State Sen. Carlo Leone, D-Stamford, Senate chairman of the General Assembly's Veterans' Affairs Committee, announced that the committee has passed legislation to provide a tax credit to employers who offer apprenticeship training programs to unemployed military veterans.

"Veterans are some of the most highly disciplined and dedicated workers you can find anywhere," Leone said. "Yet the current unemployment rate for veterans is well above that of the general population, and many veterans require training in new skills before they can find a suitable job. This bill is a win-win for everyone involved, providing unemployed veterans with a paycheck and new job skills, and providing businesses with a dedicated new employee and assistance to pay them."

Senate Bill 331 would provide employers with a tax credit of $2/hour multiplied by the total number of hours worked by each newly hired veteran, not to exceed 50 percent of the total wages paid to the veteran. The total amount of tax credits earned by any employer could not exceed that employer's total tax liability.

The tax credit would be available to companies in the manufacturing, plastics and construction trades. Eligible internship training programs must provide between 4,000 to 8,000 hours of apprenticeship training.

Qualifying veterans must have been unemployed prior to beginning the internship and have served at least 90 days in a combat zone in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The bill now awaits action before the General Assembly's Labor Committee.

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