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Tuesday, January 10, 2012
House Republican Caucus Proposes Veterans Preference in State Contracting
By News Release @ 12:19 PM :: 4474 Views :: Energy, Environment

The House Republican Caucus is calling upon the State to dedicate 3% of all state purchases, an estimated $33 million per year, to Hawaii-based veteran-owned businesses.

News Release from House Republican Caucus

“As a Vietnam-era veteran and businessman, I believe it is time for Hawaii to follow the national example of supporting veteran-owned businesses, ” Republican Minority Leader Rep. Gene Ward stated. It is estimated that one in every seven small business owners nationwide are veterans including 10,300 qualified veteran-owned businesses in Hawaii.

“I have worked with veterans organizations to help provide housing and support for those who defended our nation,” noted Republican Floor Leader Kymberly Pine. “This is an opportunity for us to extend the purchasing preferences Hawaii already has in place to a very worthy group.”

Currently Hawaii provides preferences for small businesses, Hawaii-made products, products with recycled content, and products made by qualified community rehabilitation agencies. This bill would establish a 4.5% preference for a veteran-owned business and a 5% preference if the veteran was serviced-disabled.

Fourteen states already have enacted laws designed to assist veteran-owned firms who seek to provide goods and services to states and local governments. While Hawaii gives consideration to veterans in hiring to fill public service jobs, veterans are not recognized in Hawaii’s procurement laws.

“We are pleased to see Hawaii stepping up to provide opportunities for hard-working business vets who have sacrificed so much for the safety of this country,” noted Dave Bateman, a retired veteran, who serves as the regional advocate for the National Veteran-Owned Businesses Association (NaVOBA). Col. Bateman is the owner of Heavenly Hawaiian, a successful coffee farm on the island of Hawaii. He served on active duty and in the reserves of the United States Air Force.

“The National Veteran-Owned Business Association looks forward to working with the sponsors of this bill and all legislators in Hawaii to ensure its successful passage during the upcoming Hawaii legislative session,” noted Mr. Matthew Pavelek, Communications Director for NaVOBA.

The National Veteran-Owned Business Association focuses on creating growth opportunities for the nation’s 3 million veteran-owned businesses by promoting a “Buy Veteran” message to government, corporate, and consumer buyers. The organization has been instrumental in encouraging states to adopt veteran-owned business incentives throughout the United States.

VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2KRMdGqUHs 

---30---

IRAQ VETERAN AND SMALL BUSINESS OWNER SAYS PROPOSED PROCUREMENT LEGISLATION WILL HELP OTHER DESERVING VETERANS

News Release from Rep Kym Pine (R-Ewa)

Honolulu – Retired Army Reservist and business owner Alika Wietecha faced many obstacles following a 14-month deployment to Iraq. After a 22-year military career, he retired to spend more time with his son and pursue his goal of starting his own landscaping business in Kapolei, A M Landscaping.

“Among other challenges, I had a hard time at first obtaining contracts,” he says. “The performance-based, steady work that State contracts provide is now a vital component of my business.”

The House Republican Caucus will announce a proposal today to compel the State to dedicate 3% of all state purchases, an estimated $33 million per year, to Hawaii-based veteran-owned businesses.

“This bill is important because it would help open the door for new veterans returning from serving our country,” said Wietecha. “The military teaches men and women great discipline and integrity, two characteristics necessary to run a good business. Veterans are hard workers and have earned this support so they can land on their feet.”

Mr. Wietecha employed six people before the economic recession and currently employs three. “I hire as many veterans as I am able to,” he said. “When my business does well, I’m able to hire more.”

“The sacrifices that our military members and their families have made over the years have been tremendous," said State Representative Kymberly Pine, whose husband experienced two deployments during the Iraq War. Rep. Pine is also on the Board for U.S. Vets, which cares for and houses homeless veterans. "We must do everything we can to support our veterans who need our help now more than ever. This legislation shows our commitment to ensuring that no veteran is left behind.”

Hawaii currently provides preferences for small businesses, Hawaii-made products, products with recycled content, and products made by qualified community rehabilitation agencies. This bill would establish a 4.5% preference for a veteran-owned business and a 5% preference if a veteran were serviced-disabled.

A M Landscaping, LLC is a full service landscape contractor that provides complete landscape property maintenance repair and landscape and irrigation installation. The business works with various contractors and land developers of public and private organizations. A M Landscaping donated its landscaping services to a family on the ABC television show “Extreme Makeover Home Edition,”filmed in Hawaii in 2007.

  • WHAT: News conference to present Veterans' Preference Legislation to support veteran-owned businesses
  • WHO: House Republican Caucus and many veterans
  • WHERE: Mike McKenna's Windward Ford, 725 Kailua Road, Kailua 96734
  • WHEN: Tuesday, January 10, 2011 at 10:30 a.m.

###

HNN: Honolulu Mayor Carlisle Declares January 18 'Hire Our Heroes Day'

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