For Immediate Release - November 09, 2012

Consumer Affairs Reminds Veterans Of Law Which Allows For Easier Job Transition

Fast Track to Licensure Available Under VALOR Act

BOSTON -This Veterans Day,the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation and the Division of Professional Licensure are reminding service members and their families that a law signed by Governor Deval Patrick in Maynow makes it easier for them to obtain their professional licenses.

"As we near the one year anniversary of the end of the war in Iraq and take this day to honor all service members and their families who have sacrificed so much for us and continue to serve in Afghanistan, it should also serve as a reminder that the transition from the battlefield into civilian society is not always easy," said Barbara Anthony, Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs. "We want to ensure that troops are aware of this law which allows skills earned in the military to satisfy professional licensure requirements or reciprocity between states for spouses of troops that need to move due to reassignment."

"Massachusetts is the national leader in veterans' services for many reasons, but none more so than the strong collaborations we have made to maximize our resources and provide world-class comprehensive benefits and information to our service members and their families," said Secretary of Veterans' Services Coleman Nee.  "The passage of the VALOR Act and this brochure are great examples of how state institutions can work seamlessly for the betterment of those that serve this nation."

The Division of Professional Licensureadopted measuresthis year to facilitate professional licensure for active duty military service members, military veterans, and military spouses. These measures follow Governor Patrick's signing of legislation known as the VALOR Act (Veterans' Access, Livelihood, Opportunity and Resources), on May 31.The new law also increases support for veteran-owned businesses, Gold Star Families, military children and higher education access in the Commonwealth.

"The Division of Professional Licensure recognizes the sacrifices made by the men and women in our armed forces, as well as by their families," said Mark Kmetz, Director of the Division of Professional Licensure. "We are proud to offer these accommodations to help ensure that military personnel can transition more easily to the civilian workforce, and that military spouses who are relocated to Massachusetts can continue working their trade or profession while they are here."

The following provisions relating to professional licensure are now in effect:

  • Each of the 31 DPL Boards of Registration will accept relevant education, training, and service completed by a license applicant as a member of the armed forces or the military reserves toward the qualifications required for licensure.
  • The trade or professional license of a member of the armed forces who is on active duty will remain valid until he or she is released from active duty, and for 90 days thereafter.
  • DPL will expedite the licensure process for military spouses who are licensed in other states and have left employment there to accompany a spouse relocated to the Commonwealth due to a military transfer.

Additional information relating to these measures and self-identification forms for service members, veterans, and military spouses are available through the home page of the DPL web site: www.mass.gov/dpl.

This week, the Office of Consumer Affairs in conjunction with the Office of Veterans Services also issued a veterans financial awareness brochure to local Veterans Services Offices. The brochure offers tips on how to avoid scams that specifically target service members and their families and describes the unique ways that credit can impact service members’ career advancement.

DPL oversees 31 licensing boards that license more than 365,000 individuals and businesses in a wide range of professions and trades, including electricians, plumbers, engineers, architects, and allied health professionals.  In addition, since August 1, DPL licenses and regulates occupational schools.

The Division of Professional Licensure is a regulatory agency within the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. The agency is responsible for ensuring regulatory compliance and the integrity of the licensing process for its boards. Consumers are urged to visit the DPL's website at www.mass.gov/dpl and select the "Check a Professional's License" link to determine whether a professional with whom they may do business is licensed and in good standing.

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