County Seeks to Help Disabled Vets

Disabled veterans who own a business will finally get the support they need in competing for county contracts. The Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise program, authored by Supervisor Don Knabe and approved Tuesday at the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, will establish hiring preferences for disabled veterans in procuring contracts.

Hoping to continue the momentum to help vets, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas will introduce a Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise program at the Metropolitan Transportation Board meeting Thursday to establish more opportunities for disabled vets. The motion asks that a mandatory contract goal for Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises be brought to the Board in January for a vote.

According the United States Department of Labor, in August 2012, about 3.0 million veterans, or 14 percent of the total, had a service-connected disability. This motion, will complement the proactive work Metro has already undertaken including attending veterans’ job fairs all over Los Angeles County to a Construction Careers Policy and Project Labor Agreement that explicitly recognize veterans by incorporating them in its definition of “disadvantaged worker” and “helmets to hardhats” categories.

“American men and women risk their lives to protect and defend the nation,” said Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas. “But they frequently pay a heavy price for their service and often face many barriers when they return home. We should do everything we can to help this population that has served our country.”