For Immediate Release: Monday, November 4, 2013
Contact: Stephanie Liotta-Atkinson, 202-297-0152, firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, DC – Today, Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5) introduced a bill in the D.C. Council to streamline the process for obtaining professional and occupational licenses and certifications for service members, their spouses and partners, and veterans.
“When service members, their spouses, and veterans move across state lines or leave the military, they face significant barriers to obtaining employment if their job requires licensure or certification,” said McDuffie. “Spouses and partners are particularly hard hit. Thirty-five percent work in professions requiring state licensure or certification, with teaching, childcare, and nursing being the most common professions.”
The bill tracks the best practices of the Department of Defense by providing for:
- Reciprocity between jurisdictions through licensure or certification “by endorsement”;
- Temporary licensure and certification;
- Expedited processing;
- Waiver of renewal fees and continuing education credits for active duty members; and
- The substitution of education, training, or experience completed by the applicant while in the military for stateside requirements.
In recent years, efforts by the Obama Administration’s “Joining Forces” initiative have resulted in forty-four states passing similar licensure and certification improvement laws. McDuffie’s bill would be among the most comprehensive of such laws.
“So many members of the military and veterans are stationed in or move to the District with their families,” said McDuffie. “The best way for our city to thank these individuals for their service is to help them find and keep a good job. This bill will reduce barriers for applicants for nearly all professions requiring licensure or certification – from nurses to plumbers, engineers to teachers.”
The bill was referred to the Council’s Committees on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs, with comments from the Committee on Health.