First Lady Michelle Obama delivered the keynote address at Disney’s first-ever Veterans Institute workshop at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL. The event brought together business experts, government officials, veterans and leaders from non-profit veterans service organizations to share experiences, best practices, and tips for making a successful transition from the military to the civilian workforce.
Disney Hosts the Veterans Institute Workshop to Support Transitioning Service Members And Their Families
by Col. Rich Morales, Executive Director of Joining Forces
On behalf of the First Lady and Dr. Jill Biden, I want to congratulate Disney for hosting the first-ever Veterans Institute workshop. This day-long event encouraged companies from across the U.S. to hire, train, and support our nation’s military service members and their families as they transition to civilian life. Since launching Joining Forces two and half years ago, companies across the U.S. have answered the call to support our nation’s military communities by hiring more than 380,000 veterans and military spouses – with nearly 100,000 being hired in the past six months.
Over the next five years, more than a million service members will be hanging up their uniforms, and transitioning out of the military to pursue civilian careers. Ensuring that these men and women have the resources and the employment opportunities to transition successfully is critical. They finished their service to our nation, now they deserve to come home without worrying about the struggles of finding meaningful employment.
“When you hire a veteran, you’re not just giving a highly qualified employee the chance to help your company succeed,” explained the First Lady at the Veterans Institute workshop. “You’re giving that hero’s family the security that comes with a steady paycheck.”
Even though our veterans are well-deserving and some of the most qualified and dedicated workers out there, far too many will face difficulties securing a job in the civilian workforce. Through the Joining Forces Initiative, the First Lady and Dr. Biden challenged companies to help alleviate employment hurdles by recognizing the skills and talents of our veterans and to hire as many as possible.
“Hiring veterans is the smart thing to do for your businesses – because veterans are some of the highest-skilled, hardest-working employees that you can find,” explained the First Lady on the importance of hiring veterans. “And we’re counting on all of you to ensure that these veterans can get the good jobs they deserve. “
Companies are stepping up; for example, Starbucks just announced that over the next five years, they plan to hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses. We also have companies like AT&T and Facebook doubling their veteran hiring commitments. We have made significant progress in helping our veterans find employment – but we still have a long road ahead of us.
“And we’re not going to stop until all of our veterans know that when they hit that job market, their skills will be rewarded,” said Mrs. Obama.
On behalf of the First Lady and Dr. Biden, I would like to encourage all companies and organizations to keep this momentum going and to continue hiring new veterans. Together, we can support and serve those who sacrificed to protect our freedoms.