The president enacted new legislation that offers older former service people more study and work opportunities.
President Donald Trump has signed the Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act, which aims to help veterans and their partners learn new skills to have better chances of finding a job.
“We are taking action to increase access to education and job opportunities in science, technology, engineering, math, and computer science for our amazing veterans and our military spouses,” the president said in the Oval Office according to the White House. “The signing of this bill takes us one step closer to giving our veterans and their families the support that they so richly earned and deserve.”
The new law tasks the National Science Foundation with working with federal agencies to increase veteran eligibility for STEM-related programs and encourages more veterans to participate. It also introduces tougher disciplinary action against employees of the foundation or a federal agency if they are found to have refused to assist a veteran.
“If people do not take care of our veterans, they can be dismissed; they can be terminated,” the president said. “Choice is probably number one but accountability [is] something–nobody thought it was possible to do that.”
Secretary Robert Wilkie confirmed more than 8,000 employees who failed to take care of veterans have already been dismissed and replaced.
“We had some people that were terrible, we had sadistic people, we had people that stole, we had a lot of people and you could not get rid of them,” Wilkie said in the statement. “Now you just say, ‘You are fired. Get out’ … they have been replaced with people that love our vets and love our country.”
The new rules were championed by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Wilkie, and several House and Senate representatives.
“It is a big deal and the people behind me have been so involved–our senators, our congressmen … they have worked for us so hard,” the president said. “Marco Rubio was very much involved in this process and helped everybody very much and so I want to thank him.”
He also commemorated the 144th day of record-breaking performance on the stock market since being sworn in as president.
“[For 144 days] we set a record stock market which, to me, means 401(k) and it means jobs,” he said. “That is what it means to me, to other people it means other things but it means we have a great economy.”