Michigan officials will waive bachelor’s degree requirements for a host of jobs if applicants served in the military as an E-6 or above, part of an effort to boost veteran hiring in the state.

The move goes beyond other military hiring preference programs already introduced by other states by changing the hiring process to better recognize veterans’ experience. The new policy will cover 13 job classifications, representing several thousand positions in the Michigan workforce.

“Michigan is committed to finding new ways to support our veterans and attract top talent to our state,” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement. “Military members gain valuable skills and knowledge through their service that can’t be replicated in a classroom, and that experience should be considered when applying for jobs.”

Under the program, applicants must have at least two years at the rank of E-6 or above to qualify for the jobs. Reserve and National Guard members must have two years of total active-duty service or at least two years in the Active Guard Reserve program at the E-6 level.

The posts include human resources specialists, analysts, regulation officers, promotional agents and civil rights representatives.

Officials from the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency said hiring officials hope the move will be beneficial to both veterans and the state, attracting more applicants for open positions.

“If a veteran has at least two years of experience at the E-6 level, they have proven that they’re a professional in their craft and should be given credit for their experience,” said Todd Butler, an outreach administrator for the MVAA. “We anticipate this being a game changer for enlisted service members looking to transition to the civilian world.”

Individuals can apply for jobs through the state’s employment website.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 400,000 veterans held state government positions across the U.S. last year.

Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.

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