OP-ED: CHAIRMAN GREG BALL URGES FOR PASSAGE OF “JOBS FOR HEROES” PROGRAM

 

    On October 20, 2004 President George W. Bush signed an executive order expanding business opportunities for service-connected disabled veteran owned businesses. The order created a 3% Federal contract set aside for our Nation’s heroes. In addition to the Federal government’s action, 44 other states have also enacted similar legislation. However, New York has fallen to the back of the pack and hasn’t yet created this set aside for our heroes.

    According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, “one in seven veterans are self-employed or small business owners, and about one quarter of veterans say they are interested in starting or buying their own business.” The same attributes that make these people so vital to defending our freedom are the same hard earned intangibles that make them exceptional at running their businesses and creating jobs.

    I have introduced legislation that has become known as the NY Jobs For Heroes Program. The legislation would create a 5% state contract set aside for service-connected disabled veteran owned businesses. This legislation has repeatedly passed in the Senate since its introduction, but has failed to successfully pass through the New York State Assembly. However, this year is different…

    In his State of the State, Governor Andrew Cuomo, announced his public support for the NY Jobs For Heroes initiative. The Governor’s public and recent support is exactly the kick in the pants this bill needed to make it a reality. With his support, I am optimistic that this can be the year we pass this bill to join the 44 other states that offer this contract set aside.

    To assure this is truly the year we get this done, I have organized a petition and series of events:

    NY Jobs For Heroes Petition: Sign the petition on my Senate website by visiting:www.nysenate.gov/webform/petition-ny-jobs-heroes-program.

    On Feb. 10th, I will host a press conference and hearing on the NY Jobs for Heroes program in the NYS Capitol Building in Albany.

    On Feb. 28th, I will be hosting a New York City hearing and tour of Drexel Hamilton, an institutional broker-dealer that is committed to offering employment opportunities to disabled veterans.

    On March 1st, I will be hosting a Hudson Valley Roundtable discussion of NY Jobs for Heroes with U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney at Carmel Town Hall.

    To get involved, contact Krista Gobins in my office at 845-279-3773 or kgobins@nysenate.gov. We have been trailing the nation on this front for far too long. The time to finally launch the NY Jobs For Heroes program is now.

    For more information, please contact jbachmei@nysenate.gov or (845) 531-9796

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