; Eric A. 
Hilleman, National Legislative Director, Veterans of Foreign 
Wars; Rick Weidman, Executive Director for Policy and 
Government Affairs, Vietnam Veterans of America; and Tom 
Tarantino, Legislative Associate, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans 
of America.

                           Committee Meeting

    After carefully reviewing the testimony from the May 19 
hearing, the Committee met in open session on August 5, 2010, 
to consider, among other legislation, an amended version of 
S. 3234. Pursuant to Rule I (G) of the Committee Rules, Ranking 
Member Burr offered an amendment to section 5 of S. 3234, which 
would include a military pathways demonstration project for 
border security and immigration enforcement. At the Committee 
meeting, the Chairman, on behalf of Senator Murray, offered a 
second degree amendment to Ranking Member Burr's amendment, 
which would broaden the focus of the military pathways 
demonstration project so that, instead of focusing exclusively 
on border security and immigration enforcement, the 
demonstration project could focus on training for all law 
enforcement and security jobs. The Committee accepted the 
second degree amendment as well as the first degree amendment 
by voice vote. S. 3234 was reported favorably as amended.

                     Summary of S. 3234 as Reported

    S. 3234, as reported (hereinafter, ``the Committee bill''), 
would improve employment, training, and placement services 
furnished to veterans, especially those serving in OIF and OEF.
    Section 1 would establish a short title for the bill, 
``Veteran Employment Assistance Act of 2010.''
    Section 2 would establish a Veterans' Business Center 
Program within the Small Business Administration's Office of 
Veterans Business Development (hereinafter, ``OVBD''), which 
would provide financial assistance to a private nonprofit 
organization to establish or operate a veterans' business 
center in order to provide entrepreneurial training and 
counseling to veterans, reservists, and their spouses or 
surviving spouses. It would also require OVBD to create an 
online mechanism through which the Veterans' Business Centers 
could provide information to aid veterans' assistance providers 
in carrying out services set forth in this section, and to be 
able to distribute information and resource materials and 
communicate with each other regarding best practices.
    Section 3 would establish a reporting requirement for the 
Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Development, 
established pursuant to section 657b(c) of title 15, United 
States Code (hereinafter, ``U.S.C.'').
    Section 4 would repeal the Small Business Administration's 
authority to award new grants and renew previously awarded 
grants for outreach programs for veterans.
    Section 5 would authorize the Secretary of Labor to 
establish demonstration projects designed to test the 
feasibility of methods of enabling transitioning military 
members to build on or continue to develop the technical skills 
learned in many military jobs, to enter the information 
technology, law enforcement and security, nursing, physician 
assistant, and public health and allied health professional 
workforces to meet the increasing demand in these particular 
job markets.
    Section 6 would require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, 
in consultation with the Secretary of Labor, to establish two 
separate programs for grants to states to establish a veteran-
to-veteran corps and a veterans conservation corps.
    Section 7 would require the Secretary of Defense and the 
Secretary of Labor to report to Congress recommendations for 
improving and enhancing the Transition Assistance Program 
(hereinafter, ``TAP'') to better meet the needs of members of 
the Armed Forces and veterans. This section would also require 
the Secretary of Defense to complete a study of the National 
Guard Employment Enhancement Program (hereinafter, ``NGEEP'') 
of the Washington National Guard and evaluate possibly 
expanding it to all members of reserve components of the Armed 
Forces transitioning from active military service to civilian 
life.
    Section 8 would require the Secretary of Labor to conduct a 
3-year longitudinal study to determine whether gender impacts 
the need of unemployed veterans to collect unemployment 
benefits.
    Section 9 would extend for three fiscal years an expired 
and never implemented pilot program for credentialing and 
licensure of military skill sets for veterans and would add a 
particular reference to and emphasis on emergency medical 
service personnel for the purposes of the demonstration 
project.

                       Background and Discussion


Sec. 2. Veterans' Business Center Program.

    Section 2 of the Committee bill would establish a Veterans' 
Business Center Program within OVBD which would provide 
financial assistance to a private nonprofit organization to 
establish or operate a veterans' business center in order to 
provide entrepreneurial training and counseling to veterans, 
reservists, and their spouses or surviving spouses. It would 
also require OVBD to create an online mechanism through which 
the Veterans' Business Centers could provide information to aid 
veterans' assistance providers in carrying out services set 
forth in this section, and to be able to distribute information 
and resource materials and communicate with each other 
regarding best practices.
    Background. Section 2 of the Committee bill, along with 
sections 3 and 4, are derived from title IV of S. 1229, the 
proposed ``Entrepreneurial Development Act of 2009,'' which was 
reported by the Senate Committee on Small Business and 
Entrepreneurship on July 2, 2009. That Committee's report 
accompanying S. 1229 is S. Rpt. 111-36.
    Committee Bill. For a discussion of section 2 of the 
Committee bill, see S. Rpt. 111-36.

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

    Section 3 of the Committee bill would establish a reporting 
requirement for the Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small 
Business Development, established pursuant to section 657b(c) 
of title 15, U.S.C.
    Background. As noted above, section 3 of the Committee bill 
is derived from S. 1229, as reported by the Senate Committee on 
Small Business and Entrepreneurship on July 2, 2009.
    Committee Bill. For a discussion of section 3 of the 
Committee bill, see S. Rpt. 111-36.

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

    Section 4 of the Committee bill would repeal the Small 
Business Administration's authority to award new grants and 
renew previously awarded grants for outreach programs for 
veterans.
    Background. As stated above, section 4 of the Committee 
bill is derived from S. 1229, as reported by the Senate 
Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship on July 2, 
2009.
    Committee Bill. For a discussion of section 4 of the 
Committee bill, see S. Rpt. 111-36.

Sec. 5. Military Pathways Demonstration Programs.

    Section 5 of the Committee bill would authorize the 
Secretary of Labor to establish demonstration projects designed 
to test the feasibility of methods of enabling transitioning 
military members to build on or continue to develop the 
technical skills learned in many military jobs, to enter the 
information technology, law enforcement and security, nursing, 
physician assistant, and public health and allied health 
professional workforces to meet the increasing demand in these 
particular job markets.
    Background. One challenge facing servicemembers leaving the 
military is transferring valuable skills and experience gained 
during their service into qualifications for civilian 
employment. According to May 19, 2010, testimony by the Iraq 
and Afghanistan Veterans of America:

        America's newest veterans face serious employment 
        challenges. The process of returning to civilian life 
        is complicated by the most severe economic recession in 
        decades. Many Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, leaving 
        the active-duty military, find civilian employers who 
        do not understand the value of their skills and 
        military experience. As a result, unemployment rates 
        for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are staggering.

    Often, veterans are not given the opportunity to continue 
to build on the skill sets they acquired in the military and 
are forced to start from scratch after they leave the service. 
This is not only frustrating to the veteran, but a disadvantage 
to employers in their communities. Being able to properly 
transfer and build upon skills learned in military jobs will 
save money and time by not requiring that specialized military 
training be duplicated in and by the civilian sector. It would 
also expedite the hiring process in filling increasingly vacant 
positions in certain occupations.
    Committee Bill. Section 5 of the Committee bill would 
authorize the Secretary of Labor, through the Assistant 
Secretary for VETS, to establish and examine demonstration 
programs and carry out the programs by making grants, on a 
competitive basis, to not more than five entities each for the 
demonstration projects in: (1) information technology; (2) 
certain health care professional occupations; and (3) law 
enforcement and security.
    These demonstration projects would be designed to test the 
feasibility of methods of enabling transitioning military 
members to build on or continue to develop the technical skills 
learned in many military jobs, to enter the information 
technology, law enforcement and security, nursing, physician 
assistant, and public health and allied health professional 
workforces to meet the increasing demand in these particular 
job markets. The medical and information technology industries 
are high demand career fields where veterans would find great 
portability of their skills. Given the demand for providers 
such as physician assistants and nurses, being able to 
determine best practices for transitioning these skills would 
enable more servicemembers to enter their chosen field faster 
while providing greater access to more skilled labor. 
Transitioning from the military into a career in law 
enforcement and security is, in some ways, a natural 
progression; therefore, the third demonstration project would 
ensure that military skills would be recognized and equated to 
similar training provided in the civilian sector.
    The Committee is concerned that veterans eager to join the 
civilian workforce, but in need of additional education or 
training prior to entering their career field, are being 
stymied because their military training and experience are not 
adequately transitioning. Servicemembers in the medical field, 
for example, are conducting extensive training while perhaps 
gathering significantly more professional experience than their 
civilian counterparts before entering school. However, veterans 
interested in joining the medical field are often required to 
attend school or training certification programs as if they had 
no previous experience. The Committee's intent is to establish 
best practices through pilot programs that would enable 
servicemembers to better transfer their military skills and 
training to civilian professions.

Sec. 6. Veterans corps grant programs.

    Section 6 of the Committee bill would require the Secretary 
of Veterans Affairs, in consultation with the Secretary of 
Labor, to establish two separate programs to award grants to 
states. The programs would award grants to states for the 
purpose of establishing a veteran-to-veteran corps and a 
veterans conservation corps, respectively.
    Background. While some veterans continue to succeed despite 
the current economic climate, others may be better supported by 
direct assistance with employment beyond what is currently 
available under law. This may be true for recently 
transitioning former troops of OIF and OEF and for veterans of 
previous eras who face unemployment challenges that are related 
to their military service. Some state governments have the 
institutional infrastructure to provide additional assistance 
to these veterans, but fiscal realities may have made it 
difficult for some state and local governments to fund 
employment opportunities specifically for veterans.
    It is the Committee's view that grant programs directly 
providing employment for veterans will receive a greater return 
if those veterans are employed in work that capitalizes on 
their existing training or understanding from their experiences 
as servicemembers and veterans. In that vein, this section 
would authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, in 
consultation with the Secretary of Labor, to establish two 
separate programs employing veterans in lines of work that 
simultaneously serves the public good while making use of their 
training and experiences. The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the 
United States testified on May 19, 2010, that its organization 
``continues to support collaborative and innovative programs to 
invest in communities and put veterans to work. This program 
has the potential to put veterans to work and give them 
practical experience organizing communities to care for the 
environment while developing and marketing `green' industries 
in a given area.''
    Committee Bill. Section 6 of the Committee bill would 
establish two separate grant programs for states to establish 
veterans corps. The first program would authorize grants to 
state governments for the purpose of establishing a veteran-to-
veteran corps. These veteran-to-veteran corps would be 
established by a state or state-approved entity to provide 
veterans with employment, volunteer, and entrepreneurial 
opportunities that include: meeting the needs of homeless 
veterans, helping veterans find meaningful employment and 
business opportunities, and connecting veterans with the care 
and benefits they may be eligible to receive.
    The second program would authorize grants to state 
governments for the purpose of establishing a veterans 
conservation corps. These veterans conservation corps would be 
established by a state or state-approved entity to provide 
veterans with employment and volunteer opportunities with 
respect to conservation projects.
    In the case of both corps, states receiving grants under 
this section would be required to ensure that corps partner 
with one-stop centers, state and local workforce investment 
boards, and other state agencies to assist enrolled veterans in 
obtaining employment in related fields. States receiving grants 
would also be required to partner with state and local 
workforce investment boards.
    The Secretary would be authorized to award no more than 
five grants per year to each of the separate programs during 
the three years they exist. Each state receiving a grant under 
this section would be required to submit an annual report to 
the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the appropriate 
committees of Congress.

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

    Section 7 would require the Secretary of Defense and the 
Secretary of Labor to report to Congress on recommendations for 
improving and enhancing TAP to better meet the needs of members 
of the Armed Forces and veterans. This section would also 
require the Secretary of Defense to complete a study of the 
National Guard Employment Enhancement Program of the Washington 
National Guard and evaluate the possibility of expanding that 
program to all members of reserve components of the Armed 
Forces transitioning from active military service to civilian 
life.
    Background. Section 502 of the National Defense 
Authorization Act for fiscal year 1991, Public Law 101-510, 
established chapter 58 of title 10, U.S.C., entitled ``Benefits 
and Services for Members Being Separated or Recently 
Separated.'' Section 1144 of that chapter requires the 
Secretary of Labor, in conjunction with the Secretary of 
Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (and has since 
been amended to include the Secretary of Homeland Security), to 
establish and maintain a program to give employment and 
training information to servicemembers within 180 days of 
separation or retirement. This program is TAP.
    The concept of TAP is to prepare servicemembers for their 
transition out of the military and into civilian life. This 
preparation comes in the form of counseling, assistance in 
identifying employment and training opportunities, help in 
obtaining such employment and training, and other related 
information and services. Despite the valuable information 
provided by this program, the unemployment rate for young 
recently separated veterans is high and many veterans remain 
unaware of the myriad services available to them after they 
leave active duty. According to testimony by the Iraq and 
Afghanistan Veterans of America at the Committee's hearing on 
pending legislation on May 19, 2010, ``The Department of 
Defense has established a goal of 85 percent participation 
across the services, yet only 60-65 percent of all separating 
active-duty servicemembers attend the TAP employment seminars. 
In the National Guard and Reserves, the usage rates are even 
lower: only 30 percent of all separating reservists or national 
guardsmen attend some portion of TAP.''
    Section 582 of the National Defense Authorization Act for 
Fiscal Year 2008, Public Law 110-181, required the Secretary of 
Defense to establish ``a national combat veteran reintegration 
program to provide National Guard and Reserve members and their 
families with sufficient information, services, referral, and 
proactive outreach opportunities throughout the entire 
deployment cycle.'' This program is known as the Yellow Ribbon 
Reintegration Program (hereinafter, ``Yellow Ribbon program''). 
The Yellow Ribbon program delivers important family support 
services but fails to address the need for transitional 
employment assistance. The Washington NGEEP expands this Yellow 
Ribbon program's outreach to address employment assistance gaps 
that still exist among federal, state, and private sector 
programs. The project works with union apprenticeship programs, 
trade associations, government agencies, and others to help 
Guard members acquire the civilian skills needed to obtain a 
living-wage job. The Washington Military Department recently 
devoted twelve full-time equivalent employees to this effort 
and in just four months found full-time employment for 427 
soldiers.
    Reserve Component members can be mobilized for up to one 
year and some might return from deployment to unemployment or 
underemployment. Some servicemembers may have been displaced 
from their civilian professions and need assistance readjusting 
from their military service and finding ways to make their 
experience marketable for new employers. While the Committee 
commends VETS for examining the active duty TAP program, given 
the frequency with which the Reserve Component deploys, it is 
crucial that an evaluation of similar programs be developed and 
deployed for members of the National Guard and Reserve who are 
demobilized. Reaching these servicemembers prior to 
demobilization, which NGEEP does, helps ensure that when they 
have completed their active service they are aware of their 
benefits and are able to market themselves in the event that 
they return home and no longer have civilian employment.
    Committee Bill. Section 7 of the Committee bill would 
require the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Labor to 
assess the current TAP program and jointly submit to the 
appropriate committees of Congress a report setting forth 
recommendations for improvements and enhancements of TAP in 
order to better meet the needs of members of the Armed Forces 
and veterans. It would also require the Secretary of Defense to 
complete a study of NGEEP of the Washington National Guard to 
assess the feasibility and advisability of carrying out a 
program of assistance modeled after that program for all 
members of reserve components of the Armed Forces who 
transition from active military service to civilian life and 
submit a report to the appropriate committees of Congress.
    The Committee's intent is to look for best practices 
transitioning National Guard and Reserve members who currently 
may not be sufficiently served by TAP. Should programs such as 
this be successful on a small scale, then, the Committee 
believes, they can be examined for expansion to different 
regions to ensure they would work in varying regions with 
different industries.

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

    Section 8 of the Committee bill would require the Secretary 
of Labor to conduct a 3-year longitudinal study to determine 
whether gender impacts the need of unemployed veterans to 
collect unemployment benefits.
    Background. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor 
Statistics, as of June 2010, the unemployment rate among Gulf 
War-era II veterans, defined as those veterans who served in 
the military since September 2001, was 11.5 percent. When this 
group was broken down by gender, the rate of unemployed Gulf 
War-era II male veterans was 10.8 percent, whereas the rate of 
unemployed Gulf War-era II women veterans was 15.5 percent. 
This discrepancy raises questions as to whether or not gender 
impacts the likelihood of unemployment among Gulf War-era II 
veterans. With women veterans being the fastest growing segment 
of veterans, it is important to proactively look at how gender 
may impact a woman veteran's ability to join the labor 
workforce after leaving military service and address any 
barriers that may contribute to any negative impact.
    Committee Bill. Section 8 of the Committee bill would 
require the Secretary of Labor, through the Assistant Secretary 
for VETS and subject to the availability of appropriated funds, 
to conduct a longitudinal study over three years, to determine 
whether gender impacts the need of unemployed veterans to 
collect unemployment benefits. The study would statistically be 
required to use valid samples of the following groups: (1) 
unemployed women veterans who do not have dependents and who 
were discharged or released from the military within the past 
10 years; (2) unemployed male veterans who do not have 
dependents and who were discharged or released from the 
military within the past 10 years; (3) unemployed women 
veterans who have dependents and who were discharged or 
released from the military within the past 10 years; and (4) 
unemployed male veterans who have dependents and who were 
discharged or released from the military within the past 10 
years. No later than July 1st of each year covered by this 
study, the Secretary would be required to submit a report on 
the study to the House and Senate Committees on Veterans' 
Affairs.

Sec. 9. Reauthorization of demonstration project on credentialing and 
        licensure of veterans.

    Section 9 of the Committee bill would extend for three 
fiscal years an expired and never implemented pilot program for 
credentialing and licensure for veterans and would add a 
particular reference to and emphasis on emergency medical 
service personnel for the purposes of the demonstration 
project.
    Background. Public Law 109-461, the Veterans Benefits, 
Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006, 
established section 4114 of title 38, Credentialing and 
licensure of veterans: demonstration project. This law 
authorized the Assistant Secretary for VETS to carry out a 
demonstration project on credentialing military skill sets for 
the purpose of facilitating the seamless transition of members 
of the Armed Forces from service on active duty to civilian 
employment. The period of the project was authorized to begin 
60 days after enactment of the bill through September 30, 2009.
    Under section 4114, the Assistant Secretary of VETS was to 
consult with the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs, appropriate federal and state officials, 
private-sector employers, labor organizations, and industry 
trade associations in carrying out this section. Under this 
demonstration project, the Assistant Secretary of VETS was to 
select not less than 10 military occupational specialties 
(hereinafter, ``MOSs'') for purposes of the demonstration 
project. Each specialty so selected by the Assistant Secretary 
was to have required a skill or set of skills that is required 
for civilian employment in an industry with high growth or high 
worker demand. After the MOSs were selected, the Assistant 
Secretary of VETS then was to have consulted with the 
appropriate federal, state, and industry officials to identify 
requirements for credentials, certifications, and licenses that 
require a skill or set of skills required. Once this was done, 
he was to have analyzed the requirements identified to 
determine which requirements may be satisfied by the skills, 
training, or experience acquired by members of the Armed Forces 
with the MOSs.
    Committee Bill. Section 9 of the Committee bill would 
reauthorize this expired program from October 1, 2011, to 
September 30, 2013. It would also expand the individuals the 
Assistant Secretary of VETS has to consult with to include the 
Secretary of Health and Human Services. It would also place 
emphasis on the emergency medical services industry by 
specifically mentioning it in section 4114(b)(1) of title 38 as 
``an industry with high growth or high worker demand.''

                      Committee Bill Cost Estimate

    In compliance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee, based on 
information supplied by the Congressional Budget Office 
(hereinafter, ``CBO''), estimates that enactment of the 
Committee bill would, relative to current law, increase 
discretionary spending by about $90 million over the 2011-2015 
period, assuming the appropriation of the necessary amounts. 
Enactment of the Committee bill would not affect direct 
spending or revenues, based on the information supplied by CBO; 
therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. Enactment of 
the Committee bill would not affect the budget of state, local, 
or tribal governments. S. 3234 contains no intergovernmental or 
private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates 
Reform Act (UMRA).
    The cost estimate provided by CBO, setting forth a detailed 
breakdown of costs, follows:

                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                   Washington, DC, August 27, 2010.
Hon. Daniel K. Akaka,
Chairman,
Committee on Veterans' Affairs,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.

    Dear Mr. Chairman:  The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 3234, the Veteran 
Employment Assistance Act of 2010.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is William Ma.
            Sincerely,
                                      Douglas W. Elmendorf,
                                                          Director.

  Enclosure.

S. 3234--Veteran Employment Assistance Act of 2010

    Summary: S. 3234 would create and reauthorize programs 
designed to provide employment, training, and placement 
services to veterans. CBO estimates that implementing the bill 
would cost about $90 million over the 2011-2015 period, 
assuming the appropriation of the necessary amounts.
    Enacting the legislation would not affect direct spending 
or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    S. 3234 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA).
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of S. 3234 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 370 
(commerce and housing credit), 050 (national defense), and 700 
(veterans benefits and services).
    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that the 
bill will be enacted near the start of fiscal year 2011, that 
the necessary amounts will be appropriated each year, and that 
outlays will follow historical patterns for similar and 
existing programs.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                               -----------------------------------------------------------------
                                                   2011       2012       2013       2014       2015    2011-2015
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Military Pathways Demonstration Program
    Authorization Level.......................         12         12         12          0          0         36
    Estimated Outlays.........................          9         12         12          3          0         36
Veterans Business Center Program
    Authorization Level.......................         10         11         11          0          0         32
    Estimated Outlays.........................          8         10         11          3          0         32
Credentialing and Licensure
    Estimated Authorization Level.............          0          4          5          0          0          9
    Estimated Outlays.........................          0          3          5          1          0          9
Grants to States
    Estimated Authorization Level.............          2          3          3          0          0          7
    Estimated Outlays.........................          2          2          2          1          0          7
Reports and Studies
    Estimated Authorization Level.............          2          1          1          2          *          6
    Estimated Outlays.........................          2          1          1          2          *          6
                                               -----------------------------------------------------------------
      Total Changes
        Estimated Authorization Level.........         26         31         31          2          *         90
        Estimated Outlays.....................         21         28         31         10          *         90
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notes: Components may not sum to totals because of rounding; * = less than $500,000.

    Military Pathways Demonstration Program. Section 5 would 
authorize the appropriation of $36 million over fiscal years 
2011 through 2013 to establish three demonstration programs. 
Under this section, the Secretary of Labor would award grants 
to entities to test what types of assistance programs would 
best enable former military members to leverage and build upon 
the technical skills they acquired during military service. The 
programs would focus on assisting such servicemembers to 
establish professions in the information technology, health 
care, and law enforcement fields. CBO estimates that 
implementing this provision would cost $36 million over the 
2011-2015 period, assuming appropriation of the authorized 
amounts.
    Veterans' Business Center Program. Section 2 would 
authorize the appropriation of $32 million over fiscal years 
2011 through 2013 to provide training and assistance to 
veterans who own small businesses and to establish the 
veterans' business center (VBC) program. Under the VBC program, 
the Small Business Administration would be authorized to award 
grants to nonprofit organizations to provide counseling and 
assistance targeted to the needs of veterans and Reservists. 
CBO estimates that implementing those provisions would cost $32 
million over the 2011-2015 period, assuming appropriation of 
the authorized amounts.
    Credentialing and Licensure. Section 9 would reauthorize 
the demonstration project on credentialing and licensure of 
veterans from October 1, 2011, through September 30, 2013. The 
authority to run that project ended September 30, 2009. This 
section also would allow the emergency medical services 
industry to be included in the demonstration project. Based on 
information from the Department of Labor, CBO estimates that 
about 10 contracts would be awarded each year at an average 
cost of $450,000 per contract. CBO estimates that reauthorizing 
this demonstration project would cost $9 million over the 2012-
2015 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts.
    Grants to States. Section 6 would require the Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs, in conjunction with the Secretary of Labor, 
to create a three-year program to award grants to states to 
establish a veteran-to-veteran corps and a veteran conservation 
corps. Under this provision, grants awarded to states could not 
exceed $250,000 in any given year and the Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs may not award more than five grants under each program 
in any single 12-month period. CBO estimates these grants would 
cost $7 million over the 2011-2015 period, assuming 
appropriation of the necessary amounts.
    Reports and Studies. S. 3234 would require a number of 
reports and studies to be completed by the Comptroller General, 
the Small Business Administration, the Secretary of Labor, and 
the Secretary of Defense. CBO estimates these reports and 
studies, collectively, would cost about $5 million over the 
2011-2015 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary 
amounts.
    Pay-As-You-Go Considerations: None.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: S. 3234 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA. State, local, and tribal governments that 
provide employment assistance to veterans would benefit from 
grants authorized in the bill.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Small Business 
Administration--Susan Willie; Veterans Benefits--William Ma; 
Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Lisa Ramirez-
Branum; Impact on the Private Sector: Elizabeth Bass.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

    In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee on Veterans' 
Affairs has made an evaluation of the regulatory impact that 
would be incurred in carrying out the Committee bill. The 
Committee finds that S. 3234 would not entail any regulation of 
individuals or businesses or result in any impact on the 
personal privacy of any individuals and that the paperwork 
resulting from enactment would be minimal.

                 Tabulation of Votes Cast in Committee

    In compliance with paragraph 7(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the following is a tabulation of 
votes cast in person or by proxy by members of the Committee on 
Veterans' Affairs at its August 5, 2010, meeting. On that date, 
the Committee, by voice vote, without objection, ordered to 
report S. 3234, 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. Prior to adoption, the 
Committee, by voice vote, accepted an amendment to the bill.

                             Agency Report

    On May 19, 2010, Thomas J. Pamperin, Associate Deputy Under 
Secretary for Policy and Program Management, Veterans Benefits 
Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, appeared before 
the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and submitted testimony on, 
among other things, S. 3234. Excerpts from his statement are 
reprinted below:

  THOMAS J. PAMPERIN, ASSOCIATE DEPUTY UNDER SECRETARY FOR POLICY AND 
 PROGRAM MANAGEMENT, VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT 
                          OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

    Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to be here today to provide the 
Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) views on pending 
legislation.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                                S. 3234

    S. 3234, the ``Veteran Employment Assistance Act of 2010,'' 
would create programs aimed at improving employment, training, 
and placement services furnished to Veterans, especially those 
serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring 
Freedom.
    Section 3(b) of the bill would require the Small Business 
Administration, VA, and the Department of Labor (DOL) to assess 
the efficacy of establishing a Federal direct loan program for 
small business concerns owned and controlled by Veterans and to 
submit to Congress a report on the assessment within 180 days 
of enactment. VA has no objection to this provision.
    Section 7 of the bill would provide benefits for 
apprenticeship and on-the-job training (OJT) under the Post-9/
11 GI Bill. Section 7 would provide for payment of a monthly 
benefit to individuals pursuing full-time programs of 
apprenticeship or other OJT, using a graduated structure 
similar to that applicable for such training under other VA 
educational assistance programs, including the Montgomery GI 
Bill-Active Duty (MGIB-AD) and Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) 
programs and the Post-Vietnam Era Veterans Educational 
Assistance program. Section 7 also would amend current law to 
include apprenticeship or other OJT training programs as 
approved programs of education for purposes of the Post-9/11 GI 
Bill.
    Pursuant to section 7, for each of the first 6 months of an 
individual's pursuit of an apprenticeship or other OJT program, 
the individual would be paid 75 percent of the ``monthly 
benefit payment otherwise payable to such individual'' under 
chapter 33. For the second 6 months of such pursuit, the 
individual would be paid 55 percent of such amount, and for 
each of the following months the individual would be paid 35 
percent of such amount. In addition, this bill would authorize 
payment to such individuals of a monthly housing stipend equal 
to the monthly amount of the basic allowance for housing 
payable for a servicemember 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. We note that, unlike the monthly housing 
stipend authorized under 38 U.S.C. Sec. 3313(c), this section 
contains no provision requiring payment of reduced amounts of 
such monthly stipend in cases where individuals' aggregated 
active-duty service is less than 36 months.
    For each month an individual receives a benefit under this 
bill, VA would charge the individual's entitlement at a rate 
that reflects the applicable percentage (i.e., 75, 55, or 35 
percent, as appropriate).
    The amendments made by section 7 would take effect as if 
included in the enactment of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational 
Assistance Act of 2008 (Title V, Public Law 110-252). That is, 
the effective date would be August 1, 2009.
    VA supports allowing individuals who qualify for the Post-
9/11 GI Bill to receive benefits for OJT and apprenticeship 
training, subject to Congress's identifying offsets for any 
additional costs. However, VA cannot support enactment of this 
section as drafted.
    The bill would provide a monthly assistance benefit, plus a 
monthly housing stipend amount to trainees. This would be in 
addition to any wages a trainee may receive. Further, as noted, 
this bill provides that the monthly benefit would be equal to a 
percentage ``of the monthly benefit payment otherwise payable'' 
to an individual under chapter 33. However, unlike the MGIB-AD, 
which provides for monthly payments of educational assistance 
other than monthly housing stipends, no ``monthly'' benefits 
are payable to a student or trainee under the Post-9/11 GI 
Bill. VA's payment of educational assistance under 38 U.S.C. 
Sec. 3313 (for actual charges of an individual's tuition and 
fees) is made directly to the institution of higher learning on 
a lump-sum basis for the entire quarter, semester, or term. 
Thus, it is unclear to what monthly benefit the provision 
refers in order to determine the amount of any payment to an 
individual.
    If enacted, this bill would take effect as if it had been 
included in Public Law 110-252, the Post-9/11 Veterans 
Educational Assistance Act of 2008. VA would have to manually 
re-work all apprenticeship and OJT cases for individuals 
wishing to elect to receive assistance under the Post-9/11 GI 
Bill for training that occurred on or after August 1, 2009. VA 
is currently programming a new payment system to implement the 
provisions of the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Full deployment of the new 
system is expected by December 2010. Incorporating new rules 
for the payment of benefits for apprenticeship and OJT 
training, as proposed, would require system changes that could 
not be accommodated, at the earliest, until after that date. 
Such changes would delay deployment of the new system and 
require VA to continue processing claims on a manual basis.
    Section 8 of the bill would authorize VA, in consultation 
with DOL and the Department of the Interior, to establish a 
program to award grants to States to establish a ``veterans 
conservation corps'' (corps). Each State corps would be 
established within, or in affiliation with, the ``veterans 
agency'' of the State and would provide Veterans with volunteer 
and employment opportunities in conservation projects that 
would provide for training, education, and certification in 
environmental restoration and management fields. These projects 
would include: (1) restoring natural habitat; (2) maintaining 
Federal, state, or local forest lands, parks and reserves, as 
well as other reservations, water, and outdoor lands; (3) 
maintaining and improving urban and suburban storm water 
management facilities and other water management facilities; 
and (4) carrying out hazardous materials and spills response, 
energy efficiency and other environmental maintenance, 
stewardship, and restoration projects.
    Each corps, in order to incorporate training, education, 
and certification into the volunteer and employment 
opportunities afforded Veterans, would consult with: (1) State 
and local workforce investment boards; (2) local institutions 
of higher education, including community colleges; (3) private 
schools; (4) State or local agencies, including State 
employment agencies and State forest services; (5) labor 
organizations; (6) business involved in the environmental 
industry; and (7) such other entities as the Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs considers appropriate.
    In order to assist Veterans enrolled in the program to 
obtain employment in the fields of environmental restoration 
and management, the corps would partner with one-stop centers, 
State and local workforce investment boards, and other State 
agencies. The corps would also assist Veterans, in conjunction 
with State and local workforce investment boards, to identify 
appropriate employment opportunities in their local communities 
that would use the skills developed while in the Armed Forces 
and facilitate internships or job shadowing. The corps would 
assist with, or provide, referrals for obtaining benefits 
available to Veterans and match Veterans with conservation 
projects that would be aligned with each Veteran's goals.
    The grant amount that could be awarded to a State under the 
conservation corps program established by section 8 could not 
exceed $250,000 in any year.
    Each State receiving a grant to establish a Veterans 
conservation corps program would be required to submit a report 
on the performance of the Veterans conservation corps in that 
State to VA and the House and Senate Committees on 
Appropriations and Veterans' Affairs. These reports would 
include a description of how the grant amount was used and an 
assessment of the performance of the corps, including a 
description of the Veterans' labor market in that State for the 
current and previous year.
    VA supports efforts to expand volunteer and employment 
opportunities to Veterans, particularly with respect to 
environmental restoration and management. However, VA does not 
support the provision of these services through grant programs 
unless funds are expressly appropriated for this purpose. If 
each of the 50 States received the maximum grant, we estimate 
that $12.5 million would be needed annually. VA does not 
currently have a mechanism for awarding such grants and 
managing such grant programs, but DOL has extensive expertise 
and experience in managing grants to States. DOL's Veterans' 
Employment and Training Service (VETS) currently manages grants 
to States to provide employment services and outreach to 
Veterans at one-stop centers. The purpose and requirements of 
this bill appear to be a very good match with the current 
functionality of the VETS program.
    Section 9 of the bill would authorize VA, in consultation 
with the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment 
and Training, to establish a center of excellence to support 
research, development, planning, implementation, and evaluation 
of methods for educational institutions to give academic credit 
for military experience and training to certain Veterans (those 
discharged or released from service within 48 months of 
application for admission to such institutions or those who 
were members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces).
    Acting through the center of excellence, VA would award 
grants to, or enter into contracts with, eligible institutions 
to achieve the purposes of the center. An eligible institution 
for this purpose would be defined as any partnership that meets 
such requirements as VA promulgated and consists of an 
institution of higher education (IHE) and one or more of the 
following entities: (1) a community college; (2) a university 
teaching hospital; (3) a military installation, including a 
facility of the National Guard; (4) a VA medical center; and 
(5) a military medical treatment facility. VA could not award a 
grant or contract in an amount less than $2 million or more 
than $5 million.
    To receive a grant or contract, an institution would be 
required to submit to VA an application for this purpose. VA 
would give priority to applicants who include as a partner an 
IHE or other educational institution that: (1) affords 
appropriate recognition to military experience and training in 
screening candidates; (2) has a practice of, or would establish 
a practice of (if proposing such a practice, would include with 
the application a review of such a plan by a professional 
organization) giving academic credit for military experience 
and training; (3) has established a professional development 
and delivery system using evidence-based practices; or (4) has 
demonstrated experience working with the Department of Defense 
or VA.
    Each eligible institution receiving a grant or contract 
would be required to use it for one or more of the following 
purposes: (1) to develop or implement a plan to modify programs 
of education and admissions programs at IHEs to give academic 
credit to the Veterans and members described above; (2) to 
develop standards for the identification of military experience 
and training in individuals applying for enrollment at IHEs; 
(3) to train professors, educators, and instructors at IHEs on 
the means of best teaching students at such institutions with 
military experience and training; (4) to develop curriculum for 
IHEs that are appropriately tailored to individuals with 
military experience and training; (5) to develop admissions and 
recruitment guidelines for IHLs to attract Veterans and members 
described above and afford them recognition for military 
experience and training in their admissions processes; and (6) 
to establish a program, a method, or standards to be utilized 
by IHLs for assessing the education and training during the 
pursuit of a program of education and at the completion of such 
program.
    Because the grants are to be used for admissions policies, 
recruitment, granting of prior credit, instruction of 
professors and other teaching staff, modifying the 
institution's existing programs of education, and suggesting 
modifications to curriculum, VA believes that the Department of 
Education, in consultation with VA and DOL, is best positioned 
to establish the center of excellence for the purposes of these 
grants. Therefore, we do not support enactment of this section.
    Section 11 would require DOL, in consultation with VA and 
the Departments of Defense and Health and Human Services, to 
establish a program to enable transitioning military members to 
build on the technical skills learned during military service 
to help them enter public health fields. VA defers to DOL 
regarding this program.
                                ------                                

    On May 19, 2010, the Honorable Raymond Jefferson, Assistant 
Secretary for Veterans' Employment and Training, Department of 
Labor, appeared before the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and 
submitted testimony on, among other things, S. 3234. Excerpts 
from his statement are reprinted below:

RAYMOND M. JEFFERSON, ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR VETERANS' EMPLOYMENT AND 
                   TRAINING, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

    Chairman Akaka, Ranking Member Burr, and Members of the 
Committee: I am pleased to appear before you today to discuss 
legislation pending in this Committee.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    Your letter of invitation indicates you are seeking input 
on a significant number of bills at this hearing and you want 
me to specifically provide my views on S. 3234, the proposed 
``Veteran Employment Assistance Act of 2010.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                                S. 3234

    The Veteran Employment Assistance Act of 2010, S. 3234, is 
intended 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''. The Department of Labor supports the goals of 
the Veteran Employment Assistance Act of 2010.
    This comprehensive legislation will address the unique 
needs of our Veterans who have been struggling to find work and 
to keep their jobs. The legislation fills a critical need. This 
bill will help our Veterans gain the additional skills they 
need to participate in today's modern economy. It will provide 
them the opportunity to start their own businesses, if they 
choose to. And, it encourages employers at all levels to 
recognize that those who've given much in the service of their 
country have much to offer to a prospective employer.
    Much in S. 3234 if enacted would significantly help the 
Veteran community. I would like to highlight some of the key 
provisions of this bill.
    The Veterans Business Center Program established in Section 
3 of the bill would provide entrepreneurial training and 
counseling to Veterans. As we all know, small business is the 
main driver of job creation in our country. Veterans make ideal 
entrepreneurs, they have the discipline, maturity and life 
experiences to take on the tremendous challenges that small 
business ownership entails. Targeting entrepreneurship programs 
to this community makes sense. If enacted and fully funded, we 
would be pleased to work with SBA on this initiative.
    Section 5 requires all new state employees, Disabled 
Veterans Outreach Program specialists (DVOP) and Local Veterans 
Employment Representatives (LVER) to be trained by the National 
Veterans' Training Institute (NVTI) within a one year period 
from the date of hire. Current law requires it be done in three 
years. Those employed before enactment of S. 3234 would have to 
be trained within one year following enactment unless they have 
already been trained. We believe that this training needs to be 
provided as soon as practicable. However, these individuals are 
not always hired at the same time and, depending on the number 
of new hires, there may not be sufficient new hires to fill a 
class.
    Section 6 adds a new section 4216 to Chapter 42 of title 38 
United States Code, that requires the Assistant Secretary for 
Veterans' Employment and Training (ASVET) provide a monthly 
training subsistence allowance to a Veteran who is enrolled in 
a full time employment and training program. Covered Veterans 
would include those who do not qualify for VA's educational and 
training assistance under Title 38, have been unemployed for 
four consecutive months, and can complete the training program.
    The Department notes this section establishes an 
entitlement to this assistance, which is a concern in light of 
the long-term financial challenges the Nation faces. The 
assistance would be available without regard to the financial 
need of the Veteran or the need for training to enhance his or 
her employment prospects.
    The Department also notes that Veterans receive priority of 
service within the wide array of training programs currently 
available through the DOL-funded One-Stop Career Center system. 
Moreover, Pell Grants and other financial assistance may also 
be available for unemployed veterans, including eligibility for 
unemployment insurance benefits, as well.
    In the event this legislation is enacted and appropriations 
are provided, the Department would need to address several 
issues prior to its implementation, including:

     Developing a system of certification and payment;
     Determining options to include employment 
specialists in One-Stop Career Centers certifying Veterans; and
     Develop a payment system, which would include 
collaborating with the Department of Defense to ascertain 
payment amounts under section 403 of title 37, United States 
Code.

    The Department believes the training allowance program's 
highest priority should be those eligible Veterans who, without 
this benefit, would be unable to obtain the training necessary 
to find a good job. It should be reserved for those who truly 
need it or have significant barriers to employment.
    Section 9 establishes within the VA a Center of Excellence 
where the ASVET would have a consultative role to establish a 
system of affording academic credit for military experience and 
training under certain circumstances. This recognition of 
military experience and training should be useful in preparing 
a resume and establishing capabilities with prospective 
employers. Additionally, it may also be helpful if the Service 
Member is applying to a college or vocational institution. 
These institutions want information on the Service Member's 
military training and experience, as well as how this might 
relate to the civilian world.
    Current law codified at 38 U.S.C. Sec. 4212(d) requires 
certain federal contractors to report data on their workforce 
and on certain Veterans in their employ. This is accomplished 
by filing a VETS 100A Report with DOL. Section 10 of this bill 
would require DOL to publish the VETS 100A Reports on the 
Internet. DOL supports this provision. However, the Committee 
should recognize that some contractors might believe that 
certain reported data, in particular data on the total number 
of new hires, should not be made available to their 
competitors.
    There are many other components to S. 3234 and we would 
like to work with the Committee to ensure that this legislation 
effectively achieves its intended goals.
                                ------                                

                         The Secretary of Veterans Affairs,
                                     Washington, DC, July 30, 2010.
Hon. Daniel K. Akaka,
Chairman,
Committee on Veterans' Affairs,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.

    Dear Mr. Chairman: I am pleased to provide the Committee 
with the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on 
twelve of the thirteen bills listed in your May 21,2010, 
letter. In addition, we are providing cost estimates for three 
bills about which we testified at the Committee's May 19, 2010, 
hearing but for which we were unable to develop cost estimates 
in time for that hearing. We will provide views and costs on 
S. 3486 to the Committee in a separate letter.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                                S. 3234

    S. 3234, the ``Veteran Employment Assistance Act of 2010,'' 
would create programs aimed at improving employment, training, 
and placement services furnished to Veterans, especially those 
serving in Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi 
Freedom. We testified that VA does not object to section 3(b), 
relating to the establishment of a direct loan program for 
small business concerns owned and controlled by Veterans; that 
VA does not support section 7 as drafted, despite supporting 
the intent of allowing individuals who qualify for the Post-9/
11 GI Bill to receive benefits for on-the-job and 
apprenticeship training, subject to Congress identifying 
offsets for any additional costs; that, although VA supports 
efforts to expand volunteer and employment opportunities to 
Veterans, we do not support section 8 unless funds are 
expressly appropriated for providing such services through 
grant programs; that we do not support section 9, relating to 
methods for educational institutions to give academic credit 
for military experience and training to certain Veterans; and 
that VA defers to the Department of Labor regarding section 11, 
relating to enabling transitioning Servicemembers to build on 
the technical skills learned during military service to help 
them enter public health fields. The analysis below provides 
cost information for S. 3234.
    Section 3(b) of the bill would require VA, in conjunction 
with the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Department 
of Labor, to prepare and submit to Congress a report on the 
efficacy of establishing a Federal direct loan program for 
small business concerns owned and controlled by Veterans. 
Because SBA already runs a similar program, we would ask that 
they take the lead in preparing the report, and our efforts 
would be limited to staffing the report to existing offices. 
Accordingly, we estimate that section 3(b) would not result in 
additional costs to VA.
    Section 7 of the bill would provide benefits for 
apprenticeship and on-the-job training under the Post-9/11 GI 
Bill. VA estimates that section 7 would result in mandatory 
costs of $154.5 million during the first year, $806.6 million 
over 5 years, and $1 .7 billion over 10 years.
    Section 8 of the bill would authorize VA, in consultation 
with the Department of Labor and the Department of the 
Interior, to establish a program to award to states grants to 
establish a ``veterans conservation corps.'' VA estimates 
benefit costs for section 8 would be $12.5 million during the 
first year, $62.5 million over 5 years, and $125 million over 
10 years.
    Section 9 of the bill would require the Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs, in consultation with the Assistant Secretary 
of Labor for Veterans' Employment and Training, to establish a 
center of excellence to support research, development, 
planning, implementation, and evaluation of methods for 
educational institutions to afford academic credit for military 
experience and training to certain Veterans. VA estimates that 
section 9 would result in administrative costs of $587 thousand 
for the first year, $4.6 million over 5 years, and $10.7 
million over 10 years, as well as information technology costs 
of $49 thousand the first year, $107 thousand over 5 years, and 
$183 thousand over 10 years.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    The Office of Management and Budget has advised that there 
is no objection to the submission of this report from the 
standpoint of the Administration's program.
            Sincerely,
Eric K. Shinseki.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with rule XXVI paragraph 12 of the Standing 
Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by the 
Committee bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                         THE SMALL BUSINESS ACT

                              Section 8(b)

                           (15 U.S.C. 637(b))

Title 15. Commerce and Trade

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Chapter 14A. Aid to Small Business

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 637. ADDITIONAL POWERS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


    (b) * * *
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (15) to disseminate, without regard to the provisions 
        of section 3204 of title 39, United States Code, data 
        and information, in such form as it shall deem 
        appropriate, to public agencies, private organizations, 
        and the general public; and
          (16) to make studies of matters materially affecting 
        the competitive strength of small business, and of the 
        effect on small business of Federal laws, programs, and 
        regulations, and to make recommendations to the 
        appropriate Federal agency or agencies for the 
        adjustment of such programs and regulations to the 
        needs of small business[; and] .
          [(17) to make grants to, and enter into contracts and 
        cooperative agreements with, educational institutions, 
        private businesses, veterans' nonprofit community-based 
        organizations, and Federal, State, and local 
        departments and agencies for the establishment and 
        implementation of outreach programs for disabled 
        veterans (as defined in section 4211(3) of title 38, 
        United States Code), veterans, and members of a reserve 
        component of the Armed Forces.]

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                         THE SMALL BUSINESS ACT

                               Section 32

(15 U.S.C. 657b)

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 657B. VETERANS PROGRAMS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


    (c) * * *
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (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.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    [(f) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized 
to be appropriated to carry out this section--
          [(1) $1,500,000 for fiscal year 2005; and
          [(2) $2,000,000 for fiscal year 2006.]
    (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.

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Title 38. Veterans' Benefits

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Part III. Readjustment and Related Benefits

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    Chapter 41. Job Counseling, Training, and Placement Service for 
Veterans

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SEC. 4114. CREDENTIALING AND LICENSURE OF VETERANS: DEMONSTRATION 
                    PROJECT

    (a) * * *
    (b) * * *
          (1) The Assistant Secretary shall select not less 
        than 10 military occupational specialties for purposes 
        of the demonstration project. Each specialty so 
        selected by the Assistant Secretary shall require a 
        skill or set of skills that is required for civilian 
        employment in an industry with high growth or high 
        worker demand, including the emergency medical services 
        industry.
          (2) * * *
          (3) The Assistant Secretary shall analyze the 
        requirements identified under paragraph (2) to 
        determine which requirements may be satisfied by the 
        skills, training, or experience acquired by members of 
        the Armed Forces with the military occupational 
        specialties selected under paragraph (1) 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.

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    (e) Consultation. In carrying out this section, the 
Assistant Secretary shall consult with the Secretary of 
Defense, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Secretary of 
Health and Human Services, appropriate Federal and State 
officials, private-sector employers, labor organizations, and 
industry trade associations.
    (f) * * *
    (g) Period of project. [The period] The periods during 
which the Assistant Secretary may carry out the demonstration 
project under this section shall be 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.] 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.

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