VFW Applauds Presidential Initative on Veterans Jobs

New program to focus on private sector jobs for vets

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. joined President Barack Obama at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., this morning, as the president announced a new White House initiative to ensure American veterans find the viable careers they deserve.  

The VFW has been pushing for improved veterans’ employment outreach programs since passing a resolution in 2009 acknowledging the national crisis facing unemployed veterans, particularly young veterans who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan.  

“Thanks to the hard work of the VFW and our members across the country, Congress and the president have both acknowledged the urgency of the veterans’ unemployment crisis and are taking decisive action,” said Richard L. Eubank, VFW commander-in-chief. “Veterans bring a wealth of attributes to the workplace that employers need; but recent unemployment numbers indicate a clear disconnect between our veterans and the employers that could use them.”  

The new four-tiered initiative is the latest in a series of federal programs designed to help veterans reenter the job market after military service. Two years ago, the president announced the Employment of Veterans in the Federal Government initiative for veterans seeking civil service careers. This new initiative is focused on providing the tools to both employers and veterans seeking jobs in the private sector, building off of concepts that the VFW has advocated for, as unemployment for young veterans soared above 13 percent this summer.  

The four initiatives include new, robust tax credits for hiring unemployed and service-disabled veterans; enhanced Department of Labor initiatives on career development, such as One-Stop Career Centers and a “Best Practices” manual from the Office of Personnel Management; the establishment of a joint Department of Defense and VA task force to transform the transition from military to civilian to focus on a career-ready military; and a challenge to the private sector to hire 100,000 unemployed veterans or their spouses by 2013.  

The presidential challenge will build on the Joining Forces initiative, spearheaded by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, which brings together military families, public and private organizations, community groups, industry leaders and citizens to focus on the unique needs and strengths of American military families.   

The VFW looks forward to working closely with the administration, DOL, DOD, and VA, providing insight on the latest initiative to ensure program success. The VFW will also continue to advocate for comprehensive veterans’ jobs bills currently before Congress including the Hiring Heroes Act and the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act.  

To become involved or to learn more about these initiatives, visit the VFW in D.C. at http://www.vfw.org/VFW-in-DC/.