Guest Column From State Representative Mark Romanchuk
House Bill 488 Gives Greater Career Opportunities to Our Veterans

Each year on the fourth of July, we celebrate our country’s independence and adoption of the Declaration of Independence; a festivity full of pride for our nation.  This holiday is also a day to honor the service members who put their lives on the line so that we may continue to have the freedoms based on the ideologies of our wise founding fathers.

 Every day men and women in the United States Armed Forces receive detailed training and instruction. Through their career in the military veterans gain a valuable education outside the ordinary classroom that can help them in their future career. The training they receive in the military is specialized and extensive, having been refined by long hours of hard work and dedication. Unfortunately,  much of the education these men and women received while in serve was not transferable into educational credits in the civilian world.

House Bill 488 allows military veterans to use the training they receive in the armed forces to receive college credit. This bill also assists veterans wanting to go directly into the workforce, by expediting their requests for state occupational licenses and certificates.  This process offers a transition into college or the workforce, giving these honorable men and women a pathway to a new career opportunity.

A uniform and effective process for awarding college credits is established in HB 488, through the Military Articulation and Transfer Assurance Guide. The guide provides standards on earning credit for experience in the military.  This legislation also requires state institutions of higher education to support and assist veterans and designate a contact person for veterans’ affairs. A statewide training program will also be developed to teach college faculty and staff to translate military experience into credit. 

This Independence Day, as you celebrate with sparklers, picnics, and fireworks, remember to celebrate the signing of HB 488 into law; a bill that will give career opportunities to the service men and women that protect the independence we gained over 200 years ago.  

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