FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 9, 2012
SCHUMER LAUNCHES NEW CAMPAIGN TO SAVE EXPIRING TAX CREDITS
FOR BUSINESSES THAT HIRE VETS – CREDIT IS A PROVEN SUCCESS &
GIVES COMPANIES LIKE BOMBARDIER UP TO $9,600 PER VET HIRED
In Continued Campaign to Get Vets Back on the Job, Schumer Visits Bombardier Transportation,
Which Hopes to Hire More Veterans Looking Forward – Critical ‘Returning Heroes and Wounded Warriors Tax
Credit’ Is Set to Expire at End of Year
With Over 1,160 Unemployed Veterans in the North Country Region, Schumer Makes Tax Credit Top Priority—
Provision is Proven Success & Provides Up to $9,600 Per Vet Hired
Schumer: As More & More Vets Return from Battlefield, They Must Have Place to Work
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer toured Bombardier Transportation in Plattsburgh, and revealed his plan to prioritize the extension of The Returning Heroes and Wounded Warriors Tax Credit, which is a proven success in incentivizing companies to hire veterans and is set to expire at the end of this year. Schumer applauded Bombardier’s goal to hire more veterans and urged other North Country businesses to similarly seek to hire these highly skilled workers that often fall through the cracks when returning home to civilian employment. The Returning Heroes and Wounded Warriors Tax Credit, enacted in November 2011, provides tax credits to businesses of up to $9,600 depending on the length of time a veteran has been unemployed, and if that veteran has a service-connected disability. Schumer will fight to include this critical tax credit in the Senate tax extenders package to be considered in September. Bombardier currently employs over 25 veterans and this federal tax credit would allow them to achieve their goal to hire more veterans in the future.
Schumer was joined by Garry Douglas, President of the Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce; Plattsburgh Mayor Donald Kasprzak; Assemblywoman Janet Duprey and representatives of local veterans’ service organizations as he launched his push to allow upstate New York businesses to hire more veterans in the near future.
Bombardier Transportation, which has a long record of hiring veterans in the past and hopes to hire many more in the future as it gains more contracts to build transit and railroad cars in its Plattsburgh facility. Though headquartered in Montreal, the company has multiple operations in New York—in Plattsburgh, Croton-on-Hudson, Jamaica, Bath, and Hollis. It aims to increase the efficiency and reliability of transportation channels worldwide. Now present in over 60 countries, Bombardier evolved from a one man operation in 1937 to the company it is today. It employs over 70,000 individuals, 650 of whom are in New York State, all of whom participate in a career development program, which allows employees to create a profile outlining their accomplishments and career goals. Consequently, employees have ample opportunity for professional growth. Any new veterans who are hired at the company next year due to the extension of the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Tax Credit will be in a strong position to build careers.
President Obama signed the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warriors Tax Credit into law on November 21, 2011 as part of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, which contained the series of tax credits for businesses that hire out-of-work veterans. As a result of the tax break, businesses that hire veterans who have been searching for work for at least four weeks, but less than six months, are eligible for a tax credit of up to $2,400 per each veteran hired. Businesses that hire a veteran who has been looking for a job for at least six months would receive a tax credit worth up to $5,600. If a company hires a veteran with a service-connected disability who has been seeking work for at least six months, that business would be eligible for tax credits worth up to $9,600. While tax-exempt organizations save a slightly smaller percentage, a non-profit company can still save up to $6,240 if they hire a disabled veteran who has been unemployed for six months or more.
Schumer pushed to extend the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warriors Tax Credit in light of disappointing unemployment numbers for veterans, particularly in upstate New York. Clinton County alone has 280 unemployed veterans, while the North Country Region has 1,167, according to New York State Department of Labor’s most recent data from 2010. According to the state’s data, there are 16,846 unemployed veterans in upstate New York as a whole. Unemployment among New York’s veteran population, particularly younger veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, has remained stubbornly high over the last several years. Last year, the veteran population in the United States consisted of 20.2 million men and 1.8 million women, accounting for about 9.5 percent of the adult population in the country. 2.2 million of those veterans served after September 11, 2011, and two thirds of that total were under 35 years old. Unemployment among veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan has risen to 12.1 percent nationally, up from 10.6 percent from a year ago. 240,000 young veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are unemployed nationwide. An astonishing 21.9 percent of male veterans aged 18-24 who have served since September 11th were unemployed last year, according to data recently released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.