Special to the Journal
Gov. Nathan Deal and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development (GOWD), in partnership with the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, today announced the implementation of the Veterans Licensure Bill (House Bill 188), signed last legislative session to expedite the transfer of certain military certifications to professional licenses in the state. Veterans can now apply to transfer their military certifications through an online application, a process which ultimately shortens their transition period back to the civilian workforce.
“With a large number of Georgia veterans returning to civilian life, we have the opportunity to make that transition a little bit smoother,” said Deal. “I want to thank everyone for the work that has been done through the Veterans Licensure Bill and look forward to seeing the unmatched talents of our veterans recognized and connected with meaningful employment in the growing industries statewide.”
Since the bill’s signing last spring, representatives from GOWD, the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, the Georgia Board of Construction Industry, the State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors, and the Georgia Department of Defense have designated specific military occupations that require the same skills for civilian licensure to match Georgia veterans and their spouses with rewarding jobs. Through this transfer process, veterans who are approved will have fewer requirements for licensure based on their military skills. The licenses include: Electrical Contractor Class I, Journeyman Plumber, Conditioned Air Contractor Class I, Residential-Light Commercial Contractor and Utility Foreman.
“Among the many pieces that make our state the great place it is today are our military heroes, and we are proud to make every effort possible to assist the more than 770,000 veterans that call Georgia their home,” said Blake Ashbee, executive director of GOWD. “The Veterans Licensure Bill will alleviate the challenges that so many of our veterans face upon their release from active duty, making it possible to quickly find employment that matches their skills.”
Beginning today, the applications for military state licenses will be available through the Georgia Secretary of State’s website. Veterans interested in the transfer process must complete the application within 180 days of discharge from active duty.
“Along with the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development, the Professional Licensing Board Division of the Secretary of State’s office is committed to making the transition from military service to licensed civilian employment as quick and hassle free as possible for our qualified returning service men and women,” said Darren Mickler, executive director of Licensing Board Division for the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office. “This bill will give our returning veterans every opportunity to be successful in their civilian careers.”
Georgia has the fourth largest population of veterans nationwide and, with more than 60,000 of these military members expected to return home to Georgia in the next three years, House Bill 188 is a much-needed step toward filling the skilled labor gap with qualified, unemployed veterans.