Obama touts job licensing initiative for vets

President Obama on Saturday said help is on the way for military families struggling with jobs licensing.

{mosads}“This is something most Americans aren’t familiar with. But for military families, it’s a big challenge. Here’s why. Our troops are often transferred from base to base. It’s part of the job,” Obama said in his weekly address. “And because their families serve with them, that means their spouses move 10 times more often than the rest of us. Ten times more often. That’s tough on a career.”

Obama said many military families encounter costly and time-consuming recertification issues professionally.

“More than one in three of these spouses works in a profession that requires a professional license or certification. Nurses. Childcare providers. Accountants. Social workers. And lots of other jobs,” Obama said. “And, until recently, when these spouses were asked to move across state lines, they often needed to re-certify for a job they’re already qualified for. A nurse with years of experience might have to take entry-level classes, or pay a fee, or wait months for paperwork to be processed before he or she could get back to work on the job they love and that lets them support their families.”

Obama said the Joining Forces initiative, led by first lady Michelle Obama and second lady Jill Biden is making progress for military families facing occupational hurdles.

“When Michelle and Jill took up this cause five years ago, only three states had taken action on military spouse licensing,” he said. “But they rallied governors and state legislatures to action. And this week, we reached a milestone. Today, all 50 states have acted to streamline many of these licensing issues. This is a big step forward, but we’re not done yet.” 

Obama additionally vowed his administration would continue simplifying the jobs licensing process for military families.

“We’re going to keep working with states to make licensing simpler for more jobs and reach more qualified workers,” he said. “That’s what this is about – serving our men and women in uniform as well as they have served us.”

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