Over the past year, Engine has teamed up with veterans working in the tech industry and several Veterans Service Organizations to understand how government can better support transitioning servicemembers interested in careers in technology. Whether as entrepreneurs, managers, or engineers, it’s clear that given the proper training and support, veterans have the talent, resolve, and discipline to thrive in the tech workforce. However, Congress should modernize and expand the training and benefits that veterans currently receive in order to better equip them to succeed in the tech and startup economy.
One bill that makes strides towards updating the current framework is the Veteran Entrepreneurial Transition Act (the VET Act), sponsored by Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Jon Tester (D-MT). This bill would empower veterans to pursue their entrepreneurial aspirations by giving them access to training resources through the Small Business Administration and allowing them to utilize their GI Bill benefit towards starting businesses.
Working with VetTechTrek, Engine gathered the signatures of 37 individual veterans working in the tech industry and as entrepreneurs who agree that the VET Act will go a long way towards making entrepreneurship more accessible to the veteran community.
Steve Weiner, co-founder of VetTechTrek, echoes the sentiments of the letter in a recent op-ed in The Hill:
Today’s global economy no longer resembles that of 1944, when the G.I. bill was crafted for veterans returning home from World War II. Today, entrepreneurship, particularly tech entrepreneurship, is the driver of the 21st century job growth and innovation. It’s incumbent upon Congress to ensure that veterans are empowered with the necessary training and tools to become leaders in this evolving economy. Modernizing the G.I. benefits to enable veterans to pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions is just one important step towards this.
With Memorial Day upon us, there’s no better time for Congress to consider and pass the VET Act.
Read the full letter of support here.
Photo Cred: Brian Rinker.