H.R.1796 - Troop Talent Act of 2013113th Congress (2013-2014)
Text: H.R.1796 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)
There is one version of the bill.
Introduced in House (04/26/2013)
[Congressional Bills 113th Congress] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] [H.R. 1796 Introduced in House (IH)] 113th CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 1796 To ensure that the education and training provided members of the Armed Forces and veterans better assists members and veterans in obtaining civilian certifications and licenses, and for other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES April 26, 2013 Ms. Duckworth (for herself, Mr. Hunter, Mr. Takano, Mr. Bilirakis, Mr. Brady of Pennsylvania, Mr. Rahall, Mr. Maffei, Mr. Gallego, Mr. Garamendi, Ms. Schakowsky, Ms. Brownley of California, Mr. Foster, Mrs. Capps, Mr. Enyart, Mr. Scott of Virginia, Ms. Shea-Porter, Mr. Jones, Mr. Castro of Texas, Ms. Esty, Ms. Gabbard, Mr. Hinojosa, Mr. Harper, Ms. Sinema, Ms. Kuster, Mr. Johnson of Ohio, Mrs. Bustos, Mr. Honda, and Mr. Barber) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Armed Services, and in addition to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To ensure that the education and training provided members of the Armed Forces and veterans better assists members and veterans in obtaining civilian certifications and licenses, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Troop Talent Act of 2013''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS. Congress makes the following findings: (1) According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for recent veterans of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan was 9.4 percent in February 2013, compared with 7.6 percent in February 2012. (2) With the unemployment rate among such veterans higher than the national average and the number of veterans receiving unemployment benefits doubling since 2002, there is a significant need to assist members of the Armed Forces as they transition to the civilian workforce. (3) In order to remain competitive in the civilian employment market, members of the Armed Forces and veterans require information about how their military skill sets translate to the requirements of the civilian workforce. Members of the Armed Forces currently receive insufficient or inadequate information during their training for military occupational specialties on translating skills obtained during such training to civilian occupations and credentials. (4) In addition, there is a need for enhanced access by accredited credentialing agencies to military training curricula in order to facilitate and enhance the correlation between military training and applicable civilian credentialing courses and exams. (5) The information technology sector is one of the fastest growing industries, with tremendous job growth and demand for talented, qualified individuals. The information technology sector has an unemployment rate of 3.5 percent according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report from February 2013. (6) The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a need for 110,000 computer support specialists over the next decade. Currently, the size of the information technology workforce in the Armed Forces is about 160,000 members. SEC. 3. ENHANCEMENT OF MECHANISMS TO CORRELATE SKILLS AND TRAINING FOR MILITARY OCCUPATIONAL SPECIALTIES WITH SKILLS AND TRAINING REQUIRED FOR CIVILIAN CERTIFICATIONS AND LICENSES. (a) Improvement of Information Available to Members of the Armed Forces About Correlation.-- (1) In general.--The Secretaries of the military departments, in coordination with the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, shall, to the maximum extent practicable, make information on civilian credentialing opportunities available to members of the Armed Forces beginning with, and at every stage of, training of members for military occupational specialties, in order to permit members-- (A) to evaluate the extent to which such training correlates with the skills and training required in connection with various civilian certifications and licenses; and (B) to assess the suitability of such training for obtaining or pursuing such civilian certifications and licenses. (2) Coordination with transition goals plans success program.--Information shall be made available under paragraph (1) in a manner consistent with the Transition Goals Plans Success (GPS) program. (3) Types of information.--The information made available under paragraph (1) shall include, but not be limited to, the following: (A) Information on the civilian occupational equivalents of military occupational specialties (MOS). (B) Information on civilian license or certification requirements, including examination requirements. (C) Information on the availability and opportunities for use of educational benefits available to members of the Armed Forces, as appropriate, corresponding training, or continuing education that leads to a certification exam in order to provide a pathway to credentialing opportunities. (4) Use and adaptation of certain programs.--In making information available under paragraph (1), the Secretaries of the military departments may use and adapt appropriate portions of the Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL) programs of the Army and the Navy and the Credentialing and Educational Research Tool (CERT) of the Air Force. (b) Improvement of Access of Accredited Civilian Credentialing Agencies to Military Training Content.-- (1) In general.--The Secretaries of the military departments, in coordination with the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, shall, to the maximum extent practicable consistent with national security requirements, make available to accredited civilian credentialing agencies that issue certifications or licenses, upon request of such agencies, information such as military course training curricula, syllabi, and materials, levels of military advancement attained, and professional skills developed. (2) Central repository.--The actions taken pursuant to paragraph (1) may include the establishment of a central repository of information on training and training materials provided members in connection with military occupational specialties that is readily accessible by accredited civilian credentialing agencies described in that paragraph in order to meet requests described in that paragraph. SEC. 4. USE OF EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE FOR COURSES IN PURSUIT OF CIVILIAN CERTIFICATIONS OR LICENSES. (a) Courses Under Department of Defense Educational Assistance Authorities.-- (1) In general.--Chapter 101 of title 10, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 2015 the following new section: ``Sec. 2015a. Civilian certifications and licenses: use of educational assistance for courses in pursuit of civilian certifications or licenses ``(a) Limitation on Use of Assistance.--In the case of a member of the armed forces who is enrolled in an educational institution in a State for purposes of obtaining employment in an occupation or profession requiring the approval or licensure of a board or agency of that State, educational assistance specified in subsection (b) may be used by the member for a course offered by the educational institution that is a required element of the curriculum to be satisfied to obtain employment in that occupation or profession only if-- ``(1) the successful completion of the curriculum fully qualifies a student to-- ``(A) take any examination required for entry into the occupation or profession, including satisfying any State or professionally mandated programmatic and specialized accreditation requirements; and ``(B) be certified or licensed or meet any other academically related pre-conditions that are required for entry into the occupation or profession; and ``(2) in the case of State licensing or professionally mandated requirements for entry into the occupation or profession that require specialized accreditation, the curriculum meets the requirement for specialized accreditation through its accreditation or pre-accreditation by an accrediting agency or association recognized by the Secretary of Education or designated by that State as a reliable authority as to the quality or training offered by the institution in that program. ``(b) Covered Educational Assistance.--The educational assistance specified in this subsection is educational assistance as follows: ``(1) Educational assistance for members of the armed forces under section 2007 and 2015 of this title. ``(2) Educational assistance for persons enlisting for active duty under chapter 106A of this title. ``(3) Educational assistance for members of the armed forces held as captives under section 2183 of this title. ``(4) Educational assistance for members of the Selected Reserve under chapter 1606 of this title. ``(5) Educational assistance for reserve component members supporting contingency operations and other operations under chapter 1607 of this title. ``(6) Such other educational assistance provided members of the armed forces under the laws administered by the Secretary of Defense or the Secretaries of the military departments as the Secretary of Defense shall designate for purposes of this section.''. (2) Clerical amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 101 of such title is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 2015 the following new item: ``2015a. Civilian certifications and licenses: use of educational assistance for courses in pursuit of civilian certifications or licenses.''. (b) Courses Under Educational Assistance Authorities Administered by Secretary of Veterans Affairs.--Section 3679 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection: ``(c) A course offered by an educational institution in a State that is a required element of the curriculum to be satisfied to obtain employment in an occupation or profession requiring the approval or licensure of a board or agency of that State may be treated as approved for purposes of this chapter by an individual seeking to obtain employment in that occupation or profession only if-- ``(1) the successful completion of the curriculum fully qualifies a student to-- ``(A) take any examination required for entry into the occupation or profession, including satisfying any State or professionally mandated programmatic and specialized accreditation requirements; and ``(B) be certified or licensed or meet any other academically related pre-conditions that are required for entry into the occupation or profession; and ``(2) in the case of State licensing or professionally mandated requirements for entry into the occupation or profession that require specialized accreditation, the curriculum meets the requirement for specialized accreditation through its accreditation or pre-accreditation by an accrediting agency or association recognized by the Secretary of Education or designated by that State as a reliable authority as to the quality or training offered by the institution in that program.''. (c) Effective Date.--The amendments made by this section shall take effect on August 1, 2014, and shall apply with respect to courses pursued on or after that date. SEC. 5. COVERAGE OF MILITARY OCCUPATIONAL SPECIALTIES RELATING TO MILITARY INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY UNDER PILOT PROGRAM ON RECEIPT OF CIVILIAN CREDENTIALS FOR SKILLS REQUIRED FOR MILITARY OCCUPATIONAL SPECIALTIES. The military occupational specialties designated for purposes of the pilot program on receipt of civilian credentials for skills required for military occupational specialties under section 558 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (10 U.S.C. 2015 note) shall include military occupational specialties relating to the military information technology workforce. SEC. 6. REVIVAL OF PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION AND LICENSURE ADVISORY COMMITTEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS. (a) In General.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall reestablish the Professional Certification and Licensure Advisory Committee of the Department of Veterans Affairs provided for under section 3689(e) of title 38, United States Code. The Committee shall be reestablished in accordance with the provisions of such section 3689(e), as amended by subsection (b), and shall carry out its duties in conformance with, and subject to the requirements of such section, as so amended. (b) Modification of Authorities and Requirements.--Section 3689(e) of title 38, United States Code, is amended-- (1) in paragraph (2)-- (A) by inserting ``(A)'' after ``(2)''; and (B) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph: ``(B) In addition to the duties under subparagraph (A), the Committee shall-- ``(i) develop, in coordination with other appropriate agencies, guidance to be used by the Department or other entities to perform periodic audits of licensure and certification programs to ensure the highest quality education is available to veterans and members of the Armed Forces; and ``(ii) develop, in coordination with the Department of Defense, appropriate certification agencies, and other appropriate non-profit organizations, a plan to improve outreach to veterans and members of the Armed Forces on the importance of licensing and certification, as well as educational benefits available to them.''; (2) in paragraph (3)(B), by striking ``and the Secretary of Defense'' and inserting ``the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Education''; (3) in paragraph (4), by striking subparagraph (B) and inserting the following new subparagraph: ``(B) The Committee shall meet with such frequency as the Committee determines appropriate.''; and (4) in paragraph (5), by striking ``December 31, 2006'' and inserting ``December 31, 2019''. (c) Report.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the reestablishment of the Professional Certification and Licensure Advisory Committee of the Department of Veterans Affairs pursuant to this section, the Committee shall submit to Congress a report setting forth an assessment of the feasibility and advisability of permitting members of the Armed Forces to use educational assistance to which they are entitled under chapters 30 and 33 of title 38, United States Code, to obtain or pursue civilian employment certifications or licenses without the use of such assistance for that purpose being charged against the entitlement of such members to such educational assistance.