Sen. Jeff Klein backs “Jobs for Heroes” Bill

Veterans are moving from the frontlines to the unemployment line at an alarming rate in the Bronx.

But a bill, co-sponsored by a Bronx legislator and recently introduced in Albany could inspire small business owners to hire down-on-their-luck veterans.

It’s called the “Jobs for Heroes” bill, offering tax credits upwards to $15,000 to small time merchants who hire veterans from post-9/11 conflicts.

Sen. Jeff Klein co-sponsored the bill, hoping to put a dent on the 10.7% jobless rate among veterans, higher than the national jobless rate.

The proposed measure also hopes to spur job creation, an incentive Bronx plumbing supply company owner Bob Bieder backs.

“When you’re looking to hire someone, hire a veteran,” said Bieder, who’s now seeking veterans to fill two entry-level posts. “You can’t go wrong.”

But advertising a job solely for veterans is illegal, according to federal discrimination laws. Bieder thinks one way around that is to simply call Veterans Administration offices asking for recommendations.

The bill is now in committee, waiting to be discussed before the Senate floor.

David Cruz can be reach via e-mail at or by phone at (718) 742-3383

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