Armstrong Helps Reintroduce Bipartisan Legislation to Connect National Guard and Reservists with In-Demand Skills Training, Employment

July 27, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) joined Congresswoman Cindy Axne (D-IA) to reintroduce legislation that will provide in-demand skills training and employment assistance to members of the National Guard and Reserve who are within 180 days of transitioning into civilian life.

Currently, the U.S. Department of Defense offers access to the SkillBridge program to active duty servicemembers transitioning out of their military service. SkillBridge connects departing servicemembers to in-demand skills training and prospective employers who are ready to hire.

The Transition for Success Act would expand access to the SkillBridge program by allowing all National Guard and Reserve servicemembers to participate in the program upon departing military service.

“Our National Guard service members have dedicated their lives to protecting our nation, and it is our responsibility to make sure they have a smooth transition to civilian life after service,” said Congressman Armstrong. “Expanding the SkillBridge Program will help more Guardsmen access valuable training programs, setting them up for fulfilling careers.”

“The SkillBridge program has been successful at connecting our veterans to highly skilled civilian jobs after their service. It’s only fair that we offer this same option to those who have chosen to serve our country in a reservist role or as members of the National Guard,” said Congresswoman Axne. “The men and women of the Iowa National Guard protect our communities every single day, and their service should be afforded the same opportunities for success as other members of our armed forces. I’m proud to reintroduce the bipartisan legislation that the House passed last year to continue pushing this commonsense bill to invest in Iowa’s veterans. Employers want to hire our veterans, and veterans want employment where their skills and service is valued. This legislation helps make that happens.”

Last year, the House passed the Transition for Success Act as part of the National Defense Authorization Act, but the measure was not included in the final version of the legislative package.

The legislation was re-introduced today with the bipartisan support of Reps. William Timmons (R-SC), Conor Lamb (D-PA), Tim Ryan (D-OH), Mike Bost (R-IL), Andy Kim (D-NJ), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Greg Murphy (R-NC), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), Angie Craig (D-MN), and Michael San Nicolas (D-GU).

The Department of Defense projects that the legislation would lead to a 30% increase in participation in the SkillBridge program. In 2019, only 8,600 servicemembers utilized the program.