Members of Georgia’s National Guard looked on as Governor Nathan Deal signed the “Veterans Licensure Bill” into law Monday at Clay National Guard Center in Marietta.
The new law was designed to help members of the military transition more easily into careers in the civilian workforce.
“I consider our military community not only as an asset to our defense, but to our workforce and our economy in general,” said Governor Deal. “If they devote their life and time and well-being to serving us, I think we certainly can do our part to help them out when they come back home.”
The law creates a committee to determine whether members of the military should be able to use their military certifications as electrical contractors, conditioned air contractors, plumbers and utility contractors to obtain state licenses in those fields.
“I think from my experience being in the military and seeing many of my friends and myself even come home, transitioning into the civilian marketplace can sometimes be daunting,” explained Senator Hunter Hill, R-Atlanta, who sponsored the bill in the Senate. “Anything that we can do to make that process easier, especially in the way of cutting red tape was something that I was definitely for.”
The state estimates more than 60,000 members of the military will enter the civilian market by 2016 and Georgia will have around the same number of vacancies in those skilled fields by 2020.
“There’s been some hits in that area, but we’re going to come roaring back, I know that,” said Sen. Hill. “Atlanta specifically and Georgia as a whole is going to need professionals to fill the need in the marketplace going forward.”
The committee will also decide how the husbands and wives of service members can apply their licenses from other states to Georgia.