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Blumenthal Praises Senate Passage of Veterans Bill, Highlights CT Employer Commitment to Hire Vets

(Hartford, CT) - Senator Richard Blumenthal joined recently employed veterans and representatives from companies across Connecticut to praise the passage of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 and highlight a coalition of businesses that have made commitments to hire returning veterans.

Blumenthal said, "This Veterans Day we are reminded of the great debt that we owe our veterans for their sacrifice and service - a debt that we can never fully repay. As thousands of our servicemembers return from active duty overseas, our nation must commit itself to making sure that these men and women return to good-paying jobs, a task that we as a country have not met. Businesses and government must join together to hire our skilled veterans, the way that United Rentals is doing right here in Connecticut, to reduce the unacceptably high unemployment rate that they face, renewing our commitment to honor their service and patriotism." 

The current unemployment rate among veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan has recently risen to 12.1 percent. The VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 that passed the Senate this week will offer tax credits to firms that hire unemployed veterans and provide transitional assistance for returning soldiers. Blumenthal is a cosponsor of the bill.

"I am very proud that United Rentals has become a role model for businesses in supporting the transition of military personnel to civilian careers," said Michael Kneeland, CEO of United Rentals. "Veterans have done their part. It is the duty of companies of all sizes to demonstrate support in return, by helping these brave men and women find employment after military service. We support Senator Blumenthal in urging business leaders to seek new ways to expand the employment opportunities available to those who have served our country." 

Note: Photos of the event are available upon request.