Olivia Ali // Nevada Sagebrush
Sen. Jacky Rosen discusses the Hire Student Veterans Act with the roundabout table on Tuesday, April 16. Currently, there are around 200,000 veterans in Nevada.

Jacky Rosen hosted a roundtable talk to discuss the Hire Student Veterans Act (S. 537) on Tuesday, April 16 in the Joe Crowley Student Union Great Room.

Among those at the event were veteran students, Director of Veteran Services Terina Caserto, President Marc Johnson and members of Wolf Pack Veterans, the student-led veteran club. The event allowed Rosen to share details about the bill and for students and faculty to ask questions about Rosen’s bipartisan legislation.

The bill aims to incentivize businesses to hire student veterans for jobs and internships to get “real world experience” while still in school.

“The Hire Student Veterans Act would expand the existing Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) to ensure that all student veterans using their GI benefits can take advantage of valuable paid internships or work opportunities while in school,” said a post on Rosen’s website.

The Hire Student Veterans Act is a modified version of the G.I. bill, as Rosen felt the G.I. bill was too restrictive to be utilized by student veterans.

“It would allow businesses to hire people while they’re going to school on the GI bill, but it was very restrictive,” Rosen said. “You had to work 400 hours or be at this level of disability … there was so many restrictions the average student couldn’t take advantage of it. What we did was modify the bill after these kinds of discussions. Now you only have to work 120 hours a year, which would be a summer internship if you’re able to do one of those.”

The bill was first introduced in February 2019 alongside senators Jerry Moran (R-KS), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Kevin Cramer (R-ND). Rosen introduced the bill after speaking with veteran families and organizations in Nevada.

“I do a lot of roundtables and as an elected official, I’m only as strong as the stories I hear,” Rosen said at the event. “I’m gonna take the stories of the people in Nevada and those stories are going to guide my work and guide what I fight for…They may not make it on the news, but they make it back to people.”

President of Wolf Pack Veterans A’keia Sanders feels the legislation would be helpful to student veterans when looking for work opportunities.

“Her legislation will provide incentives for businesses to hire student vets and help them find employment in their fields of study,” Sanders said.

Currently, there are around 200,000 veterans in Nevada, according to Rosen. As of 2017, Nevada was home to 5,259 student veterans, according to the Nevada Veterans Comprehensive Report.

“I am honored to represent our heroes in Congress, and I appreciate having the chance to speak with our student veterans to hear their needs,” Rosen said. “I will continue to work to make sure we’re doing everything possible in Congress to help them through their educational journey.”

While in Nevada, Rosen also visited and hosted events at Truckee Meadows Community College, Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce and Richards Crossing Housing Complex in Carson City.

For more information about resources for student veterans, please visit the unr.edu/veteran/contact-us.

Olivia Ali can be reached at oali@sagebrush.unr.edu or on Twitter @OliviaNAli.