US President Donald Trump signed a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) focused bill Tuesday to address the growing employment concerns of American veterans.
The “Supporting Veterans in Stem Careers Act” is designed to promote STEM careers for veterans and service members entering the labor force. The law requires the National Science Foundation (NSF) to submit a plan to Congress to enhance veteran outreach. Additionally, the text of the law directs the NSF to, “through the research and education activities of the Foundation, encourage veterans to study and pursue careers in STEM and computer science.” No further guidance is provided on this provision in the law.
The law grew out of concern over veteran employment opportunities. Research has shown that when Veterans return home from the service, their primary concerns are finding sufficient employment. The bill seeks to bridge that problem and the rise of STEM careers in the US.
The bill passed with bipartisan support. The sponsor of the bill, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, stated, “I thank my colleagues in the Senate and House for unanimously supporting this bipartisan effort to ensure our nation’s veterans have the skills and opportunities to succeed in STEM careers.” Rubio went on to note that veterans are particularly qualified for STEM roles given their prior experience in the service.