Tedisco, Veterans Call for New
Legislative Internship to Jobs Program for Veterans
Legislation to enable wounded warriors to participate in
New York’s annual state legislative internship program
BALLSTON--In advance of Veteran’s Day, Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville) joined with veterans and advocates at the Guardian House, shelter for homeless female veterans in Ballston to call on the New York State legislature to pass G.I.V.E. Back NY (Giving Internships for Veterans not fully Employed) legislation (A.3477/S.2182) to enable disabled veterans to participate in the chamber’s annual paid legislative internship program that could help lead them to future employment.
Tedisco proposes setting aside 10 percent of the current legislative internship program positions in the Assembly and Senate for veterans to see the inner workings of the representative democracy they put their lives on the line for to the extent that some now have a life-long disability.
“Let’s not just talk the talk, let’s walk the walk and give back to our veterans and wounded warriors by truly thanking them for everything we hold dear as Americans and as New Yorkers by offering them a birds eye view of the government they sacrificed their blood, sweat and tears and nearly their own lives to protect,” said Tedisco. “As our veterans learn about state government, my colleagues and I and our college interns will learn from them about honor, duty, courage, and perseverance, lessons that our leaders in state government probably need now, more than ever.
Currently, the Assembly Internship program is open to students matriculated in a four-year college. Undergraduates receive a $5,025 annual stipend and graduate students earn $15,000. It is budgeted at $929,149 this fiscal year. G.I.V.E. Back NY enrollees would receive a stipend of $15,000 for the semester-long program. There will be no additional cost to taxpayers to implement G.I.V.E. Back NY.
Last year, there were 120 interns enrolled in the Assembly Internship program, which is down from 180 interns in 2013.
The G.I.V.E. Back NY legislation is sponsored in the Senate by Senator Bill Larkin (R,C-Cornwall on Hudson).
“This initiative will give our unemployed and underemployed veterans significant experience to put on their resumes for future long-term employment. G.I.V.E. Back NY sends the message that our state and the New York State Legislature truly values the service of our veterans in deeds as well as words,” said Tedisco.
“We are so thankful for our men and women in the military,” said Assemblyman Pete Lopez (R,C,I-Schoharie). “Anything we can do to provide hands-on work experience to help them transition into civilian life and find careers should be a high priority. I’m very pleased to be a co-sponsor on this legislation and look forward to seeing it signed by the governor.”
“I think it is most appropriate to provide the men and women who have served in the United States military an opportunity to grow their career and become involved in our government. Not only do veterans bring desirable skills and traits they have developed in service, but they often also carry a certain wisdom and experience that can't be found in other job candidates. With this program, the Assembly is "walking the walk" when it comes to providing opportunities for those who have served, and setting an example for the rest of the state to follow,” said Frank McClement, Director of the Saratoga County Veterans Service Agency and an Army veteran with the 82nd Airborne.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for our veterans. One of the main causes of veterans’ homelessness is the inability to transfer the skills they learned in the military to civilian life. Lack of job opportunities and trainings is a major cause of 22 veterans committing suicide each day. Through this program, veterans will receive training that will open so many doors for them. Equally important this opportunity will help them on the road to self-sufficiency and help them regain their dignity,” said Cheryl Hage-Perez, Executive Director of the Saratoga Rural Preservation Company which oversees VETHELP and the Guardian House shelter for female veterans.