WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Neal Dunn’s (FL-02) legislation to expand veterans’ job and educational opportunities in the sciences passed the House Tuesday. The Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act requires the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop a veterans outreach plan and publish data on veterans’ participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields in its annual “Indicators” report. The bill updates the NSF Noyce Teacher Scholarship program, fellowship program, and cyber grant programs to include outreach to veterans. Additionally, the bill tasks the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy with examining how to increase veteran participation in STEM career fields.
“In the next five years, more than one million members of the U.S. Armed Forces will leave the military and transition to civilian life. Our nation’s veterans deserve every opportunity to succeed and this important legislation will connect veterans with educational and job opportunities in the STEM fields.” said Dr. Dunn. “By having veterans fill these 21st century jobs, we will continue to keep America on the cutting edge of innovation. I commend Chairman Smith’s leadership on this issue and his continued support of our veterans.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, occupations in STEM fields are projected to grow to more than 9 million between 2012 and 2022, an increase of about 1 million jobs.
“On Science Day in Congress, the House has taken bipartisan action to improve STEM education, encourage careers in STEM fields, update federal fire response programs and continue collaboration with Israel on space exploration. I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for supporting these bills and helping celebrate Science Day in Congress,” said House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (TX-21).
The Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act is cosponsored by House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (TX-21), as well as several veterans who serve on the committee, including Reps. Barry Loudermilk (GA-11), Mark Takano (CA-41), Jim Banks (IN-03), Brian Babin (TX-36), Ralph Abraham (LA-05), Steve Knight (CA-25), and Roger Marshall (KS-01).