Gardner provisions included in new law supporting veteran workforce development

President Donald Trump signed into law on Feb. 11 the Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act, S. 153, drawing praise from bill cosponsor U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO).

The bipartisan legislation includes Sen. Gardner’s language directing the U.S. Government Accountability Office to study the barriers student veterans face when pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers.

“I’m a strong advocate for promoting STEM opportunities, and this important bipartisan legislation will help ease the transition back to civilian life for servicemembers and strengthen the economy by encouraging student veterans to pursue careers in fast-growing STEM fields,” Sen. Gardner said. “Military experience provides invaluable education, leadership and education skills and I’m pleased our bipartisan legislation to help our heroes navigate this rapidly expanding sector of our economy is now law.”

The legislation was sponsored by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) was the original cosponsor.

S. 153 is one of several pieces of legislation Sen. Gardner has supported under his VA Readiness Initiative, which launched in February 2019 to ensure the government is always ready and equipped to assist veterans transitioning to civilian life.

The legislation also directs the National Science Foundation to encourage veterans to study and pursue STEM careers as well as submit a plan to Congress regarding its plans for veteran outreach. The Office of Science and Technology Policy is also directed to create an interagency working group to improve veteran and military spouse equity and representation in STEM fields.

“Last year Colorado Mesa University student veterans shared concerns with United States Senator Cory Gardner. They believed changes to GI legislation would harm Colorado student veterans,” Colorado Mesa University President Tim Foster said. “The new legislation requires a comprehensive study into the barriers student veterans face when pursuing a STEM degree and recommendations to Congress on how to even better support and encourage student veterans.”