< Back to S. 922 (113th Congress, 2013–2015)

Text of the Veterans Equipped for Success Act of 2013

This bill was introduced on May 9, 2013, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of May 9, 2013 (Introduced).

II

113th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 922

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

May 9, 2013

introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs

A BILL

To require the Secretary of Labor to carry out a pilot program on providing wage subsidies to employers who employ certain veterans and members of the Armed Forces and require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out a pilot program on providing career transition services to young veterans, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Veterans Equipped for Success Act of 2013 .

2.

Pilot program on provision of subsidies to employers for employment of certain veterans and members of the Armed Forces

(a)

In general

Commencing not later than January 1, 2014, the Secretary of Labor shall, acting through the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment and Training and in collaboration with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, carry out a pilot program to assess the feasibility and advisability of providing subsidies to eligible employers to employ eligible individuals—

(1)

to provide eligible individuals with valuable work experience;

(2)

to increase the skills of eligible individuals; and

(3)

to assist eligible individuals in obtaining long-term employment.

(b)

Eligible individual

For purposes of the pilot program, an eligible individual is an individual who—

(1)

is—

(A)

a veteran of the Armed Forces who was discharged or released from service therein under conditions other than dishonorable; or

(B)

a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces (including the National Guard) who—

(i)

served on active duty in the Armed Forces (other than active duty for training) for more than 180 consecutive days during the two-year period ending on the date of commencement of the participation in the pilot program; and

(ii)

is not serving on active duty on the date of commencement of participation in the pilot program;

(2)

is, at the time at which the individual applies for participation in the pilot program—

(A)

18 years of age or more but not more than 34 years of age; or

(B)

55 years of age or more but not more than 64 years of age;

(3)

is not in receipt of compensation under chapter 11 of title 38, United States Code, by reason of unemployability;

(4)

is not enrolled on the date of commencement of participation in the pilot program in a Federal or State job training program; and

(5)

is considered by the Secretary to be unemployed or underemployed.

(c)

Eligible employer

(1)

In general

For purposes of the pilot program, an eligible employer is an employer determined by the Secretary to meet such criteria for participation in the pilot program as the Secretary shall establish for purposes of the pilot program, except that an employer may not be determined to be an eligible employer for that purpose if the employer—

(A)

has been investigated or subject to a case or action by the Federal Trade Commission during the 180-day period ending on the date the employer would otherwise commence participation in the pilot program;

(B)

has not been in good standing with a State business bureau during the period described in subparagraph (A);

(C)

is an agency of the Federal Government or a State or local government;

(D)

is delinquent with respect to payment of any taxes or employer contributions described under sections 3301 and 3302(a)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 3301 and 3302(a)(1)) or with respect to any related reporting requirement;

(E)

has previously participated in the pilot program and, as determined by the Secretary, failed to abide by a requirement of the pilot program;

(F)

does not provide assurances to the Secretary at the time the employer would otherwise commence participation in the pilot program that the employer will comply under the pilot program with the requirements for non-displacement of current employees specified in paragraph (2); or

(G)

receives more than 75 percent of its revenue from the Federal Government or a State or local government.

(2)

Non-displacement of current employees

The requirements specified in this paragraph are the following:

(A)

That an employer shall not use an individual participating in the pilot program to displace any employee of the employer at the time of commencement of participation in the pilot program from employment or any employment benefits, including a partial displacement (such as a reduction in the hours of non-overtime work, wages, or employment benefits).

(B)

That an employer shall not permit an individual participating in the pilot program to perform work activities related to any job for which—

(i)

any other individual is on layoff from the same or any substantially equivalent position; or

(ii)

the employer has terminated the employment of any employee or otherwise reduced the workforce of the employer with the intention of filling or partially filling the vacancy so created with the work activities to be performed by the individual participating in the pilot program.

(C)

That an employer shall not create a job for an individual participating in the pilot program in a manner that will infringe in any way upon the opportunities for promotion of individuals employed by the employer on the date of the employer's commencement of participation in the pilot program.

(D)

That—

(i)

an employer shall not, by means of assigning work activities under the pilot program, impair an existing contract for services or a collective bargaining agreement; and

(ii)

work activities that would be inconsistent with the terms of a collective bargaining agreement shall not be undertaken by an individual participating in the pilot program without the written concurrence of the labor organization that is signatory to the collective bargaining agreement.

(d)

Duration and number of participants

(1)

Duration

The Secretary shall carry out the pilot program during the three-year period beginning on the date of the commencement of the pilot program.

(2)

Number of participants

Not more than 50,000 eligible individuals may concurrently participate in the pilot program.

(e)

Locations

(1)

In general

The Secretary shall carry out the pilot program in four locations selected by the Secretary for purposes of the pilot program from among areas with populations the Secretary determines have high concentrations of veterans.

(2)

Consultation with Secretary of Veterans Affairs

In selecting locations under paragraph (1), the Secretary of Labor may consult with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, particularly with respect to determining which areas have populations with high concentrations of veterans.

(f)

Subsidies

(1)

In general

For each eligible employer approved by the Secretary to participate in the pilot program who employs on a full-time basis an eligible individual approved by the Secretary to participate in the pilot program, the Secretary shall provide a subsidy for the employment of such eligible individual by such eligible employer during such period as—

(A)

the eligible individual is employed by the eligible employer;

(B)

the eligible individual is participating in the pilot program; and

(C)

the eligible employer is participating in the pilot program.

(2)

Amount

(A)

In general

Except as provided in subparagraph (B), a subsidy provided by the Secretary under the pilot program to an eligible employer for the employment of an eligible individual shall be an amount equal to—

(i)

except as provided in clause (ii), 60 percent of the basic pay provided by the eligible employer under the pilot program to the eligible individual; and

(ii)

in the case in which the eligible employer provides employment that includes an apprenticeship (which must be approved for purposes of the pilot program not later than two years after the date of the commencement of the pilot program), 75 percent of the basic pay provided by the eligible employer under the pilot program to the eligible individual.

(B)

Maximum amount

Except as provided in subparagraph (D), the aggregate amount of subsidy provided under the pilot program to an eligible employer for the employment of an eligible individual may not exceed—

(i)

except as provided in clause (ii), $11,000; or

(ii)

in the case described in subparagraph (A)(ii), $14,000.

(C)

Disbursement of payments

(i)

Payments on quarterly basis

Except as provided in clause (ii), subsidies paid to an eligible employer under subparagraph (A) shall be paid to the eligible employer on a quarterly basis.

(ii)

Payments on monthly basis

In order to relieve financial burden on an eligible employer participating in the pilot program whom the Secretary determines has few employees, the Secretary may pay subsidies under subparagraph (A) to such employer on a monthly basis as the Secretary considers appropriate.

(D)

Additional hiring incentive

If an eligible employer who received a subsidy under the pilot program for the employment of an eligible individual hires such eligible individual on a full-time basis following the completion of the participation of such eligible individual in the pilot program, the Secretary shall pay such eligible employer an additional amount equal to 10 percent of the aggregate amount of subsidy paid to the eligible employer under subparagraph (A) during the last six months of such eligible individual's employment with such eligible employer while participating in the pilot program. Any amount paid under this subparagraph shall not apply against the aggregate maximum amount specified in subparagraph (B).

(E)

Apprenticeships

The Secretary may establish guidelines or criteria for the approval or disapproval of apprenticeships for purposes of the pilot program.

(3)

Duration

A subsidy provided to an eligible employer to employ an eligible individual under the pilot program shall be for the lesser of—

(A)

a period of one year; and

(B)

the duration of such eligible individual's employment with the eligible employer.

(4)

Consideration concerning receipt of concurrent subsidies

In the case of an eligible employer who is already receiving one or more subsidies under the pilot program for the employment of one or more eligible individuals, when determining whether to provide an additional subsidy to such employer to employ an additional eligible individual, the Secretary may take into consideration, if after hiring such additional eligible individual, the number of eligible individuals for whom the employer is receiving a subsidy under the pilot program would constitute more than 10 percent of the workforce of the eligible employer.

(5)

Minimum wage

No eligible employer may receive a subsidy under the pilot program for the employment of an eligible individual if the rate of pay for such employment is less than the greater of the rate specified in section 6(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 ( 29 U.S.C. 206(a)(1) ) or the rate specified in the applicable State minimum wage law.

(6)

Sense of Congress on exclusion of certain employment

It is the sense of Congress that an employer should not be provided a subsidy under the pilot program for employment of an eligible individual in a position under a contract, grant, or cooperative agreement with the Federal Government or a State or local government that involves functions that are so inherently governmental that the position would not provide the eligible individual with experience, training, or skills necessary for employment in the private sector in a position not involving such functions.

(g)

Participation

(1)

Application

(A)

In general

An eligible employer or an eligible individual seeking to participate in the pilot program shall submit to the Secretary an application therefor at such time and in such manner as the Secretary shall specify.

(B)

Elements

Except as provided in subparagraph (C), each application submitted under subparagraph (A) shall contain such information as the Secretary may specify.

(C)

Requirements of eligible employers

An application submitted by an eligible employer under subparagraph (A) shall include assurance that the eligible employer will comply with the requirements for non-displacement of current employees specified in subsection (c)(2) under the pilot program.

(2)

Selection

(A)

In general

The Secretary shall review each application submitted by an applicant under paragraph (1) and approve or disapprove the applicant for participation in the pilot program.

(B)

Employer selection considerations

In approving or disapproving an eligible employer for participation in the pilot program, the Secretary may consider past performance of the eligible employer with respect to the following:

(i)

Job training, basic skills training, and related activities.

(ii)

Fiscal accountability.

(iii)

Demonstration of a high potential for growth and long-term job creation.

(C)

Considerations concerning selection of for-profit and not-for-profit employers

The Secretary may consider approving both for-profit and not-for-profit employers who are eligible employers for participation in the pilot program.

(D)

Considerations concerning participation of small business concerns

In selecting eligible employers for participation in the pilot program, the Secretary may consider the extent to which small business concerns are afforded opportunities to participate in the pilot program.

(3)

Early termination or separation of eligible individual participants by Secretary

If the Secretary determines that an eligible individual participating in the pilot program is not making satisfactory attendance in employment, or has been removed from placement for misconduct, the Secretary may terminate such eligible individual's status as a participant in the pilot program and bar such eligible individual from further participation in the pilot program.

(4)

Employment status

(A)

Compensation for work injuries

An eligible individual employed by an eligible employer who receives a subsidy for such employment under the pilot program shall be deemed, during the period of such subsidy, an employee of the United States for the purposes of the benefits of chapter 81 of title 5, United States Code, but not for the purposes of laws administered by the Office of Personnel Management.

(B)

Health benefits

For purposes of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ( Public Law 111–148 ), an eligible individual employed by an eligible employer shall be considered an employee of the Department of Labor and not the eligible employer during such period as the eligible employer receives a subsidy under the pilot program for the employment of such eligible individual.

(h)

Transportation support for participating eligible individuals

In accordance with criteria established by the Secretary for purposes of the pilot program, the Secretary may pay an allowance based upon mileage, of any eligible individual whose employment is subsidized under the pilot program not in excess of 75 miles to or from a facility of the eligible employer or other place in connection with such employment.

(i)

Grants to eligible entities

(1)

In general

The Secretary may award grants to not more than four eligible entities to assist the Secretary in carrying out the pilot program.

(2)

Eligible entities

For purposes of the pilot program, an eligible entity is a nonprofit organization.

(3)

Considerations

In awarding grants under this subsection, the Secretary may consider whether an eligible entity—

(A)

has an understanding of the unemployment problems of eligible individuals and members of the Armed Forces transitioning from service in the Armed Forces to civilian life;

(B)

is familiar with a location selected under subsection (e) and has an understanding of employment in such location and employment assistance available to eligible individuals in such location; and

(C)

has the capability to assist the Secretary in administering effectively the pilot program and provide employment assistance to eligible individuals.

(4)

Use of funds

Amounts received by a recipient of a grant under this subsection may be used as follows:

(A)

To assist the Secretary in carrying out the pilot program.

(B)

To recruit eligible employers and eligible individuals to participate in the pilot program.

(C)

To coordinate and implement job placement and other employer outreach activities in connection with the pilot program.

(D)

To carry out such other activities as the Secretary considers appropriate for purposes of the pilot program.

(j)

Additional pilot program requirements

Under the pilot program, the Secretary shall—

(1)

develop an objective assessment process that will identify the work experience, skill levels, and interests of eligible individuals participating in the pilot program;

(2)

ensure that employment and counseling services are available to eligible individuals participating in the pilot program, including by connecting eligible individuals with services available to the eligible individuals through State or local employment service or other public agencies;

(3)

develop and implement procedures for evaluating job placement and employment of eligible individuals participating in the pilot program; and

(4)

carry out such other activities as the Secretary considers appropriate for purposes of the pilot program.

(k)

Outreach

The Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall jointly conduct a program of outreach to inform eligible employers and eligible individuals about the pilot program and the benefits of participating in the pilot program.

(l)

Minimization of administrative burden on participating employers

The Secretary of Labor shall take such measures as may be necessary to minimize administrative burdens incurred by eligible employers in participating in the pilot program.

(m)

Reports

(1)

In general

Not later than 45 days after the completion of the first year of the pilot program and not later than 180 days after the completion of the second and third years of the pilot program, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report on the pilot program.

(2)

Contents

Each report submitted under paragraph (1) shall include the following:

(A)

An evaluation of the pilot program.

(B)

The number and characteristics of individuals participating in the pilot program.

(C)

The number and characteristics of employers participating in the pilot program.

(D)

The number and types of positions of employment in which eligible individuals were placed under the pilot program.

(E)

The number of individuals who obtained long-term full-time employment positions as a result of the pilot program, the hourly wage and nature of such employment, and if available, whether such individuals were still employed in such positions three months after obtaining such positions.

(F)

A description of the outreach activities undertaken to raise awareness of the pilot program by potential eligible individuals and eligible employers, and an assessment of the effectiveness of such activities.

(G)

An assessment of the feasibility and advisability of providing subsidies to eligible employers to employ eligible individuals.

(H)

An assessment of the effect of the pilot program on earnings of eligible individuals and the employment of eligible individuals.

(I)

Such recommendations for legislative and administrative action as the Secretary considers appropriate to improve the pilot program, to expand the pilot program, or to improve the employment of eligible individuals.

(n)

Relation to other Federal assistance

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, wages received by an individual that are subsidized under the pilot program may not be used in any calculation to determine the eligibility of such individual for any Federal program for the purpose of obtaining child care assistance.

(o)

Funding limitations

(1)

Wage subsidies

Not less than 95 percent of amounts appropriated or otherwise made available for the pilot program shall be used to provide subsidies under subsection (f).

(2)

Administration

Not more than 5 percent of amounts appropriated or otherwise made available for the pilot program may be used to administer the pilot program.

(p)

Coordination with work opportunity tax credit

Section 51 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(j)

Coordination with pilot program on provision of subsidies to employers for employment of certain veterans and members of Armed Forces

No credit shall be allowed under subsection (a) with respect to any wages paid to a qualified veteran if the taxpayer has received a subsidy under section 2(f) of the Veterans Equipped for Success Act of 2013 with respect to such qualified veteran.

.

(q)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Apprenticeship

The term apprenticeship means a program of apprenticeship approved by the Office of Apprenticeship of the Department of Labor or a State apprenticeship as meeting the standards of apprenticeship published by the Secretary of Labor pursuant to section 2 of the Act of August 16, 1937 (popularly known as the National Apprenticeship Act ) (29 U.S.C. 50a).

(2)

Full-time basis

The term full-time basis, with respect to employment, means employment of a minimum of 30 hours a week.

(3)

Small business concern

The term small business concern has the meaning given that term under section 3(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632(a)).

3.

Pilot program on provision of career transition services to young veterans

(a)

In general

Commencing not later than January 1, 2014, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall, in collaboration with the Secretary of Labor, carry out a pilot program to assess the feasibility and advisability of establishing a program to provide career transition services to eligible individuals—

(1)

to provide eligible individuals with work experience in the civilian sector;

(2)

to increase the marketable skills of eligible individuals;

(3)

to assist eligible individuals in obtaining long-term employment; and

(4)

to assist in integrating eligible individuals into their local communities.

(b)

Eligible individuals

For purposes of the pilot program, an eligible individual is an individual who—

(1)

is—

(A)

a veteran of the Armed Forces who was discharged or released from service therein under conditions other than dishonorable; or

(B)

a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces (including the National Guard) who—

(i)

served on active duty in the Armed Forces (other than active duty for training) for more than 180 consecutive days during the two-year period ending on the date of the commencement of the individual's participation in the pilot program; and

(ii)

is not serving on active duty on the date of the commencement of the individual's participation in the pilot program;

(2)

is unemployed or underemployed, as determined by the Secretary; and

(3)

is, at the time at which the individual applies for participation in the pilot program, 18 years of age or older, but not more than 30 years of age.

(c)

Duration and number of participants

(1)

Duration

The Secretary shall carry out the pilot program during the three-year period beginning on the date of the commencement of the pilot program.

(2)

Number of participants

Not more than 50,000 eligible individuals may concurrently participate in the pilot program.

(d)

Locations

(1)

In general

The pilot program shall be carried out in four locations selected by the Secretary for purposes of the pilot program and in accordance with the provisions of this subsection.

(2)

Consideration of areas of high concentrations of young eligible individuals

In selecting locations under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall consider areas with populations the Secretary determines have high concentrations of eligible individuals, particularly those with high concentrations of eligible individuals who are age 25 or younger.

(e)

Career transition services

For purposes of the pilot program, career transition services are the following:

(1)

Internships under subsection (f).

(2)

Mentorship and job-shadowing under subsection (g).

(3)

Volunteer opportunities under subsection (h).

(4)

Professional skill workshops under subsection (i).

(5)

Skills assessment under subsection (j).

(6)

Additional services under subsection (k).

(f)

Internships

(1)

In general

For each eligible individual whom the Secretary approves for participation in the pilot program, the Secretary shall attempt to place such eligible individual in an internship on a full-time basis with an eligible employer whom the Secretary has approved for participation in the pilot program.

(2)

Eligible employer

For purposes of the pilot program, an eligible employer is an employer determined by the Secretary to meet such criteria for participation in the pilot program as the Secretary shall establish for purposes of the pilot program, except that an employer may not be determined to be an eligible employer for that purpose if the employer—

(A)

has been investigated or subject to a case or action by the Federal Trade Commission during the 180-day period ending on the date the employer would otherwise commence participation in the pilot program;

(B)

has not been in good standing with a State business bureau during the period described in subparagraph (A);

(C)

is an agency of the Federal Government or a State or local government;

(D)

is delinquent with respect to payment of any taxes or employer contributions described under sections 3301 and 3302(a)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 3301 and 3302(a)(1)) or with respect to any related reporting requirement;

(E)

has previously participated in the pilot program and, as determined by the Secretary, failed to abide by a requirement of the pilot program; or

(F)

receives more than 75 percent of its revenue from the Federal Government or a State or local government.

(3)

Duration

Each internship under the pilot program shall be for a period of one year.

(4)

Wages

(A)

In general

Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the Secretary shall furnish pay to each eligible individual participating in an internship under the pilot program for the duration of such participation at a rate equal to the greater of—

(i)

the rate specified in section 6(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 206(a)(1)) or the rate specified in the applicable State minimum wage law; and

(ii)

if the eligible individual was receiving unemployment compensation before being placed in the internship, the rate of such unemployment compensation.

(B)

Maximum amount

An eligible individual may not receive an aggregate amount of more than $30,000 in pay from the Secretary under this paragraph.

(5)

Employment status

(A)

Compensation for work injuries

An eligible individual placed in an internship with an eligible employer under the pilot program shall be deemed, during the period of such internship under the pilot program, an employee of the United States for the purposes of the benefits of chapter 81 of title 5, United States Code, but not for the purposes of laws administered by the Office of Personnel Management.

(B)

Health benefits

For purposes of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ( Public Law 111–148 ), an eligible individual placed in an internship with an eligible employer under the pilot program shall be considered an employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs and not the eligible employer during the period of such internship under the pilot program.

(6)

Relation to other Federal assistance

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, pay received by an individual under this subsection may not be used in any calculation to determine the eligibility of such individual for any Federal program for the purpose of obtaining child care assistance.

(7)

Limit on number of intern placements

In the case of an eligible employer at which one or more eligible individuals have been placed for an internship under the pilot program, the Secretary may consider, in determining whether to place an additional eligible individual at such employer for an internship under the pilot program, whether if after such additional placement, the number of eligible individuals placed in internships at such employer under the pilot program would constitute more than 10 percent of the eligible employer's workforce. For purposes of the previous sentence, being an intern under the pilot program placed at the eligible employer shall be considered part of the employer's workforce.

(g)

Mentorship and job-Shadowing

(1)

In general

As a condition of an eligible employer's participation in the pilot program and the placement of an eligible individual in an internship at the eligible employer, the eligible employer shall provide each eligible individual placed in an internship at the eligible employer under the pilot program with at least one mentor who is an employee of the eligible employer.

(2)

Job-shadowing and career counseling

To the extent practicable, a mentor assigned to an eligible individual participating in the pilot program shall provide such eligible individual with job shadowing and career counseling.

(h)

Volunteer opportunities

(1)

In general

As a condition on participation in the pilot program, each eligible individual who participates in the pilot program shall, not less frequently than once each month in which the eligible individual participates in the pilot program, engage in a qualifying volunteer activity in accordance with guidelines the Secretary shall establish.

(2)

Qualifying volunteer activities

For purposes of this subsection, a qualifying volunteer activity is any activity the Secretary considers related to providing assistance to, or for the benefit of, a veteran. Such activities may include the following:

(A)

Outreach.

(B)

Assisting an organization recognized by the Secretary for the representation of veterans under section 5902 of title 38, United States Code, on a volunteer basis.

(C)

Service benefitting a veteran in a State home or a Department of Veterans Affairs medical facility.

(D)

Service benefitting a veteran at an institution of higher education.

(i)

Professional skills workshops

(1)

In general

The Secretary shall provide eligible individuals participating in the pilot program with workshops for the development and improvement of the professional skills of such eligible individuals.

(2)

Tailored

The workshops provided by the Secretary shall be tailored to meet the particular needs of eligible individuals participating in the pilot program as determined under subsection (j).

(3)

Topics

The workshops provided to eligible individuals participating in the pilot program may include workshops for the development of such professional skills as the Secretary considers appropriate, which may include the following:

(A)

Written and oral communication skills.

(B)

Basic word processing and other computer skills.

(C)

Interpersonal skills.

(4)

Manner of presentation

Workshops on particular topics shall be provided through such means as may be appropriate, effective, and approved of by the Secretary for purposes of the pilot program. Such means may include use of electronic communication.

(5)

Assessments

The Secretary shall conduct an assessment of a participant in a workshop conducted under this subsection to assess the participant’s knowledge acquired as a result of participating in the workshop.

(j)

Skills assessment

(1)

In general

Under the pilot program, the Secretary shall develop and implement an objective assessment of eligible individuals participating in the pilot program to assist in the placement of such individuals in internships under subsection (f) and to assist in the tailoring of workshops under subsection (i).

(2)

Elements

The assessment may include an assessment of the skill levels and service needs of each participant, which may include a review of basic professional entry-level skills, prior work experience, employability, and the individual's interests.

(k)

Additional services

(1)

In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Secretary shall, under the pilot program, furnish the following services to an eligible individual participating in the pilot program when assessment under subsection (j) indicates such services are appropriate:

(A)

Counseling, such as job counseling and career counseling.

(B)

Job search assistance.

(C)

Follow-up services with participants that are offered unsubsidized employment by the employer with whom they were assigned.

(D)

Transportation, as described in paragraph (2).

(2)

Referrals

In lieu of furnishing a service to an eligible individual under paragraph (1), the Secretary may refer such eligible individual to another Federal, State, or local government program that provides such service.

(3)

Transportation

In accordance with criteria established by the Secretary for purposes of the pilot program, the Secretary may pay an allowance based upon mileage, of any eligible individual placed in an internship under the pilot program not in excess of 75 miles to or from a facility of the eligible employer or other place in connection with such internship.

(l)

Participation

(1)

Application

(A)

In general

An eligible employer, eligible individual, or member of the Armed Forces described in subparagraph (B) seeking to participate in the pilot program shall submit to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs an application therefor at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary shall specify.

(B)

Members of Armed Forces

A member of the Armed Forces described in this subparagraph is a member of the Armed Forces who—

(i)

is expected, within 180 days, to be discharged or released from service in the active military, naval, or air service under conditions other than dishonorable; and

(ii)

has not accepted an offer of employment that would begin after such discharge or release.

(2)

Selection

(A)

In general

The Secretary shall review each application submitted by an applicant under paragraph (1) and approve or disapprove the applicant for participation in the pilot program.

(B)

Consideration of employer performance

In approving or disapproving an eligible employer for participation in the pilot program, the Secretary may consider past performance of the eligible employer with respect to the following:

(i)

Job training, basic skills training, and related activities.

(ii)

Fiscal accountability.

(iii)

Demonstration of a high potential for growth and long-term job creation.

(C)

Considerations concerning selection of for-profit and not-for-profit employers

The Secretary may consider approving both for-profit and not-for-profit employers who are eligible employers for placement of interns under the pilot program.

(D)

Considerations concerning participation of small business concerns

In selecting eligible employers for participation in the pilot program, the Secretary may consider the extent to which small business concerns are afforded opportunities to participate in the pilot program.

(m)

Grants

(1)

In general

The Secretary may award grants to not more than four eligible entities to assist the Secretary in carrying out the pilot program.

(2)

Eligible entities

For purposes of the pilot program, an eligible entity is a nonprofit organization.

(3)

Considerations

In awarding grants under this subsection, the Secretary may consider whether an eligible entity—

(A)

has an understanding of the unemployment problems of eligible individuals and members of the Armed Forces transitioning from service in the Armed Forces to civilian life;

(B)

is familiar with one or more locations selected under subsection (d); and

(C)

has the capability to assist the Secretary in administering effectively the pilot program and providing career transition services to eligible individuals.

(4)

Use of funds

Amounts received by a recipient of a grant under this subsection may be used as the Secretary considers appropriate for purposes of the pilot program, including as follows:

(A)

To assist the Secretary in carrying out the pilot program.

(B)

To recruit eligible employers and eligible individuals to participate in the pilot program.

(C)

To match eligible individuals participating in the pilot program with internship opportunities at eligible employers participating in the pilot program.

(D)

To coordinate and carry out job placement and other employer outreach activities.

(n)

Outreach

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Secretary of Labor shall jointly carry out a program of outreach to inform eligible employers and eligible individuals about the pilot program and the benefits of participating in the pilot program.

(o)

Awards for outstanding contributions to pilot program

(1)

In general

Each year of the pilot program, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs may recognize one or more eligible employers or one or more eligible individuals participating in the pilot program for demonstrating outstanding achievement in carrying out or in contributing to the success of the pilot program.

(2)

Criteria

The Secretary shall establish such selection procedures and criteria as the Secretary considers appropriate for the award of recognition under this subsection.

(p)

Minimization of administrative burden on participating employers

The Secretary shall take such measures as may be necessary to minimize administrative burdens incurred by eligible employers due to participation in the pilot program.

(q)

Reports

(1)

In general

Not later than 45 days after the completion of the first year of the pilot program and not later than 180 days after the completion of the second and third years of the pilot program, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report on the pilot program.

(2)

Contents

Each report submitted under paragraph (1) shall include the following:

(A)

An evaluation of the pilot program.

(B)

The number and characteristics of participants in the pilot program.

(C)

The number and types of internships in which eligible individuals were placed under the pilot program.

(D)

The number of individuals who obtained long-term full-time unsubsidized employment positions as a result of the pilot program, the hourly wage and nature of such employment, and if available, whether such individuals were still employed in such positions three months after obtaining such positions.

(E)

An assessment of the feasibility and advisability of providing career transition services to eligible individuals.

(F)

An assessment of the effect of the pilot program on earnings of eligible individuals and the employment of eligible individuals.

(G)

Such recommendations for legislative and administrative action as the Secretary may have to improve the pilot program, to expand the pilot program, or to improve the employment of eligible individuals.

(r)

Funding limitations

(1)

Wages for internships

Not less than 95 percent of amounts appropriated or otherwise made available for the pilot program shall be used to provide pay under subsection (f)(4).

(2)

Administration

Not more than 5 percent of amounts appropriated or otherwise made available for the pilot program may be used to administer the pilot program.

(s)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Active duty, active military, naval, or air service, reserve component, and veteran

The terms active duty, active military, naval, or air service, reserve component, and veteran have the meanings given such terms in section 101 of title 38, United States Code.

(2)

Full-time basis

The term full-time basis, with respect to an internship, means participation in the internship of not fewer than 30 hours per week and not more than 40 hours per week.

(3)

Small business concern

The term small business concern has the meaning given that term under section 3(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632(a)).

(4)

Unemployment compensation

The term unemployment compensation means regular compensation (as defined in section 205 of the Federal-State Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 1970), compensation under the Federal-State Extended Compensation Act of 1970, and compensation under the emergency unemployment compensation program under title IV of the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008.