Rep. Arnold: Indiana's veteran employment rate among lowest in the nation

Posted by: Peter Hoffman  | Monday, April 11, 2016

One of the most rewarding parts of being the state representative for District 74 is seeing results from our work in the Indiana General Assembly. This week, I was pleased to see our efforts to better serve Hoosier veterans are continuing to pay off.

The U.S. Labor Department published a report on the 2015 employment statistics for veterans in all 50 states across the country. Indiana’s veteran unemployment rate is 2.4 percent, the second-lowest of any state in the nation. This number not only reflects the strong business climate in Indiana, but also the pro-veteran attitude many employers have across the state. Our corporations and small businesses recognize the skills, training and value our veterans bring to the workplace.

I am proud Indiana is a national leader in a critical category such as job creation. As a veteran and a lawmaker, it is encouraging to see Indiana is a place where veterans can find opportunities for themselves and their families.

Another effort we made to expand those opportunities is passing legislation to increase the hiring age for veterans applying to be public safety officers.

Before the passage of House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1359, the maximum hiring age for firefighters and police officers was 36 years old in Indiana. Veterans and military personnel are able to retire or discharge after they serve 20 years. Therefore, should an individual join the armed forces at the lowest age possible, 18 years old, they would be able to retire at 38 years old, which would have been too old to apply to be a public safety officer.

By increasing the hiring age to 40.5 years, HEA 1359 allows veterans to apply to become public safety officers after they finish their careers in the military. This law still requires veterans to pass certain requirements, such as a physical agility test and an aptitude test, in order to be eligible for the position.

As a member of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, I take seriously the responsibility of working on behalf of Hoosier veterans. I look forward to building on the progress we have made for the men and women who served our state and country so honorably.

As always, please contact me with questions or input at (317) 232-9793 or by email at h74@iga.in.gov. I am eager to help and always appreciate hearing from you in order to better represent our district at the Statehouse.

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Rep. Arnold (R-Leavenworth) represents portions of Spencer, Dubois, Perry, Crawford and Orange counties.