Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today highlighted Minnesota businesses’ successful efforts to boost veterans’ employment and support troops when they come home. Klobuchar invited Patrick McKinney, COO of Edina-based ReconRobotics, to a meeting with senators to discuss how local businesses are key to fighting veterans’ unemployment, which remains above the national average. Currently, 32% of ReconRobotics’ employees have performed military service.  The company has also recently launched a mentorship program that pairs Minnesota CEOs with returning veterans.

“There wasn’t a waiting line when these men and women signed up to serve our country, and there shouldn’t be a line when they return home and are looking for work,” Klobuchar said.“Companies like ReconRobotics are a good example of how smart businesses are taking advantage of veterans’ battle-tested skills and helping ensure they get the good jobs they deserve.”

“Returning veterans bring to us a ready-made talent pool with skill sets that are directly transferable to civilian jobs. They are used to working on teams, handling complicated systems, and doing all this in a stressful environment,” McKinney said.“Once businesses stretch their thinking they quickly realize veterans can be valuable members of their team.”

Klobuchar has been a leader in the effort to boost veterans’ employment. Klobuchar recently introduced the bipartisan Veterans Skills to Jobs Act, which would require federal agencies to recognize relevant military training and skills when certifying veterans for federal occupational licenses, allowing veterans to avoid costly time spent retraining. Klobuchar has also introduced bipartisan legislation that would streamline the process of receiving a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) for veterans with the requisite driving experience from their military service. Last year Klobuchar introduced a bipartisan bill that would streamline civilian paramedic training for veterans who already have emergency medical experience as the result of their military service, making it easier for them to secure jobs as civilian paramedics.