U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., score a win this week as their proposal to move veterans into the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields is building traction on Capitol Hill.
At the start of the year, Rubio and Klobuchar unveiled the “Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act” which, they insist, “would assist veterans re-entering the workforce by directing the National Science Foundation to encourage veterans to study and pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).” The bill would have the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) create an “interagency working group to coordinate federal programs for transitioning and training veterans for STEM careers, and to develop a strategic plan to address the barriers that veterans face when reentering the workforce.”
This week, the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee approved the bill which now heads to the full chamber. The bill cleared the committee without opposition.
“I thank my colleagues on the Senate Commerce Committee for marking up and passing this important, bipartisan bill to ensure our nation’s veterans have the skills and opportunities to succeed in STEM careers,” Rubio said. “The future of work in the 21st century will be dominated by STEM roles, and the United States should prioritize policies that utilize our well-qualified veterans to fill this future workforce. We owe it to our national heroes to ensure this bipartisan bill gets across the finish line.”
“Veterans are the teachers, engineers, scientists, and inventors who will lead us to a brighter future. By encouraging veterans and tapping into their talents, employers can better meet their hiring needs, and veterans can enjoy the benefits of well-paying jobs in science, technology, engineering, and math. I am pleased that our bill has passed the Commerce Committee so we can help support veterans in their transition to civilian life– benefiting veterans, their families, communities, and our whole economy,” Klobuchar said.
The bill has eight other cosponsors and has the support of the the Manufacturing Institute, Samsung, TechNet, Verizon and the Consumer Technology Association.
U.S. Rep. Neal Dunn, R-Fla., is championing the proposal in the U.S. House with U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., as a cosponsor.
Kevin Derby can be reached at Kevin.Derby@floridadaily.com.