Here is a look at what President Barack Obama announced Monday. White House officials said there are no added costs, and "it can be paid for with existing resources."
■ Obama signed H.R. 4155, the Veterans Skills to Jobs Act. It requires federal agencies, when considering applicants for federal licensure or certification, to consider relevant training that applicants may have received during service in the armed forces.
■ He announced a redesign of the Transition Assistance Program. Developed by the Veterans Employment Initiative Task Force and established by Obama last August, the revamped program will help veterans transition to the civilian workforce, start a business or pursue higher education. Before the update, the program included counseling and a voluntary, three-day workshop from the Departments of Labor, Defense and Veterans Affairs that was presented at selected military installations and attended by nearly half of the service members who left the military each year.
The TAP overhaul to be implemented by the end of 2013 will do the following:
■ Extend the transition program period from three days to five to seven days. The core curriculum will include a range of workshops, from a financial planning seminar to classes on translating military skills, training and experience into civilian jobs. An optional two-day curriculum will focus on tracks toward higher education, technical skills training or entrepreneurship for starting a business.
■ Strengthen, standardize and expand counseling and guidance for service members before they leave the military. Each service member will develop an Individual Transition Plan to meet Career Readiness Standards.
■ Transform the military approach to education, training and credentialing for service members. Instead of waiting until a service member is ready to leave, career readiness and "transition preparation" will span an entire military career.
■ Obama also called on Congress to pass his Veterans Job Corps proposal that he announced in his State of the Union address to help Afghanistan and Iraq veterans get jobs as police officers and firefighters, as well as other jobs serving their communities.
■ He called for extending the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior tax credits for businesses that hire veterans.
In November 2011, Obama signed into law the two new tax credits for hiring veterans. The Returning Heroes Tax Credit provides an incentive of up to $5,600 for firms to hire unemployed veterans. The Wounded Warrior Tax Credit doubled the existing tax credit for long-term unemployed veterans with service-connected disabilities to $9,600. Both credits are set to expire at the end of this year.