Senators Mike Braun and Kyrsten Sinema introduced the Hire Veterans Act which would create a five-year pilot program to strengthen the pipeline for veterans seeking skilled labor opportunities within federal land management agencies.

Officials say over the course of the past decade, federal agencies have routinely suffered from staffing shortages. Notably, in April 2022, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) had 5,300 fewer employees than it did in January 2017. Additionally, in 2021 the Department of the Interior (DOI) cited approximately 5,000 firefighter openings nationwide.

Sen. Braun said of the act, “As Hoosier veterans transition to civilian employment we must ensure that we have programs in place to help these veterans get hired. The Hire Veterans Act creates a pilot program to ease this transition by matching qualified veterans with open career opportunities in federal land management agencies.”