As a member of the veteran community and a graduate student, I am highly invested in the passage of L.D. 214, which would streamline the process by which veterans receive occupational licensure based on the veteran’s military occupational experience and translation of skills.

I served in the U.S. Army Reserves from 2008 to 2016, and I had the pleasure of not only serving with fellow Mainers but Mainers with specialized military training that our state can utilize. Imagine the enormous opportunity for the individual veteran, our communities, and for our state, if these veterans’ military service could translate to civilian licensures that addressed some of the employment occupancies across our state? This would aid transitioning service members coming back home from active duty and would allow for a more readied fighting force in our National Guard and Reserve components.

When preparing to transition out of the military, one of the biggest questions the service member has is, “What will I do now?” Many veterans go back to school or seek employment, but if these veterans spent less time in school and could obtain employment faster, this would drastically ease the stress of these service members, bolster our workforce, and benefit our economy. Maine is home to more than 100,000 veterans. That is a tremendous amount of skilled workers who are ready now or who require a limited amount of additional education, and our workforce desperately needs them.

I urge readers to contact their local representatives to advocate for the passage of L.D. 214, for the future of Maine, for the future of our veterans, and for the future of our communities.

James Butts

Levant

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