A majority of people in the United States support transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy, though the desired approach varies wildly. However, beyond a transition to renewables, there has been a steep decline in the use of coal fired power plants since in recent years with the rapid increase in natural gas use due to the popularization of hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as fracking. From 2011 to 2019, coal production employment fell 42%, with the steepest decline occurring in the Appalachian region.
Because occupational licensure is largely created and implemented at the state level, there exists a patchwork of different policies and requirements for professional practice. This creates a consistent trend of veterans and military spouses having a greater barrier to licensed professions due to frequent moves and unrecognized training. Approaches to easing these challenges vary as state legislatures and governors have taken steps to do so. One example of attempting to remedy this problem is the formation of the Washington State Military and Readiness Transition Council (WSMTRC).
Founded in 2013, the WSMTRC is a joint project between a variety of executive agencies as part of the broader mission of veteran assistance in Executive Order 13-01. Since that time, the WSMTRC has consistently updated its goals and strategies with stakeholder input to better serve veterans and military spouses at key career transition points. With a new executive order (19-01) released in 2019, Washington further expanded the responsibility of state licensing agencies to assist veterans in their transition to civilian life.
Micro-credentials are a form of credentialing gaining popularity to allow career advancement without full stops for additional degrees in licensed professions. Similar to continuing educations requirements, micro-credentials (sometimes known as ‘badges’) focus on practicing professionals looking to gain skills or specific content knowledge to increase their value to employers and patients, students and clients. They are very popular in the education field, allowing licensed teachers to expand their abilities and upgrade their licenses or increase their scope of practice without or in addition to a graduate level degree.
Most micro-credentials are similar to abbreviated college-level programs but also can be earned with practical experience through observation. These micro-credentials can then be added to resumes or online job profiles such as on LinkedIn to demonstrate a skill in seeking a promotion or during a job search in a new district.
Comparing Military Fee Waivers for Licensed Occupations
Military service members, their spouses, and veterans, are among those disproportionately impacted by occupational licensure policy. With frequent interstate relocations and a propensity for employment in licensed occupations, this population is particularly affected by licensure fees, which must be paid to keep a license active or upon each relocation to a new state.