HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — On Friday, Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth Al Schmidt and Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler, Pennsylvania’s acting adjutant general and head of the Department of Military and Veteran’s Affairs unveiled a military occupational crosswalk.
This occupational crosswalk will assist veterans and service members in translating their work experience into civilian jobs throughout the Commonwealth.
The Department of State will license a series of charts for each occupation, comparing the licensing requirements with the typical duties, training, qualifications, and related credentials associated with military occupations.
Get the latest Pennsylvania politics and election news with abc27 newsletters!
The occupational crosswalk comes on the heels of Governor Josh Shapiro signing an Executive Order to improve the Commonwealth’s licensing, permitting, and certification processes.
This Executive Order will help to begin a comprehensive review of how long it will take agencies to process applications. There will also be a limit of time in which applicants wait to hear back.
“The Shapiro Administration is making the people of Pennsylvania and customer service our top priority. This new resource will make it easier for service members returning from deployments and veterans moving into Pennsylvania to obtain professional and occupational licensing by aligning their military experience, education, skills, and credentials to civilian career opportunities,” Schmidt said. “The crosswalk compares qualification details from nearly 300 military occupations to the initial requirements for Department of State licensure for related professions.”
The crosswalk will help to determine which military occupation qualifications match the state’s requirements for licensure. It will also identify any gaps between civilian occupational licensure requirements and a veteran’s current knowledge, skills, education, and training.
Licensing boards and commissions, veterans’ communities, and employers will be informed about how military training and experience align with civilian education and work experience.
“We are grateful to Acting Secretary Schmidt and the Department of State for acknowledging and working to break down employment barriers that veterans and service members face when applying to civilian jobs,” Schindler said. “Our service members and their families face many stresses and challenges while serving our nation. Connecting the dots between military experience and licensure requirements for civilian jobs alleviates the huge burden to assist them in their transition. This is a great opportunity to assist those who have sacrificed so much for all of us.”
Under Act 35 of 2022, the crosswalk will remove barriers to professional licensing and employment for military applicants. Along with the crosswalk, the act will also do the following:
- defines a military applicant as a service member, veteran, or military spouse;
- allows a professional or occupational license to be issued even if a military applicant does not meet educational requirements for that license if the applicant has been engaged in active practice for at least two of the previous five years prior to applying and passes all required exams for licensure;
- provides expedited license application reviews and discretionary temporary licensure for military applicants;
- provides initial licensure fee waivers for military spouses who must relocate because of a service member’s military orders;
- allows service members to reactivate an expired professional or occupational license without a penalty if the reactivation coincides with deployment and is completed within one month of returning from the deployment;
- provides service members with continuing education extensions for up to six months following a deployment; and
- requires consideration of acquired military experience when determining qualification for licensure.