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Gillibrand wants to put veterans back to work

Ryan Morden
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand held three roundtables today to address unemployment among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand spent the day today holding roundtables with business leaders in Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo.

The subject: unemployed veterans who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Part of the Democratic senator's overall effort on behalf of vets is to introduce new legislation that expands work placement efforts and job training. 

Gillibrand was recently appointed to the Senate Armed Services Committee, and says she’s working closely with fellow Democrat Patty Murray from Washington State on a bill. But those proposals have to work their way through the legislative process, which could take a while.

In the meantime, the junior senator is hoping to encourage small business owners to step up to help vets. Several business leaders came together today at her request to talk about the challenges veterans have when transitioning from service into the work force. In particular, Gillibrand talked up the technical skills that many returning veterans have, which could translate in to manufacturing jobs upstate.

According to Gillibrand's office, the Syracuse area has roughly 900 veterans from the recent conflicts who are unemployed, Buffalo has around 1000, and Rochester has nearly 700.

Innovation Trail alumnus Ryan Morden is originally from Seattle. He graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor's in journalism, minoring in political science and Scandinavian studies. Morden was Morning Edition producer and reporter at WRVO before moving over to the Innovation Trail project. Before landing at WRVO, Morden covered the Washington State legislature as a correspondent for Northwest News Network (N3), a group of nine NPR affiliates in the northwest.