Senate Urges Passage of "Jobs For Heroes" Program

January 14, 2014

[Click Here For Video]

Albany, N.Y. – 01/14/2014 – State Senator Greg Ball (R,C,I – Patterson) joined veterans and colleagues at the New York State Capitol on Tuesday morning to stress the importance of passing the NY Jobs For Heroes Program (S2803B), a concept that was recently supported by Governor Cuomo in his State of the State address.

The NY Jobs For Heroes Program will create a state contract preference for service-connected disabled veteran owned small businesses in New York State. The legislation mirrors the highly successful federal program that is presently established for a contract set aside. Currently nearly forty other states are successfully using this program.

“Providing this earned opportunity to our heroes is commonsense. The Governor’s public and recent support is exactly the kick in the pants this bill needed to make it a reality. I am very happy to welcome Governor Cuomo aboard our statewide mission to create a ‘NY Jobs For Heroes Program’ in New York State. With his support, I am optimistic that this can be the year we pass this bill to join the nearly forty other states that offer this contract set aside,” said Senator Greg Ball, Chairman of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee. “One in seven veterans are self-employed or small business owners. 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. We have been trailing the nation on this front for far too long. I urge residents to join our cause by signing the NY Jobs For Heroes petition on my website. The time to get this done is NOW!”

Senator Greg Ball was joined at the press conference by three service-connected disabled veterans from Drexel Hamilton, LLC. Joseph Krulder II, Carolyn Hulse and Matt Kuskie all work at the full-service institutional broker-dealer founded on the principle of offering meaningful employment opportunities to disabled veterans desiring a career in financial services.

“We owe our nation’s veterans and their families nothing less than the opportunity to pursue the American Dream through hard work and access to meaningful careers that allow them to demonstrate their full capabilities,” said James Cahill, president of Drexel Hamilton LLC. “Drexel Hamilton thanks Senator Ball for his tireless work on behalf of veteran-owned businesses in New York State, and we commend Governor Andrew Cuomo for shining a bright light on the needs of veterans and veteran-owned businesses. We look forward to working with them this year to advance the cause of New York’s veterans.

Mathew B. Tully, founding partner of Tully Rinckey PLLC, joined Senator Ball at the press conference. Before launching his legal career, Mat served for three years in the U.S. Army as a field artillery officer. After suffering from military discrimination at the hands of his civilian employer, Mat received his juris doctorate from Brooklyn Law School. A lieutenant colonel in the New York Army National Guard, Mat has chosen to dedicate his legal career to protecting and preserving the rights of his fellow veterans and reservists. As a civilian attorney, he helped strengthen service members’ employment rights under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).

“Service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses should not have to fight New York State to do business with New York State. SDVOSBs have found strong allies in Governor Cuomo and Senator Ball, and I encourage Speaker Silver to fight for us and not against us,” said Mathew B. Tully, Esq.

“Serving as Chairman of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, Greg Ball has been a true champion of New York’s veterans. Senator Ball has honored our veterans and helped the heroes returning back home. I am proud to lend my support to his important ‘NY Jobs For Heroes’ program. This initiative will create a state contract preference for service-connected disabled veteran-owned small businesses and is a must-do this session. Our veterans fought for us; now it’s our turn to fight for them. Greg's bill helps make this a reality,” said New York State Senator Kathleen A. Marchione (R,C-Halfmoon).

“Our brave men and women returning home from overseas do not deserve to stand on the back of the unemployment line. We need to continue to focus on innovative ways to create jobs for all New Yorkers, especially those that serve our country with honor and dignity,” said Senator Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester).

“I am pleased to represent so many veterans who serve at Fort Drum and in Rome. My goals is to keep as many of these skilled, knowledgeable people in my district after their military service is finished. I support this legislation because it offers a real opportunity for those with a service-connected disability to start a second career here. I am pleased to again support Senator Ball’s legislation and I commend Governor Cuomo for recently speaking out in support of this bill. Hopefully, this is the year New York joins the federal government and 40 other states in offering a helping hand to these small business owners,” said Senator Joseph A. Griffo (R-C-I Rome).

“This legislation is long overdue. It is time for New York to join the federal government and the nearly 40 other states in providing this contract set aside for our service-connected disabled veterans. This legislation has been proven successful on both the federal and state levels and I call on the Assembly to follow the Senate’s lead and pass this legislation to assist our military men and women who have given so much for their country,” said Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson).

“As a proud American, I believe it is incumbent upon all of us to show gratitude to the great nation in which we live,” said Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn). “And that includes thanking our brave and selfless servicemen and women. For all the sacrifices our veterans have made for us, they deserve the promise of economic opportunity. I commend Senator Ball for taking the lead and championing this vital legislation. As we go about our daily lives, let us bear in mind that freedom isn't free.”


Senator Greg Ball will also be hosting a New York City and Albany hearing to promote the program.

Albany Hearing and Lobby Day: On Monday, February 10, 2014, Senator Greg Ball will be holding a hearing in NYS Capitol; the event will begin at 12:30 p.m., in room 124 of the Capitol. Service connected disabled veterans will be in attendance to share how a state preference in contracts could provide veterans in New York State with both meaningful employment, and business ownership opportunities.

New York City Hearing and Tour of Drexel Hamilton: On Tuesday, February 28, 2014, Senator Greg Ball will host a tour of Drexel Hamilton, a full-service institutional broker-dealer founded on the principle of offering meaningful employment opportunities to disabled veterans desiring a career in financial services. Attendees will be able to see, first-hand, how a state preference for contracts could expand companies like Drexel Hamilton, who actively employ service connected disabled veterans. The tour will be at 11:00 a.m., at Drexel Hamilton’s New York City office, located at 77 Water Street, Suite 201. After the tour, Senator Greg Ball will be hosting a hearing at the Senate New York City Office, located at 250 Broadway.