Announcing New Hiring Commitments for Veterans and Military Spouses
“Now, our economy is growing. It’s creating jobs on a consistent basis. Although I just had a press conference — we could be doing even better if we’d get a little more cooperation down the street. But for post-9/11 veterans, employment continues to lag behind the national average — and that’s especially true for our youngest veterans. And this does not make any sense.
If you can save a life on the battlefield, then you sure as heck can save one in an ambulance in a state-of-the-art hospital. If you can oversee a convoy of equipment and track millions of dollars of assets, then you can run a company’s supply chain or you can balance its books. If you can lead a platoon in a war zone, then I think you can lead a team in a conference center.
There are lots of extremely talented young people who are more than qualified for the jobs that businesses are looking to fill. We’ve got the end of the Iraq war. The war in Afghanistan is drawing to a close. More than 1 million servicemembers are going to be transitioning back to civilian life in the coming years. So we’ve got to do everything we can to make sure they have every opportunity to succeed.
That’s why, a year and a half ago, I signed new tax credits for companies that hire unemployed veterans and Wounded Warriors. And since then, the number of veterans hired through tax credits like these has more than doubled. And my budgets proposed extending these tax credits permanently. Congress needs to get that done.
We’re working to help our troops earn the credentials they need for jobs in manufacturing and medicine and transportation. We strengthened the Post-9/11 GI Bill, helping nearly 1 million veterans and military family members get a college education. And for the first time in 20 years, we’ve overhauled the military’s Transition Assistance Program to help our newest veterans compete for those private sector jobs. Our online Veterans Jobs Bank now has more than 2.5 million searchable job postings. With our Veterans Gold Card, our veterans receive six months of personalized career counseling. At my direction, the federal government has hired nearly 250,000 veterans.
So we’ve made progress, but we know that government alone can’t put every veteran and military spouse to work. So about a year and a half ago, I went down to the Navy Yard and issued a challenge to America’s businesses: Hire or train 100,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2013. And I am proud to say that these companies stepped up. And some of those companies are represented here today.”
Full text: http://1.usa.gov/12RGFBL
First Lady Speaks at the White House Forum on Military Credentialing and Licensing
“But too often, because of red tape, or outdated rules, or simple lack of coordination, our men and women in uniform come home only to find that the training and experience they’ve gotten during their time in uniform simply doesn’t count. Or they discover that the credits that they’ve earned in military courses don’t actually transfer when they enroll in college, so they’re turned away from jobs that they’re more than qualified to do. Or they wind up paying to do the same coursework over again, and all that training, all that education, all that expertise that they have devoted their lives to attain, it all goes to waste.
And this is unfair to the men and women who have served this country so bravely. They deserve a fair shot at a good job when they come home. But it’s also unfair to their families who have sacrificed probably more in some instances so that these men and women can do their job. And they deserve some financial security once they return to civilian life.
It is also unfair to this country, because when we don’t take advantage of the skills and talents of our veterans and military spouses, jobs go unfilled and, far worse, human potential goes untapped. And that’s bad for our economy, as we all know.
Now fortunately, in recent months we’ve seen leaders across this country starting to solve this problem. We have seen dozens of governors and state legislators passing laws that clear away all the red tape so that veterans and military spouses can get the licenses they need for the jobs they’re qualified for. And that’s really a big deal. It’s not a small task.
But the truth is that changing our laws is truly just the beginning. Because even the best laws in the world won’t make a difference until companies are actually making those job offers, schools are accepting those credits, and our veterans and military spouses are actually collecting those paychecks that they need to take care of their families.
So at the end of the day, whether or not we solve this problem in so many ways is up to the men and women in this room. That’s why we’ve invited you to the White House today to participate in these roundtables.”
Full text: http://1.usa.gov/10nVd80
Joining Forces to Provide Jobs for Military Families