The Associated Press November 10, 2011, 3:17AM ET

Highlights of bill for veterans, gov't contractors

Highlights of a bill aimed at helping veterans and government contractors:

--Tax credits of up to $9,600 -- double the current amount -- for companies hiring disabled veterans who have been jobless at least half a year.

--New tax credits of up to $5,600 for employers hiring veterans who have been job-hunting for at least six months, and up to $2,400 for those unemployed more than four weeks.

--Benefits for older veterans for up to a year of education or training at community colleges or technical schools.

--Mandatory career counseling and other job training for many troops leaving the military and improving the training that is offered.

--Gives disabled veterans up to a year of additional help finding and training for jobs.

--Allows troops to begin applying for civilian jobs in the federal government before leaving the military.

--Repeals a law, due to take effect in 2013, requiring federal, state and local governments to withhold 3 percent of their payments to contractors.

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