Gov. Jack Markell delivered his weekly message from JPMorgan Chase in Wilmington, where this week he signed HB275, creating a new effort to help put recent combat veterans to work when they return from service.
The “Veterans’ Opportunity Tax Credit” gives companies a $1,500 annual tax credit for each recent veteran they hire. The January 2012 national unemployment rate among recently returning veterans was 9.1 percent, still well above the national average of 8.3 percent.
In Delaware, the veterans’ unemployment rate for the 12 months ending June 2012 was 8.3 percent, compared with 6.7 percent for non-veterans.
“The statistics, unfortunately, are frightening. Veterans have had a hard time finding work when they come back from Iraq and Afghanistan. That’s where this bill comes in. With this bill, businesses will actually get a tax credit by putting veterans back to work in this country,” said Markell. “But, the bill can only go so far. What we really need is a partnership with businesses throughout our state and throughout our country who recognize not only the service that our veterans have provided but also the unique skills they’ve developed through their training and through their work. By working together, with our businesses and our veterans, together and collectively, we can make sure that we keep Delaware moving forward.”