Assemblyman Stirpe: Supporting Veterans in Their Transition to Civilian Life

Onondaga County is home to nearly 32,000 veterans, and helping these men and women who sacrificed so much to protect our freedom is not only a way for us to give back, to me, it’s also our duty. There are many difficulties that come with the transition to civilian life – one of the biggest hurdles for many vets is finding a good job. Not only are we still in the middle of a slow economic recovery, but a lot of veterans also face the challenge of translating job skills acquired in the military to civilian employment.

A top priority of mine is helping veterans in Onondaga County adjust to civilian life once they return home from active duty. That’s why I’ve supported a number of initiatives to help veterans find work. Recently, I helped pass the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Act (A.9135). This legislation sets a 6 percent participation goal in the awarding of state contracts to small businesses owned by veterans, making New York a national leader. The bill has also passed the Senate and will now be delivered to the governor for final approval. As someone who has owned a business, I know how challenging it is. That’s why we must support these businesses to help give our heroes every opportunity to succeed.

Last year, I helped secure tax credits for small businesses that hire veterans (Ch. 59 of 2013) and supported the passage of the Veterans Employment Act (Ch. 557 of 2013). This law requires the state to give eligible veterans priority when filling temporary staffing jobs in state agencies. This is a great way to introduce veterans to civilian public service. Additionally, I supported a law that helps employers better understand military resumes by requiring the state Division of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) to help convert veterans’ military occupations and skills into civilian terms (Ch. 263 of 2013). Military skills can often get lost in translation, but this program helps show employers how much veterans have to offer.

Please visit my website for more helpful information, including the Veterans Job Bank, discounts on certain goods and services throughout our community and to learn how to obtain a special veterans license. It’s all available online at If you have any questions, please contact my office at 315-452-1115, or email me at