U-S Senator Claire McCaskill chaired a Senate hearing yesterday on the hiring of veterans.  McCaskill says she finds it absurd that highly-trained veterans are having trouble finding employment.

Press Release from the Office of Senator Claire McCaskill

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, the daughter of a World War II veteran, chaired a Senate hearing today to examine progress made by government contractors in the hiring of military veterans. McCaskill also heard input directly from a Missouri-based veterans service organization on boosting jobs for veterans.

Under federal law, contractors and subcontractors are required to take steps to promote job opportunities for qualified veterans and provide information to Congress verifying those efforts. In preparation for the hearing, McCaskill—Chairman of the Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight—released a Veterans Hiring Fact Sheet detailing data that had been provided by government contractors to the Department of Labor about veterans hiring practices.

McCaskill’s fact sheet shows that much of the data collected by the Department of Labor is incomplete or inaccurate.

“The data is like a joke—like a bad joke,” McCaskill said, referring to one company whose data indicated that 400% of their employees (four times the number of people actually working for the company) were veterans.

McCaskill, an outspoken advocate for greater transparency and accountability in government, suggested that making the information public might encourage companies to make the hiring of veterans more of a priority.

“Right now, no one is paying any attention to this data, including the Department of Labor,” McCaskill said. “They’ll hear from me about this issue.”

The hearing today brought together representatives from the veterans services organizations Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, VetJobs, and Missouri-based The Mission Continues. Officials from Booz Allen Hamilton and St. Louis-based Man-Tech International Corporation—two companies that McCaskill noted had done an excellent job in providing opportunities to recent military veterans— also testified.

McCaskill has been a champion for military veterans since coming to the Senate in 2006, and was a founding member of The Veterans Jobs Caucus. McCaskill was a leading advocate for the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, and has repeatedly rallied support for additional care for veterans returning from combat duty.